What’s with the radio silence? Why no blog posts since mid-April? Blame it on my team – the Boston Bruins. It’s no secret that I love hockey – the sheer speed and perfectly choreographed chaos of it – the rattling of the boards – how watching a game clears your head and gets your blood pumping. Since the B’s were in the playoffs, and eventually the Stanley Cup finals which, I explained to my mother in her language, is the World Series for hockey, I spent many nights, over the past two months, staring at the television screen instead of my laptop’s screen.
What began on April 11th as the Bruins’ quest for the Cup ended late last night. Even though my team did not get to hoist the 37-pound Stanley Cup trophy to celebrate a victory I believe they deserved – I maintain that my team won.
I don’t say this because, in recent years, Boston’s four professional sports teams have won so many championships our city has earned the nickname “Title Town.” I say it despite the numerous, egregious penalties that were not called on our opponent, leading to shifts in momentum, that tipped the scoreboard.
My team won because they played with grit and grace. They didn’t whine or retaliate when their opponent resorted to dirty hits. They owned up to their individual and collective errors on the ice. And they didn’t publicize or attempt to embellish their injuries, but rather silently played through them.
Which brings me to our captain, six-foot-nine Zdeno Chara, who took a puck to the face in Game 5 of the finals. There was a lot of speculation as to whether he could continue playing the remaining games of the series with a broken jaw. But I had no doubt.
Would it have been great if the Bruins had won last night? You betcha. I’d wear my #37 Bergeron jersey to the victory parade. But I’m no fair-weather fan. I love these guys win or lose. I love these guys because they showed – in a word – class.