I think that I've calmed myself enough by now, but we'll see.
After playing a great game for the first 40 minutes, the Bruins simply failed to show up for the 3rd. No offense and little effort had me feeling that normal pit in my stomach, the ones that all fans of Bruins hockey have become accustomed to when they see that their team has engaged auto-pilot.
Anyone that reads this blog knows that I'm a huge fan of the physical games, the games of bloody noses, fights and hits galore.
What I'm not a fan of is what Chara did last night after the game-winning goal. Watching the replays, I saw that Pacioretty (or however the fuck you spell his name) gave Chara a little shove. Chara responded and managed to look the gorilla/sasquatch hybrid that he is so often accused of being. A little anger, fine. His actions, not okay in my book.
In my former profession, I'd run into the guys that would want to fight. If they wanted to stand toe-to-toe, fine. Although they were doing something illegal, there was some kind of fucked-up honor in that. They would inevitably lose, but at least they showed up for the dance.
Now the guys I couldn't stand were the ones that were no problem until they were in handcuffs, running their mouths through the cage and from the safety of a cruiser's back seat. My most-uttered retort? "Where were you when I was putting the cuffs on?"
It's easy to act tough when things are all over. What counts is how you handle yourself during the dance. Last night, Chara failed with flying fucking colors.
As the captain of the Bruins, he should be setting the tone. It should be a game-long effort, not something that is exhibited after the game is over. I've seen little to demonstrate that he is truly leading this team through the season. Yes, he plays crazy minutes every single game, but that alone does not make a leader. He must be accountable for his teammates and their effort and when it's not there, he should be calling them out. I'm sure he was frustrated after the loss, but he's being paid a shit ton of money to play a game and didn't talk to the press. What the fuck is that shit?
Maybe we were spoiled. Maybe we got so used to having Ray Bourque wear the C for so long that we took it for granted. Maybe we got so used to Bourque's classy behavior that anything that doesn't measure up looks weak. But I can say this without doubt: Chara did not have what it takes to wear the C last night. If a 4th line grinder doesn't want to talk to the press, fine. If the losing goalie doesn't want to talk to the press, fine. But the Captain of the team should bear up, set his jaw and face the fucking music. The C on the jersey is a mark of prestige in the NHL. Chara did not show that last night.
Frankly, his behavior has me feeling embarrassed for the Bruins. They looked like low-class thugs with their "fearless" Captain leading the way. At the moment, I'm not proud to be a Bruins fan.
This isn't the end of the season and there are a lot of games left. Something better be done to right the ship and establish some fucking accountability for the players that aren't playing up to the contracts (Looch, Savvy, Wheeler, etc.) or it's going to be a lost season.