Did you ever think we'd see the day when the Red Sox and Patriots would win their respective titles before the Bruins? Not me. Not when Craig Janney was making passes to Cam Neely like magnet and steel and Ray Bourque was patrolling the blue line. I remember 1988...Janney scores and the Bruins take the lead 5-3. My cousin actually started to choke on bread right after Janney scored the goal to put the Bruins in the Finals. My uncle kicked him so hard in the a$# that it dislodged the blockage. I digress. I finally had the opportunity to shut my father up who had not stopped talking about Bobby Orr since 1978. Don't get me wrong, Bobby Orr was the greatest hockey player of all time, but I could not hear "when Bobby Orr played" anymore. Enough was enough.
31 years later, I can still hear my dad saying "if Bobby Orr was playing today, forget about it!" I agree...forget about it. Now I tell my son stories about Cam Neely...50 goals in 44 games. A man who could score, check, fight, and intimidate better than any forward I have ever seen. The only difference between my beloved 1980's Bruins and my Dad's "Jesus Saves and Espo Scores on the Rebound" Bruins...2 Stanley Cup titles to 2 Stanley Cup appearances. My Dad is up 2-0.
My son is 6 and might grow up with the names Lucic and Krejci. I keep hearing how Milan Lucic is going to become the next Cam Neely...forget about it. I hope he becomes half of what Neely was, but he's only 21 years old. Call me in 5 years. If he can put 50 goals on the stats sheet, we can talk. But he is one tough SOB. He would make guys like Stan Jonathan, Terry O'Reilly, and Wayne Cashman proud. Milan looks like a true Bruin.
Now let's discuss the 2009-2010 Bruins. They may finally have what it takes to get to the Finals. They can make saves, score big goals, and grind it out with the best of them. If young guys like Wheeler, Krejci, Lucic, and Kessel (if he remains with the team) can take the next step in there NHL maturity and produce at a higher level, they are at least one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference. A team that can finesse and grind it out with a top notch goalie always has a chance to go deep in the playoffs. This may finally be the year! My son may finally live in peace.
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