Archive for the ‘Bruins’ Category

Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Parade!

Saturday is my favorite day of the week. Why? Because on Saturday I get to do one of my favorite things in the world: sleep in until 10 or 11 am, get an iced coffee, and lounge in bed watching The Baseball Show on CSN.  But not this Saturday. This Saturday I set my alarm clock for 6:15am on a Saturday. What could possibly make me get out of bed that early? The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Fricken Cup for the first time in 39 years!

Because I was planning on driving into Boston from Western MA for the parade, I had to get up early (but not as early as the BF who woke up at 3am and drove up from Long Island).  Did I mention that I hate waking up early?

Normally, I’d park my car at Riverside Station and take the T into the city, but traffic for the station was backed up off the highway. At 8:50 in the morning. And most car occupants were adorned in black and gold. The not-quite-as-sleepy-or-grouchy Chris made the executive decision to park in Brookline, where my old college roommate lives. After a quick pit stop (due to my impatience)  to visit, we grabbed a green line train into the city. A train almost entirely filled with Bruins fans. With more Bruins fans attempting to get on the train at each stop. And even more bruins fans in cars and buses along the route. It seriously was insane.

My original plan was to take the T into Copley Square and walk along the route to find a spot. I didn’t realize Copley station would be closed to all trains on the day of the parade. It made sense but still threw off my game plan. Though I’d love to say I know Boston like the back of my hand, I don’t. Chris and I decided to just follow the Bruins fans and we’d find our way (hey, it worked when we got lost trying to get from the Pru to Fenway Park!).  When we stumbled upon barricades and a decent crowd of people gathered in front of the Prudential Center, we stopped and grabbed a spot right against the barricade. We didn’t realize until later that we were actually sitting past Copley Square, where the parade officially ended.

Fans lined up along the barricades and grabbed Bruins merchandise in the plaza across the street.

I wanted a bear claw, but didn’t want to lose my spot so I stayed put. Then I saw something even more amazing….the Puck Hat! I need one of these.

Sadly, I did not get to see the very few comments Mayor Menino allowed the B’s to make before they boarded the Duck Boats. Supposedly, there were large TV screens set up along the route so the crowd could watch the parade progress, but there weren’t any TV screens set up at the Pru. Which also meant, I missed the mad rapping skill of Mr. Brad Marchand:

Then the Bruins Stanley Cup Parade was underway!

(from Boston.com's Bruins Blog)

The crowd continued to grow as the parade approached:

We got to the city around 10 am. The parade wasn’t even scheduled to drive by us until at least 1 pm. Though we both were exhausted, we were so happy to be in Boston for the parade!

Every ten minutes or so, someone would start a rumor that the boats were approaching and the crowd started to get anxious! Around 1 pm the police fired up the motorcade that would lead the duck boats away:

And then the Duck Boats were coming! The Duck Boats were coming!

Even though we’d been waiting for hours, it seemed to take forever for the boats to reach us once they were in sight.

And finally we saw the Cup! Not only did we see it, but the boat with Chara, Timmy Thomas, and the two trophies stopped right in front of us and stayed put for a good ten minutes.

It was so shiny! And BIG. Seeing the Cup on TV does not do it justice.

Then, you know, Zdeno Chara pointed at me. No Big Deal.

Chara’s gotta be one strong guy; that Cup weighs 35 lbs and he’s been lifting it since Wednesday night!

Timmy Thomas’s MVP Conn Smythe Trophy was on the boat too, though he got tired of lifting it after awhile so we only got a quick glimpse:

And here’s the MVP now!

The Duck boats lined up 2 by 2 and progressed off the parade route to almost deafening cheers. I cant describe the happiness and elation present in that screaming crowd. It was amazing. I think the most amazing part is that we cheered for every boat, not caring if we actually knew the person riding on it..

The NESN boat, carrying analyst Andy Brickley (in grey) glided by:

Followed by rookie Tyler Seguin:

I have no idea who this guy is, but if you wear an outfit like that out in public, you deserve to ride on a parade float:

It was awesome that Marc Savard (who is recovering from a severe concussion) was able to join his team for the parade! I really hope we see him back on the ice one day:

Here comes Peverly:

And Andrew Ference (who got a new Stanley Cup tattoo this week) & Gregory Campbell:

The perpetually stuck in the 80s Renee Rancourt was there, too…..but he didn’t sing:

Chara gave the fans one last look at the Cup:

And then it they road off into…well, it was day time so they couldn’t ride into the sunset, but you get the picture.

After the boats left, it was mayhem in the streets of Back Bay. Happy mayhem, but still kinda hectic. Black & Gold was everywhere. I kinda felt bad for any unsuspecting shopper on Newbury Street that happened to wander into this…..but then again, you must live under a rock if you didn’t know Saturday was Parade Day.

Check out this dedicated fan:

After three plus hours in the sun with only a small ice coffee and a bottle of water, I was hot, tired, and probably suffering from a combination of heat stroke and dehydration (just try and guess how many bottles of water I drank in the past few days) but it was completely worth it! Boston PD estimated that almost 1.5 million people showed up to celebrate with the Bruins (and we didn’t have any riots, take that Vancouver!), and excluding a few drunks, word on the street was that it was a family-friendly event. If you want to read a great article on the Bruins’ reaction to the parade and fan support, check out this article from Boston.com’s Bruins Blog.

With a little luck, I’ll be at another one of these parades soon….now, please excuse me while I go knock on wood.


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The Lucic Shirt Delimma

Note: I originally wrote this out of nerves late on Thursday night, then decided not to post it because I am far to superstitious for that. It would be like setting them up to lose. I watched the game with my boyfriend, Chris, our friend Josh & Josh’s friend at a Boston/UMass bar called Professor Thom’s in NYC. While it was really weird being away from my friends at home for a moment this big, watching the B’s advance to the Stanley Cup finals with 80+ other Boston fans in the middle of NYC ranks up there with my all-time most memorable sports moments.

This season, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let the Bruins break my heart.

I don’t claim to be a born-and-bred Bruins fanatic, but when I do something, I never do it half-assed. I read wikipedia articles, I watched any Bruins documentary I could get my hands on (like the History of the Bruins  DVD sitting on my TV stand). I know that the Canadiens are the hockey equivalent of the Yankees and that the picture of Bobby Orr flying through the air after scoring “The Goal” in the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals was a fluke shot that only happened because the photographer was in the wrong place at the right time.  I know that current captain Zdeno Chara is not only the tallest player to play in the NHL, but that his extreme height prompted the league  to exempt him from the sticks-must-be-no-longer-than-63 inches-rule (Chara’s, at 65 inches, is taller than me).

I say this to assure everyone reading this post that I am no Pink Hat. I actually care about the team, and not because they went on an absolute tear towards the end of this season. I get worked up when they lose, and because I am superstitious, assume that some tiny action (like wearing my Milan Lucic shirt) on my part upset the cosmos and caused them to lose. (Read: I will not be wearing my Lucic shirt Friday, because the last time I did, they lost….and I am not having that on my shoulders. No way).

This insanity is the reason I promised myself that this year, I could not get involved in Bruins hockey. The B’s had caused me to much pain over the past three years. What pain you ask? Let’s recap:

  • The 2007-2008 Season: The Bruins (#8)  play their arch-nemesis, the Montreal Candienes (#1) in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, stretching the series to a gut-wrenching game 7 (which no one thought they could do since the Habs had beaten the B’s in all 8 regular season games). I thought they could do it,, especially after the B’s eeked out a game 6  win at home. Then came game 7, a game I was excited to watch. The Bruins were shut out 5-0, with at least one goal scored in the final minute of the game.  Result: Two very scared roommates who couldn’t fathom why I was cursing and throwing things at the walls unless someone had climbed in my bedroom window and tried to attack me.
  • The 2008-2009 Season: The B’s go into the playoffs as the Number 1 seeded team. They sweep the Candienes (#8) and meet the Carolina Hurricanes (#6) in the Semi-Finals. The series stretched a game 7, with the Canes holding the lead until Lucic ties it up with 6:19 left in the third. I watch this unfold from a table in the Worcester Dining Common at UMass, blatantly ignoring the conversation of my companions. When the B’s go into overtime, I rush them along so I can make it back to my apartment to watch the game with actual sound…..and walk in the door just in time to see Scott Walker score the winning goal 1:14 into overtime. Result: I pulled my hood over my head, walked into my room without turning on a light, laid down on my bed and stared at the ceiling for a good hour (ok, maybe it was two hours), telling my boyfriend “I don’t really want to talk to anyone right now” when he tried to console me.
  • The 2009-2010 Season: I think this was the worst season of all. The B’s head into the post-season seeded #6 and matching up against the Buffalo Sabres (#2) in a six game series. They move on to the Conference Quarterfinals and take a 3 game lead over the Sabres, with Marc Savard (who had sustained a severe concussion on a dirty hit from Matt Cooke in March) returning to the ice and scoring the winning goal in game 1. Then it happened: the injuries started piling up, most notably David Krejci went down with a dislocated wrist five minutes into game 3.  The B’s then went on a three-game skid that resulted in a game 7 for a series that had started off 3-0 in their favor. They  did what only the Yankees had managed to do before them: blow a 3-0 playoff lead. They lost due to a too many men on the ice penalty (something, until that point, I had really only thought was a game-changer in Mighty Ducks movies). Result: I can’t remember. I’ve blacked out that period of my life because it was too traumatic.

So after all that, when I promised myself I wasn’t going to let the Bruins drag me in this season only to let me down, I really, really meant it. Somehow, somewhere, I folded.  My guess is missing the brutal force of Chara’s slap shot breaking Ryan Callahan’s leg had something to do with it (after all that heartache, I missed something that ridiculous?!?!).

And now, its 12:33 AM on Friday, May 27th. The Bruins will be taking the ice in just under 20 hours to play game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning (yes, apparently they do have ice in Florida).  I’ve spent the last hour  writing this blog post and debating if I should tempt fate and wear my Lucic shirt tomorrow. Tempt fate or play it safe? I can’t decide.

All I know is that tomorrow is do or die for the Boston Bruins…..and I’ll be in front of a TV screen in New York, hoping that for the first time this team doesn’t break my heart.

LET’S GO B’S!

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