Sunday, October 24, 2010

10.21.10: Home Opener vs. Caps

I have a confession to make - I have a mixed marriage. Judge me if you like, but I married a Caps fan. I met my husband through right after the lockout. What kind of drew us together was in the height of Red Sox mania (a year removed from 2004) we both liked hockey. A DC transplant, he'd pretty much adopted the Sox and the Pats, but he wouldn't be replacing the Bruins for the Caps. He liked the Bruins alright and admitted he rooted for the Bruins provided they weren't playing the Caps. At the time, both teams were good, typically first round exits. So it was kind of cute, we would bet dinner when the Bruins and Caps met. Since we've been together and subsequently married - the Caps and Bruins have both gotten better. Caps have Ovechkin, who I think is the most exciting player in the league. They've surrounded him with some great young players and I really enjoy watching this time. The Bruins have mixed veterans and young players and obviously have become relevant. So our days of snuggling on the couch and betting take out are over. It's serious business.

We'd already hit a preseason game earlier this year where Tim Thomas looked like the critics might be right about him, but since this game would be the back end of a home and home - where the Timmy and the Bruins shut down Alex and the rest of the Caps, this was bound to be a more fun game.

The day before the game it was announced the Steven Tyler would be singing the National Anthem. Since I'm trying to be a "glass half full" kind of gal, I was thankful that we wouldn't lose out on Rene Rancourt for "Oh Canada" The tweets made me realize I wasn't alone. Really? How the heck do you open the barn without Rene?

Alas, it was opening day. I got up for work and donned my Bruins socks and hung my Neely sweater (I mean, he's the president! - Hail to the Chief!) and packed up the new Black & Gold cookies that I made for our friends behind the bar at The Fours and went to work.

I tried like heck to focus, but I couldn't. I just wanted to get out of work at 4 and head to The Fours. Unfortunately I was delayed by a half hour and got stuck in traffic.

I parked at my favorite spot in the garage: 4Q! Made my way to the Fours to find that everyone was excited for the home opener and there were strangers in my bar. The girls from the Red Sox "Still We Believe" were in the Fours. I don't know why I find this aggravating, but I do. I guess I just find it annoying that the Bruins are fashionable.

I dropped cookies behind both the upstairs and downstairs bars and was greeting by a couple people calling me the "Cookie Girl" A couple years ago when I was out of work, I would bake during the day and bring the baked goods on game nights. My tickets were already paid for so going to the games was the only thing getting me out of the house beside the random interviews. Last season someone behind the bar mentioned that the Bruins seemed to play better when I brought cookies. So, I was bringing cookies pretty much everytime the Bruins played at home and all the games in the playoffs. Over the offseason, I have been tinkering with a dark chocolate cookie with chocolate chips & peanut butter chips. I call it the "Go Go Black & Gold" cookie.

With a Stoli Vanilla and Diet Coke in hand, I went to find some Canadian folks that I had helped get tickets. I work for a multinational company that acquired my small company a few years back and our Canadian sale manager now worked for their canadian branch and had hooked me up with a man trying to bring his father in law to Boston for the first time to see his favorite hockey team since recently becoming a widower. I was happy to oblige, considering it to be good karma. I met them and sat and talked a little hockey with the father in law for a bit while wait for my husband and my partner in crime, Jon.

It seemed obvious nothing was opening up bar wise so I headed upstairs. I ran into a father son combination that we've known for years. They joke that Jon is my hockey husband, so they asked if both husbands were coming tonight. I told them yep, they were both on their way. Jon arrived and was able to secure bar space near the Doug Flutie jersey - which might be his favorite. We ordered up an Orr Teriyaki style (which earlier in the week one of my best friends and former employee of the Fours Carol, proclaimed is the best sandwich in the world) and hooked up Pete with some Fours weeks. Pete got a little razzing for wearing his Caps gear, but that's to be expected.

We got off to the game a few minutes behind schedule so we missed the opening video but arrived to 307 in time for the intros. It was great. Especially seeing Saavy on the bench. I hope he got the sense that we're all pulling for him.

Off to the seats and the usual razzing from the 307 family about Pete rooting for the Caps. Pete has the seat next to Tim & Maureen, which leaves a gap (or what we sometimes call the coat seat) but it was taken and because I'm always trying to establish at the beginning of the season if that seat has been sold as a season ticket - I found out before the puck dropped that this seat was bought as a single box office seat. What this means for us is, this seat will likely be open a lot this year. It'll be a way for someone to get inside the building or it will be a single seat of a guy that will likely just keep to themselves. Which is fine by me.

The anthem was not as bad as I thought it would be, but I would have MUCH preferred Rene. He's awesome, it's a tradition and quite frankly Steven Tyler is SO player. Sorry friends but thats how I feel. Promote your motorcycle some other way, please don't mess with the opener.

The Bruins showed the opener was still very very worthwhile. Ryder scored first, which really set off the one game wonders sitting behind Pete. One of them grabbed at his head, which infuriated me and I thought Pete might get tossed. Tim got the kids in line and I hoped that would be the end of it.

The second period was fabulous. It seems as though Ovechkin was a non factor. Chara was shutting him down, I think that's worth the contract right there. I love to watch Alex 78 times a year. Watching him score is pretty exciting, but not against my guys. At one point there was a stand ovation for a shift. I've NEVER seen that in all my years. Just goes to show, the Bruins don't have to win games to have fans, they just have to have the right effort. With the cap hit that will come with Savvy and Sturm coming back to the team, it's going to a ton of effort to stay on the team and not be traded or sent down when those two come back. Should make for some tremendous effort.

During the second period, I liked seeing the effort from Wheeler. Who I like, but he's been a disappointment. Jon broke into his new favorite song "The Wheels on the Ice Go Suck Suck Suck, Suck, Suck, Suck all game long."

Meanwhile, the jerks in row 12 were just yelling about Ovechkin and his sexual preference toward the men. I didn't realized the word "fag" was back - but apparently it is. I don't get it, myself. I guess I wouldn't go about taunting an athlete who can't hear you that way, but it was getting pretty filthy. I'm not one to get upset about language, but I did find this annoying. I could tell it was really bothering Pete as the game went on. Caron & Horton were also bothering Pete by scoring two goals in the second. Also Horton ended Washington's perfect PK in the early season, with a power play goal. It was nice to see Horton get to play in front of a full house. Seems like the change of scenery is doing him good and apparently he can't stop smiling based on the interviews I've seen and article's I've been reading about him.

During the second intermission we went to see our friend Joe, and I let him know there was a half season available in our section. He's a recent college grad and a very very good hockey fan. It was fun to chat with him, and we were sad to hear he wouldn't be joining us for a postgame beverage.

The effort was there in the third period as well, Timmy was making save after save. Then Timmy did something I hate, he got way the hell out of position and allowed Chimera to score.
The Garden got considerably quieter. Making it all the more obvious what a jackass was sitting behind us.

I've travelled on the road, worn my stuff (be it Bruins, Sox) and been harrassed. Sometimes bad (like the guy that grabbed me at Yankee stadium and called me a name not suitable for this blog) Generally I follow the rule of keeping to myself and being respectful of the people around me. People go to games to follow their own teams, not see teams fans act like jackasses.

Z knocked in a third goal on the power play after Boudreau pulled a Robbie Ftorek and changed goalies a couple times.

Cue up the "Dirty Water" and say our goodbyes and started to file out of the building. Pete made no secret that he was really upset by the jerks in row 12. I don't blame him, but he can be a little cranky after a loss.

We grabbed a drink at The Fours and picked up the cookie container and headed home to The Q.

Friday, October 8, 2010

There's a lot to be excited about....

It seemed as though hockey didn't end. It seemed as though my fellow Bruins loyalists were itching to go. I found this an odd phenomenon. For as long as I can remember - the Bruins have been the red headed stepchild of the Boston Sport Scene. The Pats have won 3 Superbowls since 2001, the Sox have won 2 World Series (who would have thought?) and the Celts have raised Banner 17. All that and the one that means the most to me, will give me the most joy is Lord Stanley's Cup. I do believe it's the hardest trophy to win in can disagree, but that sentiment is thought to be true by many. I think it would look on a duck boat on Causeway Street - just sayin'


Shawn Thornton was resigned. What's not to love about a tough guy who's great with the media. I purposely leave later on the days he calls in to Toucher & Rich on the Sports Hub because he always cracks me up.

Cam Neely was named President of the Boston Bruins. Cam has shown he's not just an alumni name in the organization. When he talks about the roles he's been holding within the front office and hockey operations, he shows a lot of passion. He takes a ton of pride in the role and I know I'm thrilled to see him in this role.

Shortly after that, Wideman traded to Florida for Nathan Horton. I can't lie - I was blaming all the problems in my life on #6. I felt bad to see the guy get booed. I would never boo someone on my team. But there was no way they could bring him back. Nathan Horton sounds excited to be here and why not...he doesn't have to play hockey in Florida anymore.

Shortly after that, strengthened up the defense with the signing of Seidenberg.

In any case, there was a lot to look forward to, the lottery afforded the Black and Gold the 2nd overall pick.

The draft was broadcast in the middle of Fanieul Hall - it was a sea of black and gold. Could it be that I was not the only one anticipating the return of the team that blew a 3-0 lead just last May....yep.

Once Taylor Hall was gone, we all knew it would be Tyler.


The resigning of Paille puzzles me, but in the past the Bruins have been criticized for not locking anyone up, now contracts are like ice cream at little league.

Development Camp Opened to overwhelming support. Who knew

The resigning of Stuart is a big win in my opinion, he's kind of crazy. Willing to stick up for his teammates and he's a serviceable defenseman.

Blake Wheeler is signed to the arbitration ruling for a year. Ice cream for everyone. I like that Wheels made the Bruins make some tough choices to start his first season. But disappointing season for Wheels 2009-10.


Contract for Seguin. Entry level contract.

NHL announces they'll be looking into #91's contract...fingers begin to cross. Savvy's deal is borderline - but feasible. But thanks to the Kovlachuk's deal with the's being looked into.


Brings training camp and some bad news - #91 is suffering from post concussion syndrome. Speculation about him just being upset about possibly being dealt disgusts me. Knowing #91 isn't ready to go is worrisome. Matt Cooke continues to cost us and not be punished and it makes me angry knowing one of the best players to wear the spoked B in quite some time is sitting in the dark somewhere.

On the upside: Rookie Games

Everyone wanted to see Seguin, but he wasn't the only thing on the ice. 25,000 people showed up over 2 nights. 2 Nights, 2 Wins, 5 bucks for General Admission. Jack Edwards (who I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with) did the PA announcing. It even gave him the opportunity to call the OT winner by Spooner "Spooner sticks a fork in it!"

More importantly on a personal note - we got to open the winter home - check out the pipes, so to speak. We'd begun the shut down of the summer home on Yawkey Way...and it was just a matter of time till the Sox were officially out of it.

Also on a fun note for me - I went for a skate for the first time in about 20 years on the ice at the Garden. I brought my cousin KJ and we had a BLAST. He had a rough summer and was getting ready to move away the following weekend, so it was fun to go buy some skates and take the ice together.


The Bruins play preseason games. People are up in arms that NESN isn't showing preseason hockey instead of the Sox. If the Sox were playoff bound this wouldn't have even come up, that said - seriously people are fired up to watch some preseason hockey. I gave up one of my two games to my cousin - my partner in crime wasn't going and I honestly felt that it was smarter to spend some time with the hubs in between the gap of softball season and hockey season.

We did go to the Bruins Caps preseason game - which hubs came with. My dirty secret is: I married a Caps fan. What can I say? I love hockey, he loves hockey. When we started dating no guy I went out with could get through a first date without picking on me for liking the Boston Bruins. While it's surprising I would be married to a fan of another team - I enjoy it.
He's a good guy, loves hockey and will pick me up on a Saturday night after a game so I can enjoy a few beverages and not worry about driving can I go wrong, at least he's a fan of the Red, White and Blue as opposed to the Rouge, Blanc et Bleu. That would be bad.

Unfortunately for me it was a VERY busy day at work and I didn't make it in to the game until mid way through the second period. Just in time to see my boy Timmy give up 4 goals. By the second goal everyone was calling for Tuukka....gross. Not that Tuukka isn't a good goalie, I guess I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Timmy. He's the perfect example of never giving up on your dreams and what can happen when you have a family that supports you. Not to mention he not that far removed from the Veznia trophy. I guess it's hard to remember in our short attention society, but this girl will always be rooting for Timmy.

The Bruins leave for Europe. All news seems to come in the form of Tweets - because barely any press has gone.

Seems like it was a wonderful opportunity for the team to spend some quality time together. Playing in Belfast and the Czech Republic.

The day before the puck was dropped halfway around the world, the news of Bergeron's extension for 3 years is announced. It's hard to believe this kid is only 25, I hope he plays for us for 13 more years.

Before arriving at The Fours for the puck drop on the opener the news of Chara's extension is announced. Good deal - now we all have ice cream - let's play some hockey.

There is no offseason...

Well, apparently there is an offseason, but the last two years it's started after a painful Game 7 loss right in front of our faces. This one courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers after blowing a 3-0 lead. Don't get me wrong, the boys were lucky to be there. After the 08-09 campaign, the expectations were high despite a painful Game 7 loss courtesy of the Former Hartford Whalers.

Injuries piled up it seemed daily, heck even #46 came down with Swine Flu.The team just seemed unlucky. The highlight of the season was the Winter Classic. Imagine getting to see your favorite team play in your favorite place. A 10 game losing streak midseason had a lot of people riled up. Perhaps we noticed it more with an actual outlet to discuss all things Black & Gold on the radio (thanks Sports Hub!) or maybe people expected more. All I know is, I was no longer walking around in shame being a Bruins fan. The vicious hit by Cooke looked as though it might be the nail in the coffin for playoff hopes. Savard's concussion hurt an already ailing team. But somehow they pulled it together and we all hoped the seeding would work out in a way that we'd get the #6 seed.

Buffalo would be a worthy opponent, but I (like many other Bruins fans) thought if we could get past Buffalo we might be able to make a dent in the playoffs. I went into The Fours to watch the first game of the series and was chatting with a Buffalo fan, he agreed that was the match up he was least hoping for. We wished each other a good playoff series and got down to the business of watching the games.

Buffalo proved a worthy opponent, and for the first time I watched from way up high what it was like to be on the right side of the handshake. I can't lie - being on the right side of the handshake is awesome. It's so much better than being on the wrong, hockeys over handshake. Being on the right side of the handshake means there are at least four more games. Being on the wrong side means it's time to think about hanging up your sweater and watching the Sox. Not that I don't love the Sox, I absolutely do...but in this girls opinion it doesn't get better than playoff hockey.

In a strange twist of fate, all of New England found themselves rooting for the Bleu, Blanc et really - it was crazy. But to get another opponent that we thought would be a worthy but winnable opponent, we all did. Except for me. See, I'm married to a Caps fan. My team has been up 3-1 and lost a series - to the Hated Habs. I sat on the couch and watched my husband writhe in the pain that is the pain of watching your team ultimately blow it. I couldn't even enjoy the fact that it looked good for getting a match up for the Bruins, because I know how it feels to pin your hopes on team and feel good about their chances because their chances are legitimately good to win and see it slip away. Watching Pete...there was no way I could take a side.

The Bruin went up 3-0 fast as hell - and my partner in crime Jon and I were faced with a difficult decision...Friday Night - Sox/Yanks bleacher seats while the Bruins would hopefully sweep the Flyers. Even though Krecji was out for the season, Savard was that had to sway in our favor, right? We went to Fenway in our Winter Classic jerseys. When we couldn't take it anymore, we did two things we never do: We left Fenway early and we took a cab. We headed to the Fours. The Celtics were losing bad in their playoff game, so a lot of people had abandoned ship and headed to the bar, the Sox were tanking at Fenway. Here's your chance guys, salvage the night. Send us to the Eastern Conference finals.

No such luck.

Oh well, it was meant to be...need to play Game 5 on the 40th anniversary of "The Goal"

No such luck.

Uh...put it away in Philly for Game 6?

Ok, Game 7, on the one year anniversary of seeing Scott Walker put it past Tim Thomas in Game 7 to end the season, retribution...right?

Uh, no.

Losing a 3-0 sucks, but losing a 3-0 lead and be in the same category as the New York Yankees..well that's just rude. Not only had they made me a target for ridicule, but I could no longer take same joy in the epic 2004 ALCS comeback.

You would think I would be bitter and hoping for a long summer.

By May 21st I wanted back in seat nine to start all over again.