Friday, June 17, 2011

Preview of Game 7 in Vancouver

Bruins Dream Season
By Thomas Chace Jr.
June 15, 2011

When I was a young boy I used to go to my Uncle Charlie’s house to watch the Bruins, because he had a UHF antenna that could pick up Channel 38 which showed all their games. My cousins, Michael and Paul were a year older and a year younger than me. In between periods we would head to the basement and Paul, my younger cousin, would play net as Michael and I would pretend to be Bobby Orr and Ken Hodge and drill him with whatever we could use as a puck. My Aunt Marie would yell at us to keep it down but she didn’t know the best way to beat Paul, was glove side high.

As kids from my generation, we played outside all the time. We were not allowed in the house except to eat or use the bathroom. Get out and play! I’m glad we did, it was great fun to play games all the time with friends in the neighborhood. No matter what we played, we wanted to win and have fun. We learned that practice and repetition made you better. Those were fun times.

Playing basketball we would pretend to take the last shot as time was running out to win the NBA Championship. When we played baseball, all the kids wanted to hit the home run to win the deciding game in the World Series. Personally, I wanted to snare that home run ball before it cleared the wall to save the game. Football was all about that winning pass or super catch to win the Super Bowl.

Then there’s hockey, the sport we loved the most. It had passion, speed and violence. Players would fight when opposing players took liberties with their teammates. It was a manly game and you felt all the players were responsible for their actions on the ice. This brings me to the most amazing thing about hockey. The fact that hockey is played on a sheet of ice by players with thin blades of steel on their feet defies logic.

In their storied history, the Bruins have never played in a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals. They can make history tonight. Some of the Bruins players could become Boston sports legends tonight.

The Bruins need to out hit the Canucks in their building tonight. They need to get their fore-check going and punish the Vancouver defenseman, wearing them down. Ideally, getting the first goal would boost their confidence level on the road where they’ve been beaten three times by Vancouver in this series. However, they were only beaten by a total of 3 goals in three games. Those games were very close but several defensive lapses were efficiently turned into game winning goals by the Canucks.

Possession of the puck and puck management are the keys for the Bruins start tonight. If you see the Vancouver defense going backwards a lot and getting hit behind the net, then goalie Roberto Luongo is going to see some rubber early. If he lets in an easy goal early, he will be pulled for back-up Cory Schneider. Vancouver’s $10 million dollar goalie on the bench in Game 7 would make New England swoon with joy.

This is Game 7 and anything is possible but 20 men on the Bruins bench remember when they were kids, dreaming of scoring that winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals. Someone may realize their dream tonight. Their Bobby Orr, Stanley Cup moment is right there in front of them.

I was 9 years old when Bobby flew through the air and was 11 in 1972 when the B’s last won the Cup. I’m thinking about my Uncle Charlie and my cousins, Paul and Michael, tonight. Remembering those days and nights when we never missed a Bruins game.

This series has made me a child again. Privileged to cover the three Boston home games as a writer for Pro Hockey News, I have been overwhelmed with memories of the old Channel 38 days. You can make your dreams come true.

Drop That Puck!
Let’s Go Bruins!

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