The NHL schedule is a long, torturous affair. 80+ games of high-speed collisions, flying sticks, blades attached to churning feet, and a black, vulcanized object being propelled at ungodly speeds.
Teams go through cycles. Anyone that has played sports knows this. Sometimes everything goes your way. The ball bounces in your favor and it's like everyone can read each other's mind. Other times you feel like a little kid running around with grown men, men that have been playing the game for eons longer than you.
To get too excited about a pretty decent streak (5 game winning streak, 8-1-0 in the last nine) is a bit foolhardy. The ride will come to an end at some point. Players will look like they can't communicate even when they're two feet apart.
A bit of reason and reserve is prudent in a situation like this.
But in the quiet words of the Virgin Mary, "Fuck that shit, Sheriff 25."
Yes, ma'am. You don't fuck around with the Virgin Mary.
Tonight was the most complete effort I have seen from the Bruins in a very long time. I have come to feel as if the Habs are a sort of boogeyman, a spectre that steals into your soul and takes all of your hope, all of your reason to go on. I was recently speaking with a man from Ireland. He was telling me tales of the banshees that parents still use to goad their children into sleep. The Habs had assumed this kind of stature in my mind.
Tonight that came crumbling down. They looked like a weak expansion team, trying like hell to skate with the other guys, but repeatedly falling on their faces. They looked resigned to the fact that they're pretty much going to suck for the next 8-10 years until they build up their draft picks, similar to the Senators.
The game started with Edgecrusher putting a quick, pretty backhander past Price. Thornton has been playing outstanding hockey, as I've previously noted. That fourth line doesn't realize that they're supposed to go out, cycle, bang, cycle some more, and then politely return to the bench. They are relentless. Yelle has found his legs and is showing the skills that he has picked up over his many years in the league.
The B's just never stopped tonight. They kept pouring it on. Kept pushing. Kept skating, hitting, kept the snarl going.
It was phenomenal to watch.
Up to this point, Manny's name has been shit in Boston and in fan nation. He came into a tough situation, with cult hero Timmy playing amazing hockey. He got hurt and never got to prove himself.
Tonight Manny became a Bruin. He stood tall on the shots that came through and gave the boys the reassurance they needed to keep attacking. Tonight, Manny was accepted into my circle. I will never jeer him again. Anyone that is part of a game like tonight's can sleep with my sister.
It was pathetic to watch Georges come to Looch. I read his lips when he was talking. I'm pretty sure he said, "Hey Looch, Komi is a total vajine. Seriously dude, I know. I room with him, and he's always watching Lipstick Jungle and A Baby Story. Just fight me so we can be done with this." It's always sad to see a smaller man trying to fight a larger man's battles.
Finally, finally, FINALLY, I felt the Earth lurch. The fans began screaming and the camera zoomed back...to show Looch pummeling Komi. My heart lifted.
I have seen, intervened in, and been part of quite a few fist fights. There is nothing that makes me angrier than someone that will yap and yap and yap, but just won't throw knuckles. To me, as long as two people are willing combatants, let 'em go.
I think Komi finally realized that if he was going to continue withhis physical play, not only against the Bruins but league-wide, he would have to answer the bell.
Now, I'm not an easily intimidated individual. I've squared-off with all sorts of people in my life. Large, small, fat, scrappy, drunk, drugged, pissed-off. Tonight, you could have given me all the money in the world, any weapon I could think of, with the most advanced body armor available today, and I would not have engaged Milan Lucic. He looked like an animal. That look of wild bloodlust on his face, howling to his team, the opponents, the fans, the World, was truly terrifying.
Words cannot express how much I enjoy having this young man wear the spoked B.
I'll end this now. It's been a bit of a departure from what I normally write, but tonight was a game that deserved a different kind of post. As I stated earlier, the season is long and I'm sure there will be twist and turns.
But what a game. What a night to be a fan of the Boston Bruins.