Archive for the ‘Orphan – Boston’ Category

Hockey Orphan: Boston Bruins

January 12, 2009
Chara = unmitigated beast

(Definitely make sure to read the Hockey Orphan by Evan from Stanley Cup of Chowder first. My take is meant to be the fattening dessert after Evan’s main course.)

Evan covered the key pluses and minuses that come with being a Boston Bruins fan but there’s a few other things to think about when considering the Killer Bees.

Zdeno Chara, mountain of a man

When talking to my sports-but-not-hockey-fan friends, Chara is one of the guys who achieves mythical status. After all, is there anything more terrifying than a guy who ends up being seven feet tall on skates?

My favorite Chara story came from last summer. During the off-season, it was rumored that Chara wanted to be completely awake during his shoulder surgery to make sure that it was completed properly. Can you imagine being the surgeon in that situation … conducting a challenging, precise surgery while some Slovak monster stares you down?

That’s just so freaking manly. The shoulder surgery story was brought you by The Campaign to Make Mike Milbury Cry.

Phil Kessel
When Kessel came into the NHL, it seemed like he was considered something of a punk (at least by NHL standards). That image changed quickly once the American sniper courageously battled testicular cancer during his rookie season.

If you cannot root for Phil K just go ahead and jump off of a tall parking garage.

Fantasy hockey implications

Definitely cannot say that I saw the Bruins coming. Not to this extent.

But from a fantasy hockey standpoint, players such as Marc Savard, David Krejci and Tim Thomas are helping savvy (or lucky) owners get a leg up on the competition.

Wicked cool jerseys

The Original Six teams have the market cornered on cool jerseys and the Bruins are no exception. Great color scheme, the spoked wheel … it all works so well.

The unmatchable quality of their classic jerseys probably explains why they’ve struggled to come up with a good third jersey. That being said, their solid current third unis definitely look a lot better than those yellow bear monstrosities from the Joe Thornton days.

The Jacobs Factor

Evan touched on this, but the biggest mark against the team is its cheap ownership. Will the Bruins be able to lock up the red hot Kessel before he becomes a popular target for offer sheets? Can the team manage to either keep its two-headed goaltending monster (they are both free agents) or possibly make an upgrade in net?

If Jacobs is willing to pony up the cash, the Bruins could be the class of its division for years to come.

Grade: A-

Promising future, some very likable players (there is not one NHL fan who looks at Milan Lucic without a feeling of envy) and an awesome tradition. If only they mattered more to Boston fans with a slew of successful teams and to their polarizing owner.

There aren’t many teams with a mix of promise and still a hint of pre-bandwagon sneakiness quite like the Bruins.

Hockey Orphan: Evan from Stanley Cup of Chowder on the Boston Bruins

January 12, 2009

(note: Many thanks to Evan from Stanley Cup of Chowder for his awesome entry below. My glaringly inferior take on the Bruins is coming soon.)

So you’re looking for a hockey team, eh? Like most Boston sports fans, I didn’t have a choice. I was born a Bruins fan. This idea of choosing a team to root for is slightly foreign to me but if I had to choose, the Bruins would be a good option. Like everything, being a B’s fan has its pros and cons.

Things to Love about the B’s

Original 6 History, Tradition, Rivalries
The Bruins have a storied history and tradition, plus rivalries that expansion era teams just can’t provide.

There are still a few seats left on the B’s bandwagon
Sports fan orphans love to root for winners. You didn’t have to suffer through the lean years, but you still get to bask in the reflected glory of “your team’s” success.

The 2-Headed Monster between the Pipes
Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez are standing on their heads right now. The New England Hockey scene hasn’t seen a goaltending tandem like this since Bob and Walt Tenor.

The future’s so bright you gotta wear shades
The Bruins have several young players that are contributing significantly to the team’s success, plus an AHL team stocked with young talent just waiting for their chance.

Milan Lucic
OK, so maybe he isn’t the second-coming of Cam Neely, but this guy is a one man wrecking crew who plays a high energy, physical brand of hockey that the fans in The Hub love.

Rene Rancourt
Fist pumps all around for man with the golden voice and the tuxedo.

Nothing feels better than letting out a Ric Flair-style “wooooo!” to celebrate the go ahead goal for the Black & Gold.

Things to Hate about the B’s

Jeremy Jacobs
Despite owning a team in a town filled with passionate owners, Jacobs chooses to hide out in Buffalo planning the opening of his next racesino in Pigsknuckle, Arkansas. Jacobs has gotten the reputation as an owner who cares about one thing: the all mighty dollar. The Bruins have continued to have one of the highest ticket prices in the NHL. For years, the Bruins put a team on the ice that was good enough to sell tickets, but not good enough to make a serious run at the Stanley Cup. The best thing to happen to Jeremy Jacobs was the NHL salary cap. Now, Jacobs has an excuse not spend money on players. Jacobs realized that he wasn’t the most well-liked guy in Boston and decided to make the local media rounds prior to the start of this season. The only problem was he came off as being even more out of touch with what was going on with the B’s than expected.
First Round Exits
The Bruins have made the playoffs 30 times since they won their last Stanley Cup in ’71-’72 but always seem to underperform in the playoffs.

Get ready for the Pink Hat Invasion
Whenever a team experiences success, everyone wants to be a part of it. I think it is great that the B’s are finally selling out the Garden, but one of the things I love about being a B’s fans is being able to get tickets. I don’t want to see what happened to the Red Sox in the past 5 or 6 years happen to the B’s. I don’t want to have to pay $125 to a ticket broker for balcony seats to see my team play in front of a crowd of clueless housewives in pink hats that think icing is something you put on a cake.

They never get the respect they deserve
Even when the B’s are playing well, they play second fiddle to the Sox, Pats, and C’s.

TD Banknorth Garden does not accept out-of-state IDs
I reside in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts so this isn’t a problem for me but chances are that if you are a hockey orphan, you do not live in Massachusetts. Be warned that if you want to enjoy a couple brews at the B’s game, they will not accept your out-of-state license.

(Again, make sure you check out Stanley Cup of Chowder for all of Evan’s Killer B greatness. Thanks again, Evan.)