I don't remember a Stanley Cup final series as brain damaging as this one since 1994 when me and my brother Ben sat through that storied seven-game tilt between the Rangers and the Canucks, which to us was Mark Messier vs. Pavel Bure. The Moose was my guy, my brother was a Bure freak. I won, he lost, and I beat him mercilessly with a Sherwood as we watched CBC clips of police cars burning on Robson street all night long.
We've now all lived through the latest Canucks el foldo, although as I type, Peter Mansbridge is officially declaring a riot in Vancouver, which means "the game" isn't truly over, but the images I'm seeing look no scarier than last-call on Elgin Street during Shannon Tweed week in Ottawa a few years ago. I'm sure the folks in Montreal are watching right now and laughing at the rank amateurs sans balaclavas. They would have at least gutted Sainte Catherine street by now, except Club Super Sexe, and there wouldn't be any tolerance for a couple of fools calling themselves the "Green Men" doing handstands by the penalty box.We're talking total annihilation here.
But let's just say the Boston Bruins deserved to win this series, this Stanley Cup. Too much character, too much experience, too much grit, too much Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand (a perfect mix of Kris Draper and Claude Lemieux, two players who never crossed paths, right?).
Congratulations to the whole organization, and yes, that includes Jeremy Jacobs, the 746th richest man in the world, the Chairman of the Board of Governors, and the guy who really calls the shots in the NHL, not Gary Bettman, who, incidentally, was classlessly booed by pissed off Canucks fans when he went to present the Conn Smythe Trophy to Tim Thomas.
But that's a whole other rant, and whenever I say something nice about the Commish, all hell seems to break loose, and there's already enough hell breaking loose on Granville Street tonight. Let's bow out of that one for tonight.
Congratulations to ex-Senators Chris Kelly, Zdeno Chara and Shane Hnidy.
Congratulations to GM Peter Chiarelli who payed his dues in the Senators organization and quietly built a championship team while the press fawned over the Canucks all season long.
Congratulations to Ottawa boy Claude Julien who has been fired more often than Billy Martin but has never wavered from his "to hell with entertainment" system.
In the end, it doesn't matter who your favourite team is. Seeing the Stanley Cup being handed to the captain of any team is still the greatest moment in sports.
And it's tough to find a more deserving captain than the Big Z.
If Vancouver won, what would there be to write about anyways?
Anyways, they'll be back next year. And we can all look forward to another riot win or lose.