Somewhere along the way, my devotion to the SoxPatsCeltsBruins got shortened to the SoxPatsCelts. (And let’s face it, it was mostly just SoxPats for a while).
After the Bruins annual playoff meltdowns and the NHL strike, I did not have room for another sports team in my life.
After the SoxPatsCelts(Revs), I also had Dartmouth and UVM, and then James Madison University and the University of Colorado—not to mention college hockey.
With the internet and cable, it is easy to fill up more than one’s time following sports, which is probably not a good thing. Needless to say, the Bruins fell off my radar.
Since moving back to New England two years ago, I have kept rough tabs on the Bruins, checking the standings now and then, reading headlines, and listening to (nearly) every lovely word proceeding from the mouth of Kathryn Tappen (NESN Sportscaster).
When they got the 8 seed and a first-round match-up against Montreal, I predicted an easy series for the Habs. I watched Game 2 in Montreal, which the Bruins lost in overtime after a flimsy penalty. Down 2-0, I figured they were done. I did not watch again until Game 6.
Down 3 games to 2, and down 2-1 heading into the 3rd period, I watched one of the greatest periods of hockey I have ever seen. The Bruins refused to quit; they tied the game at 2-2. Halfway through the period, Montreal went up 3-2; the Bruins tied it two minutes later. The Bruins went up 4-3 with 4:15 to go, and Montreal tied it eleven seconds later.
Finally, the Bruins went up 5-4 with 2:37 to go and survived a scrum in front of the net that lasted nearly the final thirty seconds. The Garden was alive and the Bruins actually looked like a team to be reckoned with.
The Bruins lost my interest years ago with shoddy management. We are spoiled with front offices that know what they are doing in New England—the Patriots, the Red Sox, and now the Celtics have learned the game.
Even the Revolution has a dominant club with savvy management. We don’t bend over for millionaire/billionaire owners, and once Ray Bourque left, there was nothing worth rooting for.
Now, despite the front office, there are some genuinely likable players, starting with UVM alum Tim Thomas in goal, and continuing through some of the young guns who play with passion and seem to relate to the home crowd.
I never want to be a bandwagon fan. The Bruins aren’t a new interest for me; they’re an old interest who are finally becoming interesting again.
Besides, we really thought we would simultaneously hold three major sports championships—Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics; maybe it will be Red Sox, Bruins, and Celtics instead. Okay, maybe not. But still, it would be nice to beat Montreal tonight.