As I slouch inexorably toward early middle age and despite my distance from home, I still maintain the reminants of my childhood sports alliegences. Once a year, I pull on my throwback jersey and catch the Bruins whenever they come to town; been to Madison Sq Garden and saw them beat the Rangers twice, been to the Verizon Ctr twice. Last month was the nadir, however, as I shelled out $56 for a front row upper deck center ice seat to watch them get ass-raped by the Caps, 10-2.
The heyday of my Big Bad Bruins of yore are long past. Plagued by stingy ownership and (until recently) toady management, they've spent the last fifteen years or so on a long, slow, sad fade into irrelevancy while the exploits of the Pats, Red Sox and recently the Celtics have nudged them off the front page of the sports section. Cam Neely? Terry O'Reilly? Ray Bourque? Long gone. Their last Stanley Cup? A month before my first birthday.
So it's been great to see them fighting like hell to stay alive against the top-seeded Montreal Canadiens (who went an embarassing 8-0 against the B's during the season) in the first round of this year's playoffs. Last night in Montreal, facing elimination in Game 5 of a best-of-7, they finally appear to have solved the Canadiens' rookie goalie Carey Price, utterly schooling him with four 3rd-period goals to secure a 5-1 victory and force a Game 6 on Saturday back in Boston. They're still a longshot but hey, anything can happen.
I love this silly playoff commerical that NESN is running (I saw it last week while at a work conference in Boston); the only caveat is that they lied about all games being broadcast on NESN-HD. Game 5 was bumped onto their non-HD channel in favor of an inconsequential early-season Sox-Yankees matchup. Shame on them for overlooking the best game the Bruins have played all year, but that's an unfortunate reflection on the clout that the Bruins have of late. Alas.
Screw NESN. Go Bruins!