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Story Time with Bish

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
Let me tell you a story…

It’s the story of a team that had a new coach, new players, dedicated fans, and, on the surface, some difficult circumstances.

You see, under the previous coach, the team had not done so well. Although the team had shown some promise, and although the coach was not necessarily the problem, in the end, they won only three of their last ten games and missed the playoffs -- and the coach was let go.

Over the off season, there was a lot of renewed hope for the new regime within the ranks of the fans, especially as the team turned over its roster and its coaching staff.

The media was not necessarily convinced -- some were downright nasty about the whole thing.

The team lost their first four games and only won six of their first 20 under the new coach and administrative staff. In their first 17 games they were ranked 22nd in offence and 18th in defense. And they had no all-star game performers when that game came around in February.

But then something amazing happened.

The team came together, and the fans, the media and the region got behind them.

Big time.

They won 11 of 17.

The owner was suddenly lauded as one of the leagues best, and his son became known as one of the top executives in the sport. And the coach, who had been previously questioned about a great many things, was suddenly a budding genius.

The team went to the playoffs.

And with a little luck, and the skill of a heretofore unknown team leader, and the stick-to-itiveness of proven and beloved veterans, the team won each round of the playoffs -- including the final game.

That first championship led to two others, all in the space of four years and the team was now considered one of the dynastic squads in the league’s history.

Books were written about their new approach to the game. The coach began to be mentioned alongside the all-time greats. The general manager, whom most people had never heard of, was suddenly considered the best in the game.

Oh, and that "heretofore unknown player" eventually and completely replaced a beloved veteran, and he went on to more glory and accomplishment than anyone had any right to believe might happen.

The "unknown" player, who had not even been considered by some the best player at his position at his college, even got invited to the State of the Union Address.

And beyond that, the one player who was perhaps most physically responsible for putting the championship trophies on the owners shelf, who had himself began in the league as an undrafted free agent from South Dakota, and who at one time needed to find a job in a league overseas -- is now considered a future hall of famer based on his clutch performance.

In case you haven’t figured out what team I am talking about -- it’s our beloved New England Patriots, who are presently enjoying a bye week.

So some of you are ready to turn off your computers, right now, I am sure. But hear me out -- there is nothing good on television right now, anyway.

Okay, some of you are still here.

Listen, I am not saying that the Bruins are going to do what the Patriots did. Because if you take my analogy literally, then I would be saying that the Bruins won’t make the playoffs this year -- and I don’t believe that at all.

What I am saying is that even in retrospect it seems amazing that the Pats, who at one time were rumored to be moving from New England, sit atop the pantheon of pro football.

I sometimes still don’t believe that.

Nobody could have really predicted their success, or the wonderful twists of fate that brought three Superbowl Championships to our region.

And yah, on the surface it may seem as if the changes that have been talked about in this space and other news spaces around town have yielded nothing new for the Boston Bruins.

It’s frustrating to everyone, including those of us whose paychecks say "Boston Bruins." It’s most frustrating, I’m sure, to those of us whose paychecks say "Boston Bruins" and who’s Black and Gold equipment is sitting in a locker room in Wilmington ready to return to practice on Monday.

But here is the truth -- the B’s, who have changed over most of their personnel, have changed their coach, and have seen major changes in the front office, and have even changed one set of their jerseys, have only played five games.

Only five games.

And I know that the faithful fans of New England, who have waited for so long for a championship hockey team, are going give this group of guys, who have virtually nothing to do with any of the failures of the past, just a little bit more time to become a team.

They deserve a solid chance to wow us.

Other teams have done it, and so can this team.

Although I am sure there are some roller coaster emotions coming our way -- we are New England sports fans after all, I have no doubt that the Boston Bruins will emerge from these "interesting" times on top.

Could you have imagined Tom Brady with the Lombardi Trophy just a few years ago?


You would have said, who the heck is Tom Brady.

Close your eyes. Can you imagine a future with the Bruins holding the Stanley Cup above their heads at the Garden?

You know you can, even if right now you don’t want to admit it.

Anyway, see you on Thursday night.

Thank goodness Our Boys are home.

Go Bruins!
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