I was doing a gig at a college in St. Louis the night that the Bruins played their final game against the Canadiens. I have the NHL Center Ice package and my plan was to not watch SportsCenter, fly home, order a pizza, and watch the game with no knowledge of the outcome.
That plan lasted about three minutes. My show ended and like a crackhead, I immediately went to the nearest sports bar, ordered a beer and waited for the highlights. I told myself to remain calm. “We have home ice throughout the playoffs. Even if we lose, we still won the season series. No need to get excited.”
The Bruin’s highlight came on and through some unknown force, I was immediately out of my seat. The first clip showed the B’s with the puck in Montreal’s end. Without even realizing it, I started muttering, “Please, please please...”
There were about 23 people spread out in the bar, calmly drinking when I saw the puck go in the net. It was at that point that I kind of forgot I was in Missouri and not at the game.
After getting the classic: “Is this guy going to be a problem?” look from some of the staff, I nodded to the TV in some vain attempt to explain that the 40 years of hate that just emanated from my mouth was not aimed at anyone in the bar. It was for the Blue Blanc et Rouge and their silly little fans who act like they live in Paris even though you can see the place from Vermont.
Next highlight, the Canadiens score. I can’t write what I said, but the word rhymed with “Luck”, and I sort of scream/whispered it through gritted teeth, into the wood paneled wall next to me. I swear to God, I don’t know why the NHL still allows these two teams to play each other. It’s taken years off my life.
The Bruins scored the next two and for some reason, I was pacing back and forth. I was getting ready for a good ol’ fashioned beat down when the Habs scored the next three.
At that point, I was still standing, gripping the edge of the bar, with my head down, gently rocking back and forth, staring at a flattened straw wrapper on the floor, talking to the hockey gods. “Why?....Why do you insist on slowly killing me?”
No need to worry. These are the 2009 “Never Say Die” Boston Bruins. Zdeno tied it up with 14 minutes to go. “WATCH OUT FOR KOVALEV!!!!!!!!!!!!!” A couple of gut wrenching highlights of amazing saves on both sides lead to the final highlight of Mark Recchi tipping in the game winner in OT.
What a game! And I’m glad I watched it the way I did, cause when I flew home I found out my Tivo had cut out before the OT.
The views expressed on any blogs appearing on NHL.com are those of the bloggers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NHL, its teams, officers, officials, players or other affiliates.