Savage Disappointment

by

The team got booed off the ice and they deserved to be. It was that bad. The let down that Bruins fans felt last night was almost a physical thing. You could feel your whole body start to slump downward as the game wore on and you realized that, for all intents and purposes, the Bruins weren’t even going to show up for that one.

Only a contest that could be considered the Biggest Game of the Year.

Only the game the entire Hockey World was watching.

Only a chance to not to not only redeem a fallen teammate and recover some manly pride but to perhaps reenergize your season by showing some much needed team unity and scrap and battle, things that have been missing from the team all season.

Mike Milbury said it best, and this is a bit of a paraphrase.

“There have been a lot of questions about this team’s character lately and I think tonight they have been answered. In the negative.”

It’s a crushing blow to the hearts of Bruins Nation, folks who bleed the Black and Gold and, in a hockey rich culture like New England, really pour their souls into this team. You have to understand, love for hockey and for the Bruins runs deep in this town. People invest a lot of emotion in it, they really do.

Always to be disappointed.

The 1970 Boston Bruins were on the ice last night as a reminder of what a winning team could be like, what it might feel like to be a champion. I’m a little too young to have enjoyed those Stanley Cups in ’70 and ’72. In my Bruins watching lifetime I have always known disappointment. Some glorious runs, mind you, and some great players but in the end, always the let down.

Last night was no different.

Sure, there were the Obligatory Fights. Shawn Thornton goes right after Matt Cooke and, shockingly, Cooke accepts and they go for a quick little scrap, Thornton gets in a good right or two. The crowd goes wild and we’re thinking, okay here we go. The energy is here, the Bruins are jacked up and now they take this game to the Pens like their hair is on fire.

Yeah, right.

Quickly as it had started the whole affair became lifeless. The hitting, other than a few individuals like Milan Lucic and Vladimir Sobotka, was extremely weak. The lack of shots on goal was astonishing. The lack of making the Pens pay a price was inexcusable. We needed to see the hardest hitting game of the year for the Bruins and it just wasn’t there. How could that be? I’m not sure Sydney Crosby took a real hit all night. Not that I’m like Jack Edwards and want to see “nine teeth out his face” but maybe a bump or two against the boards?

Where were the scrums in front of the net, always a sign that a team is into it emotionally. There were none. Were was the anger and the face washing. After Cooke served his five minutes he skated the rest of the night virtually untouched. How could that be? It reeks of a team without any character whatsoever. A team with no spirit, no balls. Last night was the night to stand up and be counted and they laid down like dogs.

Unacceptable.

Unbelievable.

I watched their faces as they left the ice after that humiliating defeat on so many levels and I only saw a few faces that even seemed phased by it. Chara, Thornton, Tim Thomas. So many others seemed as flat and lifeless as their performance on the ice. Dennis Wideman. Michael Ryder. Blake Wheeler. Steve Begin. Begin was supposed to bring some scrap to this team, some real grinder credentials and some toughness. He got rammed into the net by a Pitt defender last night and never made a peep. Weak. So weak.

And Michael Ryder. Michael Fucking Ryder. The one Bruin we know saw Cooke’s original hit on Savard, his teammate and linemate, in real time and who did nothing in retaliation, was lined up against Cooke on faceoffs on numerous occaisions last night and, as far as I could see, never said a word to the bastard. Might as well have been and empty number 73 sweater on the ice last night for all you got from Michael Fucking Ryder.

There’s more blame to go around for this game and this season, folks. Claude Julien. Peter Chiarelli. I’ll get into it more as time goes on but today I’m just pissed off and it feels like my spirit has been crushed.

There have been many days in the past when I found myself doubting my commitment to this team, feeling like a sucker for investing so much emotion and time into a team that, inevitably, lets me down again and again and again.

This is one of those days.

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3 Responses to “Savage Disappointment”

  1. nightfly Says:

    Just unbelieveable. I’m so sorry, brother. I think back to 1980… our guys may have gotten you in the end, but man, nobody on your side backed down. O’Reilly in particular just kept at it, and it’s not like he had to deal with Cindy Crosby and Matt Cooke – he was swapping shots with Clark f’k’n Gillies. He kept coming anyway. And that’s to say nothing of guys like Cashman, Secord, young Ray Bourque. Lotta respect for black and gold over here.

    It’s like after the fight, they decided that they were done for the evening.

  2. Ozzy McGurt Says:

    A thought just occured to me Ken. I wonder if sometime down the road a Bruin will retire and have the guts to tell the world what really happened last night. It all seemed so scripted. It was as if Colin Campbell told them ‘Ok, Thornton gets one fight with Cooke, quick and painless. Land a few punches, then down to the ice. That’s it. That’s all you get. After that you lay down and show the world who’s running this show. Anything more than that and I’ll personally see every one of you spineless dicks castrated in public.’

    That’s the only explanation I can come up with. I really think Bettman and Campbell have more power than we give them credit for. Still bumbling, inept, clueless, limp-dicked cretins, but power-weilding nonetheless.

  3. Ken Socrates Says:

    Great memories right there, ‘fly. Sadly there are no Terry O’Reilly’s on this Bruins team. We had thought Milan Lucic might be one of those sort of players but, as another site put it, his cult hero status in this town is fading fast. Thankfully there’s youtube where I can get a Taz style fix whenever I need it.

    I wonder if you’re on to something, OZ. You could tell from the pre-game interview that Campbell was fine with a few fights and that he knew there was no avoiding that. I’m sure he told the refs in no uncertain terms that there would be zero tolerance for anything above and beyond. I still like your Hoffa scenario, though. Someday we may need to join forces and make that happen. Bury him in a hole where the old Boston Garden used to be.

    In the end, though, it’s no excuse for this Bruins teams. What they really needed to show wasn’t Slapshot style WWF goonery (okay, maybe just a little) but heart. Hitting, honest aggression and a take-no-prisoners attitute. Last year proved to us that that was the way they needed to play to win. This year…?

    Where that spark went is anyone’s guess now.

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