Who would have thought that a city would be in a frenzy about a hockey team that endured an epic collapse?
Who could even ponder that 25,000 rabid Bruins fans would pile in the Garden over two nights to watch the young cubs of the Black and Gold?
If you are a hockey fan it’s easy to understand. If you are Bruins fan, your hunger for Lord Stanley never goes away.
Every year is the year.
The Spoked B has become the red-headed step child of the Boston sports scene.
The Boston Bruins were the fat kid that no one wants on their kickball team.
As the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics went to the championship prom, the Bruins stayed at home dateless, doing their homework, wondering why not us?
But the hardcore Bruins fanatics never dumped their hockey sweetheart.
They suffered through the heartbreak at the hands of the feisty Flyers.
The fans came back after the Hurricanes blew away the Bruins in another seventh game letdown the season before.
Who could forget the winter of no hockey of ’04-’05? It made you feel like your dog ran away.
You felt empty.
The bad taste of Montreal making a historic comeback versus our beloved B’s the year was still fresh in our mouths.
Even Scope could not cure this case of Boston Bruins bad breath.
The stomach of every Bruins fan has had championship hunger pains for over 38 years.
Just longing for a morsel of championship glory.
How painful it has been for the Hub of Hockey to watch cities like Anaheim and Tampa fattened up on a main course of Lord Stanley. Then see their fans go back to surfing, sipping on boat drinks, and sunbathing leaving their hockey rinks empty.
They don’t deserve such pleasure and jubilation. We do.
Boston and hockey were made for each other.
Hey Phoenix and Miami, it actually gets cold enough here that people can actually skate on real natural ice. Parents truck their sons and daughters to practice at 6am in the morning because of the high demand for ice time.
This winter sport is ingrained into our Boston culture.
The Massachusetts Miracle Men.
Hockey is Boston and Boston is the Bruins.
Orr. Espo. Chief. Gerry. Eddie Shore. Middleton. Cam. Ray.
Now with the arrival of young phenom, Tyler Seguin, the Commonwealth and all of New England for that matter is a buzz.
A new hockey dawn is upon us.
With a young core consisting of Seguin, Horton, Bergeron, Rask, Boychuck, and Krejci the Bruins finally have the talent to make a bona-fide run at that silver beautiful chalice of Hockey greatness.
Or we affectionately call him, Stanley.
The expectations in Beantown have not been this great since the days of Cam Neely, Ray Bourque, Adam Oates, and Andy Moog. Those Bruins teams went to two Stanley Cup Finals and four conference finals from ’88 to ’92. However, the Black and Gold fell short each time.
During the late '80s and early '90s, the Bruins owned Beantown. The Red Sox were the Red Sox breaking our hearts each postseason (like the Bruins are doing to their fans now). The original Big Three for the Celtics were getting old. And the Patriots just stunk.
As they say fashions and trends are reciprocal.
Bell bottoms came back.
Sweater dresses made a short-lived return and people actually choose to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon for some odd reason.
The stage is set and the Hub of Hockey is poised for a return to greatness.
The Hockey Rules Bear is throwing people threw pane glass windows.
A Boston sports radio station actually encourages hockey talk on their airwaves (thank you, Felger!).
So dust off your satin Bruins jacket with that embroidered spoked B that you wore in high school.
Because I am (after I fast until opening night).
God, I love Bruins hockey, and I am starving for it!
Is it October yet?
Joe Gill writes for Boston Sports Then And Now