I watched the New York Rangers lose Game 7 to the Capitals last night and with that defeat, my dream of another Boston Bruins / Rangers Playoff matchup went up in smoke.
I was all prepared to start trashing the New York Rangers the second they won their fourth game of that series. They failed three games in a row. It would have been great to see the long ago rivalry between the Bruins and Rangers heat up again. Oh well.
So now the Bruins are matched up against the Carolina Hurricanes. A team that I have absolutely no knowledge of. All I know about them is that they used to be the Hartford Whalers, they won the Cup a few years ago and Rod Brind’Amour is still playing hockey.
I have to admit it’s hard to be happy for new hockey cities when they win the Cup. Especially teams that are down South. I don’t know if you’ve ever gone to a game in the Southeast regions of the NHL, but it’s hilarious.
I went to a Nashville Predators game a few years ago. At one point during the game, the puck went in the corner, and as a number of players rushed in to gain possession, some woman behind me yelled out, “SQUISH ‘EM!”
In all my years of going to games, I’ve never heard that. I’ve heard, “Drop the gloves”, “Take the body”, “SKATE!!!!!” etc., but never have I heard “Squish ‘em!”
What made it even better was that it was yelled out in a Southern accent.
Even though I’ve never been to a Hurricanes home game, I’m going to use the Predators fans as a template for my judgment of them for the simple reasons that I don’t do research and I like to irritate people.
So with that, I’m going to make a couple of “educated” guesses about the experience one would have down there in Raleigh.
At a Hurricanes game, after every stoppage of play, when you look up to the scoreboard, they explain things like “icing” and “offsides.” I know that sounds crazy but they did that in Nashville and their state borders North Carolina. So there ya' go.
(If you think any or all of this resentment toward Carolina has to do with the last 37 Cup-less years in Boston, all I can say is that I'm not available for comment at this time.)
I’m also guessing that there is some sort of advertisement about an upcoming rodeo or a gun show. If someone on the Whalers, I mean the Hurricanes, gets a hat trick, everyone gets a free side order of hash browns at the Waffle House.
I actually lived in North Carolina for eight months or if you want to get technical, two semesters. I was amazed that they still brought up that whole Civil War thing. Evidently, just like with the NHL Playoffs, round two is coming. Personally with the advancements in weaponry I think they’ve waited too long to seek revenge. So if it ever goes down, I’m going to take the under and the boys in blue.
I have to admit, the Hurricanes are a scary team. They’re like a wounded animal!!! I know that makes no sense but I happen to love that expression.
The Whalers of the Carolina region knocked off the New Jersey Devils. You have to respect that. You also have to respect 97 points in the regular season and their ability to draw a huge crowd despite being situated in the middle of Tobacco Road.
I have a feeling that this is going to be a long, tough series. Unlike those pushovers in Montreal, these guys know how to play the game. Can’t wait for Friday Night. SQUISH ‘EM!!!!!!
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Author: Bill Burr | Special to NHL.com