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 Match.com 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.