Boston’s Beards

A storm is brewing. So are the Bruins on this night of game 6 between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Black Hawks. The stormy conditions and the temperature of the emotions outside TD Garden are virtually identical molecule-to-molecule; the energy is high, as are the tensions.

The Bruins are down one and will lose the cup if they lose this game. The last two being won by Chicago, one in overtime (4 of the 5 games have been played into overtime in these Finals) and the other in a disgusting show  of Chicago’s superiority. It was disappointing on so many levels.

But Boston is ready now. My city is known for its fanatic fans be it Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots or the Bruins.. nights like tonight make history. People could talk about this for years to come. Each player has a chance to be memorialized forever not unlike “Bobby Orr” outside the stadium. And chances for fans to make their own history; though rioting isn’t very positive kind of history.

Goosebumps prickle my skin as the Bruin flag makes its way over the hands of millions of eager fans. Rene Rancourt opens the game with his age old and traditional rendition of the national anthem. Everyone must play their part, with the traditional roles and customs. The beards must be untouched and unshaven to have save every last ounce of luck left in them from the beginning of the Playoffs.

The puck is off and I can barely move my fingers with the anticipation of a goal. The Bruins start strong, but Chicago is right on them.

I bought myself a drink and sat at the bar at North station. As I waited for my train the first few minutes of the game had me enthralled. They just announced my train over the intercom when… GOAL!!!!!

The Bruins score the first goal and the crowds in the station break into hoots and applause. The bartender mutters “yea! We’re off to a good start.”

I tear myself away after watching 3 replays and I’m still a little unclear what happened. Hockey is new to me. In fact I only started watching these final play off games; but the pace and tensions of the game have me hooked. More than football for sure. (That game moves so slow with separate offensive and defensive teams. Not like rugby at all which in my opinion is a far superior game to the bastardized version found in American Football..)

I dig and dig for a radio station to listen to the game while I’m stuck on the train on my way home. I’m agitated and unable to sit still. Shaw takes the puck on the right cheek and play stops for a few minutes I hear when the radio comes on finally.

I remember the interview on the ice with my favourite Chara. The interviewer asks (I’m not sure what he was thinking asking this question from a really tall, really aggressive man with  a stick)

” They say they’ve got you beat, they’ve got you tired, they’ve got you down?”

“We’ll see about that” is all Chara said before skating away.. all 7 something feet of him.

The first period ends and I take a deep breath. Bruins up  by 1.

The game comes to a disappointing end in the final minutes of the 3rd period. The Blackhawks make 2 consecutive goals in the final minute, tying up with  the first, and taking the lead with the second (only 17 seconds after the first) leaving the bruins a meager 58 seconds on  the clock to try and make a comeback.

I watch till the last second and then with a sick feeling in my stomache turn off the tv; unwilling to watch the Blackhawk celebrations.

2014 here we come.


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