It was previewed as the biggest game of the year, not just for these two teams, but for the entire league. It was the first time these two teams had met since Game 7 of the final on June 15th. It was payback time.
The Bruins were there to reinforce that they were the biggest, strongest kids on the block. The Canucks were on the road to show that they were tough enough, and good enough, to make other teams pay on the scoreboard when they took liberties on the ice. The Canucks scored four power play goals and won 4-3.
Case closed, point proven.
That being said, that is not what I am writing about in this little diatribe.
The Bruins won the Stanley Cup in an incredibly hard fought bitter battle. Look at the game Saturday. It was not like Philly against Chicago or Pittsburg against Detroit or Anaheim against Ottawa. This was an emotional seven game series. We saw how these two teams really dislike each other. The Bruins won and give them credit. They came back from being down 2-0 to win four of the next five and hoist the Holy Grail.
To all of us who have played in the NHL this is the ultimate goal. Get your name on the Stanley Cup. Get that Stanley Cup ring. Wear it proudly to show you are one of the few who has been able to accomplish the unbelievable.
I won a Memorial Cup with the Montreal Junior Canadiens and we got rings. They made 25 for the players and coaches. They showed that we had accomplished something. I played seven years in the NHL, six years in the WHA and two years in the minors. I was always trying to win. I had a chance to make my teams better and to hopefully win a Stanley Cup. I, like the majority of players who have played the game did not win.
Do I have the right to wear a Stanley Cup ring? No. Do I have the right to hold the Stanley Cup? No. I had a chance and was not good enough.
Saturday in Boston did you notice what was on the hand of national anthem singer Rene Rancourt? I watched the Bruins pre-game broadcast and noticed the same bling on the hands of Jack Edwards and former NHLer Andy Brickley. All three had these enormous Stanley Cup rings. My daughter Sarah worked for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 when they won the Stanley Cup. She has a ring! Tampa gave rings to 300 people. Doctors, secretaries, lawyers and, oh yes, players.
The Bruins had 22 players have their name written on the Cup. They gave out 550 rings!!! Are you kidding me? The Zamboni driver got a ring!
To win the Stanley Cup is the ultimate goal. To have your name inscribed on the Stanley Cup is historic. To get a Stanley Cup ring – and no insult to my daughter Sarah – not so much.