By Matt Noonan
“We want the Cup! We want the Cup!”
Come on, don’t you want to cheer?
Who doesn’t want the Stanley Cup, especially if you’re from Boston, Massachusetts?
The last time the Boston Bruins celebrated a championship on the ice was in 1972, when they beat the New York Rangers. Bobby Orr was playing for Boston, Richard Nixon was the President of the United States of America and Don McLean’s “American Pie” was a popular hip tune.
Now, Barack Obama is the President, gas prices are skyrocketing and Lady Gaga’s newest hit, “Judas” is the number one downloaded song on i-Tunes.
Game 4 between the Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will take place Thursday evening at the Bell Centre, however the Habs hold a 2-1 series advantage against the men dressed in Black and Gold. Yet, with a win, Montreal could conceivably be considered a lock to win the series, so how does that make you feel?
Bostonians and New Englanders can only hope that the Bruins will follow in the path of the Celtics and win two back-to-back playoff games, which happened this past week, but as any sports fan from the Hub knows, fairy tales don’t always end happily.
Boston knows the meaning of “misery.” They haven’t seen a team celebrate a championship since ’08, which was when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen guided the Celtics to Banner 17.
Ever since, the local sports teams have disappointed.
The Red Sox lost two back-to-back postseason series against the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angles of Anaheim Angels, as well as were bitten quite terribly by the “injury bug” during the ’10 season.
The Patriots watched Tom Brady come back from an ACL and MCL injury during the ’09 season, but were immediately eliminated back-to-back years in the playoffs. Might I add, last season Brady and the Patriots were practically a guaranteed lock to win the AFC, but instead, lost to Rex Ryan and the New York Jets.
As far as the Celtics go, the bitter taste of defeat still remains in everyone’s mouths or minds, as the Los Angles Lakers beat the Green and White last June in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
Although, despite dwelling on the past few years, the Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox have indeed won championships within the last 10-12 years, but the only team that hasn’t are the Bruins.
Can the Bruins actually win their sixth Stanley Cup? I believe they can, but all in all, when will it happen?
I personally thought this was the year. They made some changes, acquired Nathan Horton, as well as made a few trades at the deadline and oh, by the way, Tim Thomas has clearly bounced back between the pipes.
Yet, the four losses to Philadelphia is something that the Black and Gold will never get over until they actually win a Stanley Cup. They must win one because otherwise Game 7 of the NHL Playoffs will live in New England lore.
So again, can the Bruins beat the Canadiens? Absolutely, but if you want to go by statistics or numbers from this past season, forget it. Montreal owned the season series against Boston and had no problem winning Games 1 and 2 at the TD Garden.
Montreal may or may not be in their heads, but in order for the Bruins to win, they need to play smart and fundamental hockey, as well as score first.
They need Tomas Kaberle to be the anchor on the power play.
They need Tim Thomas to play “lights out” and stand on his head in net.
They need their offense to score early and often.
They need to win.
The fate of their season rests on Game 4 and if their performance is what it was during Games 1 and 2, then you might want to consider jumping aboard the Celtics or Red Sox bandwagon.
Boston doesn’t want another year of defeat or heartbreak, but instead, something to cheer about. The city is behind the Bruins and only the players can decide the outcome.
Again, the city wants something to cheer about, so believe me, it is certainly appropriate to chant, “We want the Cup!”