I took myself on a solo photowalk early this afternoon. Sporting a Bruins t-shirt, I received: 3 high fives, 5 “Let’s go Bruins” remarks, one compliment on pairing my camera with B’s gear, one Krejci sighting, and one smile from Chara as we walked by each other and I (electing not to bother him during his free time) gave him a big grin.
Shortly after the Chara sighting, a Segway tour passed by me. One man slowed as he was going by. “Excuse me, but wasn’t that Zdeno Chara back there just a little bit?”
“Yup, sure was.”
His face lit up as he exclaimed in pleasant surprise. “I LOVE BOSTON!”
All in all? I’d say that makes for a mighty fine afternoon.
You’ve got a lot of prep to take care of today. Naps. Motivation. Whatever fires you up. I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but I just wanted to share one thing.
We love you guys. We believe in you. We’ve got your back. We’re going to be doing everything we can to provide that extra bit of power behind the hits and that extra half-step of speed on a breakaway. We’re channeling all of our excitement, nervousness, pride, and loathing of the opposition—and we’re directing it onto the ice to the only people who have the chance to convert hope into success.
Even when we’re showing our displeasure—yes, Krejci, we heard you—we’re doing it out of love. We know what you’re capable of and we expect you to step up now more than ever. It’s how we do things in Boston: tough love, but true love.
So here’s your night. Get fired up. Step up. Warm up. Hear the house sound louder than it’s ever sounded before. And then play your game.
I like to pride my friends and I on being rather clever sports fans.
We’re the snarkier sort up in my section of the Garden balcony. We’ll counter the “USA” chants at the Garden with a call for the Czech Republic. We’ll use statistics and institutional knowledge to zing a player or a fanbase. We don’t resort to slurs - we’re better than that - but we appreciate high-quality trashtalk. We relish it. We recognize it for what it is.
As such, I love the Bear and his rules, especially come playoffs. The gloves come off for the postseason here in Boston, but the Bear does it in a manner above the cheap one-liners you’ll see from the “Win or Lose, We Still Booze” crew.
The Bruins were forced to abort their humorous ad campaign digging on Lightning fans after the host of “The Cowhead Show” urged fans to bombard the marketing department with complaints.
Our house, our crowd, OUR rules. Put the signs back up.
What is the goal of taking them down? Should fans of the visiting team playing in the Eastern Conference Finals feel welcomed when they come into Boston? Should they enjoy spending time in the Garden? Do we want them to be happy?
No! And honestly, if the Bruins PR has made any error here, it’s in curtailing to the demands of a visiting fanbase. The signs are not intended for them. They’re intended for us. And as long as they’re clever and aren’t using profanity or slurs, keep those signs up.
Matthew Chmura handles PR/Communications for the Bruins, and he has an online twitter presence - @mchmura. Contact him. Tell him that the Bruins Hockey Rules should be back in place for Game 5. Let Tampa Bay worry about what happens in their house. Let us focus on ours.
The Boston Globe, in an effort to educate the new bright-eyed, baby-faced Bruins fans enjoying the team’s journey into the Eastern Conference Finals (welcome, bandwagoners!), presented today a Hockey Cheat Sheet. The sheet outlines hockey terminology and practical ways of using these words and phrases while watching the team.
As a continuation of this public service, we here at VixDubs present to you the BRUINS Hockey Cheat Sheet - a description of those same terms accompanied by ways of using these terms that won’t get beer poured over your head at your loge seat.
Because you’ll sit in the loge. The newbies always do.
Boston.com Says: ASSIST Assists are attributed to the last two teammates to touch the puck before the player who ultimately scores.
“Thanks for the assist on carrying those beers back to our seats, dude.’’
VixDubs Says: "Paille owes Soupy a beer for turning his empty-netter into an assist."
Boston.com Says: FIVE HOLE The space between the goalie’s legs.
“Tim Thomas is on fire — no way he’s letting in any five-hole goals.’’
VixDubs Says: "I’ve never heard anything more glorious than the choir of angels in the Garden chanting ‘CAAAAAAAAAREY! CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAREY!’ after Horton caught Price five-hole during Game 5. Habs suck."
Boston.com Says: ICING When a player on their defensive half of the ice sends the puck across the red line into the opponents’ zone, past the goal line, and a player on the opposite team touches it. When this happens, a face-off occurs in the defensive zone of the team that iced the puck and that team cannot substitute players before that face-off. During a power play, however, icing is allowed for the short-handed team.
“What’s up with the refs tonight? That was totally icing!’’
VixDubs Says: "STRIPES! You piece of shit, blow your whistle! ICING!"
Boston.com Says: NEUTRAL ZONE Central third of the ice between the two blue lines. This is where players face off at the beginning of each period and after scoring a goal.
“I thought we were dating but he’s keeping us in the neutral zone.’’
VixDubs Says: "How are we supposed to get the puck through the neutral zone if the B’s keep pulling this D-to-D BS?"
Boston.com Says: OFFSIDES Players can’t cross the blue line into the attacking zone before the puck, or their teammate with the puck, enters the zone first. If a player crosses the blue line before the puck does and then touches it, play is stopped and a face-off occurs in the neutral zone.
“These refs need glasses — that guy was offsides by a mile!’’
VixDubs Says: "Hey, how’s Blake Wheeler doing these days?"
Boston.com Says: POWER PLAY When one team has a player in the penalty box, the other team is playing with more players on the ice and is on the power play. If the team with the power play scores, the power play is over and the penalized player is released. If the short-handed team scores, that’s called a short-handed goal, but the power play remains.
“Bruins are on the power play again — let’s hope they can make something happen.’’
VixDubs Says: "Bruins power play? Going to get a beer. Anyone else want?"
I’m not saying the s word. After all, I picked the Bruins in 6.
(Then again, I did pick Tampa Bay in 7. Way to go with that one, Washington.)
When the Bruins increased their lead to 3-0 in this evening’s Game 3, my brother leaned over. “You know, one could say that Philly’s got us right where they want us.”
Too soon. Only slightly funny.
It’s odd to even consider Game 4 a must-win for a team skating in with a 3-0 series lead, but this isn’t your typical team. I wouldn’t want to sound demanding, but this is the chance for Boston to prove to its patient (tortured, skeptical, cynical, devoted, masochistic) fanbase that they’re not going to give them another reason to doubt them. Not on home ice—and especially not after delivering one of the most complete games of at least the second half of the 2010-2011 campaign. There was solid line distribution, strong defense, physicality … and a power play goal.
(What’s that? It was a 5-on-3? Power play is a power play is a power play. We haven’t scored one of those since the days when Bobby Orr was in the lineup. Give us this.)
This isn’t the same team as last year. Want a laugh? Consider that the center on the fourth line at this point last season was Trent Whitfield.
But forgive me for being cautious. The only gloating I conducted after the game was participating in the trash-talk voicemail to a Flyers friend. (Trust me, he deserved it.) Otherwise, I’m playing it safe: looking forward to Friday, hoping for a solid effort, and resisting the urge to forget how I felt the day after That Game.
We’ve seen that anything can happen. Now let’s see a win.