but in addition...
All outta love in/for Boston?
As someone who has taken great joy in Boston victories - the Red Sox toppling the Yankees and breaking the curse, the Boston Celtics (and one of the classiest players of all-time, Ray Allen) bringing the NBA championship back to Boston, and the Patriots, well how can you not respect the Patriots?... I have always had a real soft-spot for Boston, including the Bruins. In my mind, the Boston Bruins means Ray Bourque, one of the easiest players to like in the history of the game, and it isn't hard to appreciate players like Recchi, Ferrence, Marchand...
We understand that you have a chip on your shoulder Bruins fans. A proud original six franchise that has had, like it's Boston counterparts, a long stretch of frustration, and unlike it's counterparts, has not brought that drought to an end. But there is one thing about the Bruins, besides the fact that they are the Canucks opponent, that has made me rethink my desire to see them end their drought. They seem to be the team most intent upon escalating the level of violence in the game. There may be an apparent contradiction here - Boston may feel like they have a right to be angry - (besides the drought) - they have lost players like Savard and Bergeron to vicious hits and terrible injuries. Perhaps some of their own behaviour can be excused by their feeling that they have been victimized. But if there is a team willing to live by the sword, it would appear to be them. And despite the fact that the after-the-whistles nonsense has apparently been condoned by NHL officials, I doubt that it is helping to promote hockey outside the Old school and Old-time Bruins circles.
Brad Ferrence characterized Boston fans as "crazy" after last night's game. Unlike a lot of over-zealos Boston media (and no one can match the degree to which they embellished the offence they took at the Luongo comments) - twisting matters to create hate-drama is a card I am not trying to play here, nor to take what Ferrence said out of context - he intended it in a positive and not a literal way, referring to their enthusiasm and passion. The atmosphere and sub-culture that has been created around the Boston Bruins may be enjoyable to them, but in general it adds an element to the game that makes the game far more difficult to enjoy. The hate literally gets in the way of enjoying the hockey. It's all fun until Savard or Pachioretty or Bergeron or Halpern or Horton is laying on the ice.
Last night I saw something I cannot recall seeing in all my time spent addicted to watching professional sports. When Mason Raymond was obviously seriously injured with a potentially critical spinal injury - the crowd in Boston went about their business of ranting and cheering and carrying on almost oblivious to the fact that someone had gone down. Granted it was at the beginning of the game, and the hype was greater, but there seems to be a code in sport - an obvious etiquette - that in those circumstances people respect the possibility of life or career threatening injuries, whether to a player on one's own team, or a player on the opposing team - we take a pause - we respect and hope for the best for that individual - and even let them hear our support when they are assisted off the playing surface. There is no doubt that fans everywhere get carried away and sometimes behave in ways that we later regret, but we seem to be pushing a level of fundamental disrespect - hopefully we can take a collective deep-breath, reel it in a bit, and rethink what really matters...
I hope you are ok Mason.
May the best team - (the Canucks) - win!
There has been a lot of posturing and poor-me game-playing going on, and despite the reputation that seems to have been branded on the Canucks - it goes both ways - despite the fact the calls aren't. Ferrence may be a "balanced" young man, but he isn't above throwing his head back pretending to have been high-sticked or throwing a cheap shot to head of Halpern. He drew the high-sticking call. He was not suspended. Chara is permitted to slash and cross-check and hack away - he wasn't suspended for his hit on Pachioretty and hasn't drawn minor-penalties for all his extra-curricular activity (which in the end is pretty much a constant low-level intent to injure). NHL officiating is the least consistent and least professional of any major sport, in a game that is perhaps the most dangerous for it's athletes - and what it means to cross the line is certainly the blurriest. The Sedins are drawing as many penalty minutes as players like Chara and Thornton, who continuously play the game 'on the edge'. This is not a criticism of the Sedins or Chara or Thornton - the point is that the officiating does not reflect the actual play - it is just plain poor officiating that takes some very creative 'logic' to explain away.