Game Sevens

I feel like we’re missing out. The Bruins were unceremoniously bounced from the NHL playoffs in game five of their second round series. All of the other series have gone to game seven. All three of them. I’m listening to Dallas/Colorado right now and I think I just heard them mention that all of the remaining three series had a team come back from being down three games to one to force their game seven.

As mentioned, Dallas/Colorado is happening as I type this (it’s 2-1 Avs in the first intermission). Vancouver/Vegas is tonight at 9:00pm (Eastern time, as always). Islanders/Flyers play tomorrow at 7:30pm. It’s still possible for these jerks to make my predictions look good. I think I need the Avalanche, the Golden Knights, and the Flyers to win, which would put me at 3-1 for the playoff round. I’d trade it all for another Bruins game though.

#sadface

The Bruins are Out

The Bruins are out, the Red Sox are historically awful, we lost our entire Spring to the Covid shut down, and now that it’s September 1st we have also lost our Summer.

I listened to a little bit of the second period. I heard the Bruins score their first goal. That was nice. I watched some of the third period. I shut it off because I just couldn’t bear it (pun kind of intended). I have to say that after the game three slaughter my heart wasn’t in it anymore. I was keeping an eye on the score. I saw it go to overtime. I saw it go to double overtime. I was asleep when it ended.

Summer is about to end. Lock down is not about to end. That math sucks. I feel like Covid-19 may have cost the Bruins a Cup this year. It definitely cost Pastrnak a 50 goal season. I know a lot of fans will pin this on Tuukka. Not me. He did the right thing.

Everything sucks. My epic binge watch of Agents of Shield just reached the episode where Bobby and Hunter leave. Those two actors got shafted. They left the show to get a spin off of their own, only to have the spin off cancelled before it went into production. That story fits in nicely with the general vibe of 2020, doesn’t it.

I want my summer back. I want my hockey season back too.

The Long Way Home

For the second day in a row I did some car vocals. Last night I wrote up lyrics for five more songs, all while watching The Bruins let game two slip away. I thought they were going to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as Tampa Bay completely outplayed them, but no such luck. The Lightning took it in overtime.

So I had five more songs ready for bad singing and I drove to the movie theater again and cranked ’em out. There were no weird spectator moments like yesterday, but I did manage to wrap it up quickly (simply by choosing to not add harmony parts to one of the songs) so I decided to take the long way home.

361/365
This used to be the high school. Now it’s city hall. We have a nice, gigantic, city hall.
I asked the barrel to move. It ignored me. I yelled at it. It continued to ignore me.
Obligatory

NHL Stanley Cup Predictions

You are all really impressed with my hockey playoff predicting skills. Six of eight in the first round, two of four in the second round (boo), and now two of two in the third round!

I picked the Penguins over the Lightning even though I hate the damn Penguins and I was right. I picked the Sharks over the Blues because Joe Thornton is winning the cup this year.

That’s 10 out of 14, I think. Let me do the math again… 6+2+2=10 and 8+4+2=14. Yes, 10/14. That’s 71.4%.

Now for the Stanley Cup finals. I think I gave my prediction away two paragraphs ago. When the playoffs started I said the Sharks were going to win the cup. Then after the first round I backed off a little and said they’d get to the Cup but they might lost to Washington. After the second round I doubled down on the original prediction. San Jose, Stanley Cup or Bust!

Joe Thornton was the first overall pick of the Boston Bruins in 1997 and then they traded him away to San Jose in the middle of his MVP season. It’s the second worst trade in Bruins history. At least the second worst that I know of. Only the Seguin for a bag of pucks trade was worse.

Then in San Jose Thornton played for a string of great teams that I always picked to win it but who choked their seasons away during the early rounds. I vowed never to pick them again. Then the Bruins puked away their season yet again and I was pissed off enough to pick San Jose.

And now here we are, with Joe Thornton and the Sharks poised to play against the Penguins. I hate the Penguins. I loathe the Penguins. Last round I picked with my head instead of my heart and I felt scummy every second of every game. Now my head and my heart are in sync and I get to pick against the effin’ Penguins again, and it feels good.

So I say the Sharks win it all, and Jumbo Joe Thornton finally gets his drink from the Stanley Cup.

Game one is tomorrow.

GO SHARKS!

San Jose Sharks Clarification

The Bruins have already won their first round series, and they already know they will be playing Montreal in round two. Game one is tomorrow night.

The first round will come to an end tonight after the completion of three game sevens. New York and Philadelphia, Colorado and Minnesota, and the game I want to talk about right now, San Jose and Los Angeles.

I beat on the San Jose Sharks a lot. One of my golden rules for playoff predictions is to always pick against the Sharks. One might think it’s because I hate them. No, that is not the case. In fact, I think they are awesome. During the regular season, in the days before the last lock out, I would often find myself dialing in Sharks games on the radio (by radio I mean iPad) when I couldn’t fall asleep at night.

Why then do I give them such a hard time? Simple. Playoff history. There was a stretch 5-10 years ago where I picked them to at least make the Western Finals if not win the Stanley Cup every year. They were a powerhouse. They owned the West during the regular season, year after year. They were awesome to watch. Then the playoffs would come and they would turtle and get their asses whooped by some clearly inferior team and I would have a big black mark on my playoff predictions.

At some point along the way I instigated the Sharks doctrine. Now I only pick them to win a series when their opponent is supremely awful. More often than not, when I pick against them I am picking right.

It just so happens that this year they matched up with the Kings. The Kings and the Sharks (and the Oilers, although not recently) have been the Western Conference teams I followed, again prior to last year’s insulting lock out. The Kings have an A-list goalie. I would have picked them against anyone. It was just a nice deal that I could pick them over San Jose.

Game seven is tonight, and I have one more huge reason to root against the Sharks.

We all remember the mental breakdown all Bruins fans suffered in 2010. The B’s took that magical 3-0 series lead over Philly and it turned into a curse as we watched in horror as Philly won game seven. It’s only happened three times in NHL history. Three times, a team has blown a 3-0 series lead and lost the round 4-3. The Bruins are just the most recent example.

Tonight, however, history could be made once again. The Sharks murderlized the Kings in the first two games. Then they won game three in overtime. Since then? The Sharks have lost by three goals scores in games four through six. The series is now tied at three games a piece. The Sharks have home ice advantage in tonight’s game seven, but I am optimistic that both the Sharks doctrine will be upheld, and that the Bruins will no longer be looked at as the last team to blow a 3-0 series lead.

The Kings. The Los Angeles Kings. They must, MUST win this game tonight. They must put the Sharks away. They must score early and often and break their spirit. Not because I hate the Sharks, not because I am rooting for the Kings so much (the Bruins are winning the cup this year, therefore I will not have to pick a back up team to root for like I did two years ago), but because the memory of 2010 still stings me, and I want another team to go through the same misery in the hopes that it will serve as a buffer between me and the memory of the Bruins failure. Not even winning the Stanley Cup in 2011 could erase the agony of 2010. Maybe this will at least ease it a little more.

I honestly hope that some day Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau will hoist the Cup in front of their Bay Area faithful. I mean it. Despite everything, I still consider myself to be a big Joe Thornton fan.

I just don’t want it to be this season, and I most definitely do not want to see them win tonight.

Go Kings.

Oh yes, Go Kings!

Stanley Cup Finals Game Five – Greetings from the Tobin Bridge

Hi everyone, I am writing this post whilst standing in line at the Tobin Bridge.  There are about 13,909 Bruins die hard fans here all  lined up to hurl themselves off the highest point on the bridge due to the sheer misery of last night’s loss.  I figured as my final act before throwing myself into oblivion with all of these other fine Bruins-obsessed folks, that I would talk to some people and maybe find out what is going through the minds of the fellowship of the miserable.

First I spoke to a man named John Doe.  He was wearing a Bruins hat, a Bruins replica game jersey (black), Bruins pajama pants, and had Bruins shoe laces on his black and gold sneakers.  He looked very tired, as if he hadn’t slept since “the good old days” which is how he referred to life as a Bruins fan prior to the start of game four.  “I can’t take it,” said Mr. Doe.  “I can’t stand the thought of losing to those damn Chicago Blackhawks with their damn bandwagon fans.  I watched game two in a bar on the South Side of Chicago and I had one guy ask me if a goal was worth seven points, like a touchdown.  Another ‘fan’ says to me, ‘so if the ‘hawks lose tonight they’re out of it, right?’  One other fan took me aside during a commercial break and asked me, ‘what is this icing thing they keep talking about?’  I wanted to slit my wrist right then and there, but then we won the game so I celebrated like crazy for a couple of days instead.”

Later I spoke to a curiously dressed woman who told me her name was Jane Roe.  She was wearing a wedding dress that had a big spoked B painted on it.  After last night’s loss she took a black sharpie and covered the dress with black ink.  She even colored her veil black.  I asked her why she was wearing a wedding dress on the Tobin Bridge and she said she couldn’t remember.  She thought it had something to do with trying to tie the happiest day of her life, her wedding day, to the happiest day of her hockey life, winning a second cup in three years, but she said the details were fuzzy.  “I’ve been drunk since overtime started in game four,” she said.  I asked her why she was on the bridge and all she could say was, “Bergeron’s in the hospital.  No Bergeron, no cup.”  She repeated it constantly before her turn on the edge arrived.  Just before she threw herself off she looked relieved and said, “I’ll never have to live in a world where we lost the Cup to the friggin’ Blackhawks.”

A third gentleman I saw was wearing an impeccable tuxedo and holding a home made tin foil replica of the Stanley Cup.  I tried to ask him his name and what brought him to the bridge, but all he would say was, “friggin’ Jagr.  So close.  No goals.  Friggin’ Jagr.”  He stood there patiently for a few hours as fan after fan ended it all in Stanley Cup misery.  Then out of nowhere he lost his head completely.  He started screaming obscenities and forced his way past the security to the front of the line and then lept into thin air yelling, “screw you, Corey Crawford!”  It was one chaotic moment in an otherwise orderly mass hockey suicide.

That pretty much sums up the scene here on the Tobin.  Most people won’t talk.  They just stand there, waiting patiently for their turn on the ledge.  Most look dazed, pale, confused.  They are wondering what happened.  They are unable to figure out how the Bruins could be down three games to two to Chicago and they frankly can’t take it anymore.  The line is moving at a steady clip.  I figure my turn should come right around the start of game Six tomorrow night.  Maybe if they can get off to a good start, those who are still in line might change their mind for a while.  Umm… Bruins?  Speaking on behalf of everyone here… we could really use a win tomorrow.  I mean… really.  Really, we could seriously use a win tomorrow.  Just saying.  No pressure or anything but.  We sort of NEED A WIN.  If you know what I mean.

Go Bruins!

Bruins/Penguins Game Four Tonight

I used to think that a three games to none lead in a seven game series was a lock.  Then in 2004 the Red Sox came out of a 3-0 hole and beat the Yankees in the American League Championship series.  On the flip side there was 2010 when the Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers in the Conference Semi Finals.

Especially for Boston fans, three games to none series leads will never again feel safe.  We know better.

The Bruins have a three games to none lead over the Penguins and game four is tonight.  They took a 3-0 lead against the Flyers in 2011 and finished the sweep.  They took a 3-0 lead in the last round against the Rangers and finished the series in five games.  I should feel pretty confident.  I do not feel confident.  Cautiously optimistic, yes.  Confident?  No.

I need the Bruins to win tonight.  They have Pittsburgh down and they have to put them away without giving them any hope.  They have to finish them off quickly.  The Penguins showed us in game three that they are not going down without a fight.  However, in game two they showed us that if you rattle them enough they will cave in.  If the Bruins can jump out to a quick lead the way they have in the past two games… maybe that will do it.  Maybe that will break what’s left of the Penguins spirit.  Regardless, the Bruins have to play as if their life depends on it or else risk falling into that mean ol’ 2010 trap.

Win it tonight, Bruins.  Put them away while you can.

 

Go Bruins!

Double Overtime Hangover

I gotta tell ya… I have the worse case of the double overtime hangover.  I feel like I haven’t slept for days.

But what a game, eh?

You can watch the highlights here.

I was in the car when Krejci scored the first goal.  I saw the Penguins goal on TV.  There was still more than half a game to go at that point.  Before the third period ended I was listening to the radio.  I’d had enough of Pierre McGuire, and everyone in the house was asleep so I kept it quiet.  It seemed like four months went by waiting for one more goal.  The Penguins owned the third period.  The Bruins owned most of the overtime.  This was not a push over win like game two, this was playoff hockey at it’s most stressful.  Each time the puck came into our end I was panicked.  Each time it was in their end I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see who would be the hero.

The Penguins brought it for real last night.  The Bruins were not up to their level of play they showed in the first two games.  Still, the heavily favored Penguins could not find a way to beat the Bruins, and now Boston is up three games to none.  Game four is Friday.  Again, I ask, please please please please please put them away on Friday.  Memories of 2010 are still fresh.  You lost game four to the Rangers after winning the first three and there was pain and suffering in Bruins Nation.  Spare us more of that pain with a win on Friday.

Go Bruins!

Overtime

The Bruins scored in the first period.
The Penguins scored in the second period.
No one scored I the third period.

Off to overtime we go!

Did I mention that I HATE overtime?

The Penguins have been 1000 times better tonight, but Tuukka Rask has been HUGE in net for Boston.

Next goal wins.

Go Bruins!

Game Two Glory for the Boston Bruins

How on Earth did this happen?  Says Bruins nation gleefully.
How on Earth did this happen?  Says Penguin nation miserably.  Is there a Penguin nation?

The Bruins took game two of the Eastern Conference Finals last night in a score that looks very much like what most people thought a Penguins victory would look like.  6-1.  That’s Six goals for the defense first Bruins to One goal for the offensive juggernaut Penguins.  But… How?… What?… Who?…

The Bruins have a two games to none lead in the series.  They are two wins away from going back to the Stanley Cup Finals!  (They are also four measly losses away from going home for the summer.  I’m not going to be the overly optimistic guy who jinxes things for Bruins fans everywhere.  Nope, not me.  Nothing but cautious optimism from this guy)  Brad Marchand scored 28 seconds into the game and it was all downhill from there for Pittsburgh.  They pulled Vokoun after three goals and then saw Fleury give up three more.  There was exactly one downside to this game from a Boston standpoint.  That chump Tuukka Rask let in a goal.  Useless!  Trade his ass!  (that is sarcasm.  One goal in two games against this Penguins lineup?  I’d be more apt to put him in the hall of fame than trade him)

But… but… but… the Penguins were supposed to destroy us.  It was supposed to be ugly for Bruins fans.  Instead it’s been nothing but glory and tales to tell the grandchildren.

In other words, it’s been wicked fun!

Now we come home for games three and four.

Go Bruins!  Keep it up!  Beat the Penguins!  Do it quick because our collective stomachs can’t handle a swing in momentum!

GO BRUINS!