Tagged: bruins

Boston, Kingston and Vancouver

Time for a long post to catch up. Dropkick Murphys, a band from Boston had a gig in Vancouver last week. Came out to ‘We Are The Champions’. Ooooh, that’s gotta hurt. Bruins Stanley Cup Champions and on a visit to Toronto all the T-Shirts in my size were sold out at the Eaton Centre. Not that bad for me considering I’ll get it eventually. Does show how many Boston fans there are.

2 weeks Vancouver went from Stanley Cup hopeful to ‘most hated team in the NHL’. Huh? Booed like crazy at the NHL Draft in Minnesota. Which seems strange until you realize the Wild are in the Canucks division. Even friend of the blog Jody Vance noticed it on Twitter:

“Really bugs me that canucks got boo’d at the draft #notusedtobeingmosthatedinnhl”

To paraphrase a line from The Dark Knight, ‘you either become a Stanley Cup hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain’. After 40 years of the franchise being around, “hated” is a sign you’ve made it. Some fans hate the Leafs, Habs, Bruins, Flyers, etc. Anyone hate the Minnesota Wild or Columbus Blue Jackets?

Not isolated opinion since I’ve seen Canucks blogs discussing dealing with the ‘haters’ who have popped up. I said before the series on Twitter I don’t have any hate for that team. Even I will admit they tried and test my patience.

Biting a guy’s finger. Lame.

Trying to sell broadcast rights for the parade during the Finals before getting shot down by the league. Annoying.

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/12/report-nhl-shoots-down-vancouver-selling-broadcast-rights-to-potential-stanley-cup-parade/

[Canuck Fans saying: A story broken by the Boston Globe] Bit shady a Boston paper got that info of all media outlets, however they still tried to sell it. Thanks Colin Campbell for that inside info [Canuck fans: I knew it] ….. I’m kidding. I think.

Constant complaining about the refs, which I heard on sports radio from Vancouver. Hilarious. Because the Canucks had 33 powerplays compared to Boston’s 27. They were saying things like “Those crooked refs make Andy Van Hellemond look like a saint.” Oops, hope I don’t get sued.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Ex-NHL-ref-Van-Hellemond-intends-to-sue-papers-o;_ylt=AqkJN0fd_j1GZcN2N_xW.797vLYF?urn=nhl-wp8499

Rome’s hit on Horton, which possibly changed the series. I blamed the NHL not him. He doesn’t have a history of dirty hits so the Horton one is a byproduct of the horribly vague rules. Which they finally are changing.

Still, people who now ‘Hate the Canucks’?

Sure, Oilers/Flames/Avs/Wild fans would be a part of that but they were like that before. Part could be the “Canada’s team” stuff. ‘Seeking Stanley’ crew and the media in BC get a pass. What else are they going to say? They look around and they are the only Canadian city left standing. I said earlier Jim Hughson was obviously for the Canucks, and I didn’t fault him for that. Made sense.

I found non-Canuck fans were irritated in other parts of the country. I detailed my feeling in an earlier blog post about how in the NHL there never has been ONE team for Canada. I forgot about one thing.

1982-90 there was at least 1 Canadian team in every final. So that idea of cheering for a team just because their Canadian doesn’t register to me personally. Maybe for younger fans it does. Across Canada there always are stories about Leaf vs Habs from decades past for instance. Heck, one of the most famous NFB shorts “The Sweater” sums up the rivalry between Canadian cities. If you haven’t seen it, leave this blog for now and watch. It’s 10 minutes….. you can come back later.

http://www.nfb.ca/film/sweater/

Shows the divide not only between hockey fanbases, but regions and cultures. Do most hockey fans on the East Coast feel a strong connection to an NHL team in BC? No. We’re all Canadians but it is such a large country we feel more connected to our region. I’ve lived in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Visited Nova Scotia and Quebec a few times too. Was no PEI bridge when I lived in NB for those wondering why no trip there. That still leaves all the Western Provinces and the Territories that I’ve never seen, except on TV.

Imagine Toronto today celebrating a Habs win. Or Montreal rioting over a Leafs Cup……. well that could happen in Montreal’s case. They riot over a Round 1 win so they might be upset enough if Toronto won a Stanley Cup to smash things. 🙂

That’s one bad part Vancouver has to deal with. Being the butt of jokes for years. Any Habs fans I know I can always tease about the rioting. Like Kryptonite. ‘Oh, you had to mention the idiots who riot’, Canuck fans won’t like it either.

Strange to be in a town that can identify a bit with the Vancouver riot. Although Kingston’s Homecoming problems doesn’t look so bad compared to Vancouver’s rioting. It still is a good comparison. Main thing is you can’t pin it down on just one thing. Too complicated.

Homecoming is where recently was the year where a car was flipped over, people jumped up and down on it then set it on fire. Town been feeling the pinch of extra police on that weekend ever since. Difference for Kingston was that it’s an annual event. So everyone here knew 12 months later it would have to be dealt with again. A bit more political will when you are positive something will happen.

Maybe that was a part of Vancouver’s problem. A Stanley Cup Final is a big “IF” when you are thinking policing and security. Olympics, G20 were both things governments could plan months or years in advance. Stanley Cup you can’t even be sure a week ahead of time when it might end. Game 5, 6 or 7?

Kingston didn’t have the talk of ‘anarchists’. Just the power of a drunken mob. No sign of masks or molotov cocktails. Those people did exist in Vancouver, how many of them is the question. That’s a bit harder to figure out. Watching the coverage all night the ones who must’ve had a plan with wearing a mask was the first hour or so. Then the idiots took over.

One thing I will remember was a looter with a makeshift mask, a sweatshirt tied around his nose/mouth. Why that sticks out was because he was yelling at someone trying to get his attention, possibly a friend. His friend couldn’t hear him. So what does the guy do, while a CTV camera is pointed at him? Pulls it down to yell at his buddy, then pulls it back up again. Showing his face for all to see on national TV. If he was an ‘anarchist’ he was a really dumb one.

Same thing as the Homecoming problem is over a few days some in the media were saying, ‘Those people aren’t from Queen’s or from Kingston’ or ‘They are not Canucks fans or they’re not from Vancouver’. Sadly some of them are. Not all of them by any means, but they did exist in the mayhem. Can’t stick your head in the sand.

Front page of The Kingston Whig Standard the Monday after showed a guy jumping on the car. He ended up being identified as a local high school student from Kingston. Vancouver had a picture of someone trying to light a police car on fire, later also identified as a high school student. In his case, a member of Team Canada’s Under 21 Water Polo team. Power of a mob on some people.

That said, each one does have people from outside the area who don’t care what happens either way. My sister was at University of Guelph when the worst Homecoming happened. She said the Monday morning in her class some guys mentioned they drove to Kingston just for that street party. That’s a 3 1/2 hour drive. That has been common for the Aberdeen street party. It attracts people from a number of schools in Ontario. Before they’ve set up Facebook groups to plan trips that weekend. Can be sure they don’t care about what happens to this town on that Saturday. Sure a number of similar stories in Vancouver. They knew Game 7 was happening so if things go wrong, they don’t care much.

You could say, in a way it doesn’t really matter why it happened. Majority view it as a ‘Queen’s/Kingston problem’ even though it was more than that, and people will just remember it as ‘Vancouver Rioted’.

I’ll write another post later on Boston winning. With the riot/homecoming stuff I knew it would go down that road.

For Canuck fans, remember my team blew a 3-0 series lead against the Flyers last season. Including being up 3-0 in Game 7. A lot can change in a year. Can be a thin line between success and failure. Boston/Vancouver both had a Game 7 overtime in the first round we barely squeaked out against a hated rival.

But today I will end the blog post with nothing but video of the good times in Vancouver from the Finals. Games 1 through 6 from CBC Vancouver’s coverage. Jody, Shane Foxman and Karen Larsen with the local CBC post game show. Which got more than 700,000 viewers during the finals! And that was only shown in BC, or on satellite if you get that channel.

To put that in perspectivce, if a nationally televised Canadian show cracks a million people ‘nationwide’ you are considered a big hit. On the sports side Blue Jays games are seen by around 500K this season to show how big that 700K number was.

Here are the good times in the Finals for British Columbia.

Game 1 



Game 2



Game 3



Game 4



Game 5



Game 6


That's it for now.

Bruins Win

Boston Bruins, 2011 Stanley Cup Champions. Getting used to it. Quick post from iPod at work. Got a short vacation next starting Monday so busy getting details worked out. After that I’ll have a longer blog post.

Congrats to fellow Bruins fans, been a long time. Now I have to figure out what merchandise to get. Website has crazy thing like a garden knome with the Cup and dressed in Bruins gear. If you garden a lot I guess that makes sense.

Last year I made a smart purchase. After blowing a 3-0 lead vs Philly I decided to make lemonade out of lemons. Thought that be a good time to get a jersey. Demand would be low after something like that. Got a Bobby Orr throwback for 50 bucks on eBay. Never worn CCM jersey with tags still on it. So a year later I get to wear that in downtown Kingston after a Cup win. 🙂

Sorry to friends in Vancouver. More for the riot than the loss. And one of the rioters ends up being a member of Canada’s under 18 Water Polo team. Pictured trying to set a car on fire. He turned himself in.

He was about to get a full scholarship to Calgary this fall. Natalie Thomas, who like me picked Boston to beat Vancouver, got a sports scholarship. She must be shaking her head at this.

We had the Queen’s homecoming mess a while back where a car was flipped and set on fire. Thinking it was all ‘anarchists’ in BC is silly. I recall front page of paper in Kingston was a guy jumping on the car. Was a local high school kid too, like this idiot in Vancouver. You’d be amazed how stupid some people can get during these things. Working midnights downtown on weekends, I see it 1st hand.

This Friday a rerun of the program. Following Friday live in studio for Canada Day. Might do something easy like a Hey Rosetta retrospective. They are playing in Toronto that day with Weezer, Broken Social Scene and The Tragically Hip.

Wednesday I see Peter Gabriel in Toronto. That will be a good night.

NHL Round 3 Picks ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’

Quick post written from an iPod touch. Natalie took a 1 game lead after the last round. She is going with San Jose and Boston in finals with Boston winning. I’m going with Tampa vs San Jose and Lightning winning.

We will have a final round pick since our picks might already be decided. Natalie gets Boston right then it’s over. 🙂

I would like to see Vancouver vs Boston. But I think it won’t be. I’ll write a followup with a longer post when I’m not typing on a small device. Still worked though.

NHL Round 2 Picks ‘2 Shots of Happy, 1 Shot of Sad’

After Round 1 it came down to Tampa Bay/Pittsburgh as to who would take the lead. Tampa won so I have a 1 game lead over Natalie. Onto Round 2 picks, we are carrying over the 5-4 lead I have. What U2 song to pick for this round? One for the fans who will see their team lose in this round.

“2 Shots of Happy, 1 Shot of Sad”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUgrI1AByDQ

Washington vs Tampa Bay

Natalie and I pick Washington.

I picked Tampa Bay to beat Pittsburgh. Mainly since I thought the Pens would wear down without Malkin/Crosby. Turned out that way. Games 5 and 6 they were beaten easily. Put up a fight in Game 7. 1-0 loss is a tough one to take.

Didn’t think Caps would beat the Rangers, Natalie picked them. I think the Caps have enough to beat the Lightning. And Caps at full strength compared to the Penguins. Caps in 6.

Boston vs Philadelphia

Natalie is going with Boston.

Glad my Bruins pulled it out against Montreal. But I think Philly is a bit better. And a 3-0 comeback last season against the Bruins and an appearance in the Finals doesn’t hurt their chances.  I can separate who I “think” will win versus who I “want” to win.  Would I like the Redskins to win the Super Bowl next season.  Of course, it’s not going to happen though.  Flyers in 6.

Vancouver vs Nashville

Both going Vancouver.

We both picked Chicago which almost worked out. Not sure about Natalie but I’m picking the Canucks mainly for knowing nothing about the Predators. Except for Mike Fisher ‘Mr. Underwood’ being on that team. Canucks in 6.

Detroit vs San Jose

San Jose is Natalie’s pick.

I will pick Detroit. History of winning and making to the Finals. Sharks, not so much. They also weren’t that great against L.A. Especially early in games. Outscored 8-1 by the Kings in the 1st periods in that series. Can’t do that against the Red Wings. Detroit in 7.

Thanks to Natalie for sending the picks, she’s been reporting from Manitoba all week.  Blog here about all the friendly people of the province.

http://nataliethomas.ca/2011/04/29/friendly-manitoba/

NHL Round 1 Picks ‘Rattle and Hum’: Rob vs Natalie Thomas

NHL Playoff time. I remember I did a podcast a couple of years back picking games. Blogging is easier so I’ll try that this year. Plus allowed me to have a guest pick against me. I will be facing off against Natalie Thomas from The Weather Network. Natalie also has been part of Guelph Storm home games for the last 2 seasons. As the host in the arena who gives out prizes and such.

Also on the sports side she’s played more competitive sports than I have, and most likely 98% of people reading this. You ever play college basketball in the U.S.? Probably not. From her newly redesigned website. [I’m getting around to a touch up of the blog here eventually.]


In her last year of high school, Natalie received a full scholarship to play basketball at Appalachian State University. It’s an NCAA Division 1 school in Boone, North Carolina. Natalie spent her four years playing basketball and studying Broadcasting in the Communications Department.

“It’s really hard to describe playing college ball. Unless you’ve done it, you can’t imagine how awful and awesome it can be at the same time. I loved my teammates, and still love them to this day. And the whole experience definitely makes you a stronger person. But no part of me would want to relive the workouts!”

Natalie says the conditioning, weight lifting and practices could be a nightmare. “The pre-season and post-season workouts were the worst! One day, when one of our teammates missed class so the whole team had an hour ab workout as punishment. Half way through we were all crying. The girls still remember that as being our worst day!”

http://nataliethomas.ca/

Once in college I ran out of snacks during a football game and had to run to the store….. I was a bit winded. I pulled through with my own grit and determination. 🙂

Onto the picks, hockey is the hardest sport to pick playoff winners. You will see the example of President’s Trophy winners later in the post. If you are 1st overall, you would think those teams must get far in the playoffs. Not so much for the most part lately.

I will first put Natalie’s picks, then I will ramble on about mine. Quiet night at work so I had some time on my hands.

(1) Washington Capitals vs. (8) New York Rangers

Natalie picks the Capitals.

Last year President’s Trophy winners the Capitals are 1st in Eastern Conference again. How did last year’s 1st overall team do? Eliminated in Round 1 by Montreal. Another 1st place seed in the East against a team with a goalie who could steal some games. Uh oh, deja vu. Rangers in 7.

(2) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (7) Buffalo Sabres

Natalie is going with the Sabres.

Flyers after appearing in the Cup finals a Number 2 seed and could have a long run like 2010. After coming back from 3-0 against Boston they are a stubborn group. Flyers in 6.

(3) Boston Bruins vs. (6) Montreal Canadiens

Natalie and I agree on the Bruins.

Boston-Montreal XXXIII, ‘The Search for More Money’. Rivalry that’s always big. Money and ratings talk. It’s already pushed the French TV Debate to another night. In New England Red Sox games are being moved to the secondary cable station. Wow, that’s saying a lot. Meanwhile in New York City a meaningless Knicks game is on MSG and Rangers playoff game is on MSG Plus. Shows how popular the Bruins/Habs matchup is compared to other cities.

Talked to a Habs fan about this series for about 5 minutes. Chara’s hit didn’t come up once, that’s how deep the history is. Sure some people think it adds something to the series. I don’t. Last time Montreal beat Boston in Round 1 a few years ago they rioted which made CNN. After a Round 1 win!  That a series that needed help to get eyeballs? Is there anyone at home who was not going to watch Boston/Montreal but the Chara hit is going to make them watch? No.

Bruins in 7.

(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Tampa Bay Lightning

Natalie picks the Penguins.

Now this series could’ve used something to pump it up. 2 franchises who have never played each other in the playoffs. Now if Crosby/Malkin were playing interest would be higher, they’re both out. Amazing the Penguins are a 4 seed with Crosby missing in action and Malkin’s injury problems early and late in the year. Though I think this long year will catch up to them. Tampa is healthier and haven’t had such a grinding season. Getting a win over a recent Cup champion is something I’m sure Tampa would like to have, even against a depleted Penguins team. Lightning in 6.

Move to the Western Conference.

(1) Vancouver Canucks vs. (8) Chicago Blackhawks

Natalie picks the Blackhawks, same as me.

Ah yes, this year’s 1st place team, the Canucks. You might think “well the Caps thing was a fluke with being 1st overall” last season. Wrong, that’s the norm for President Trophy’s winners since the lockout.

2006 had Detroit facing the 8th seed from Edmonton. That was the Oilers amazing run to the Finals. Red Wings out in Round 1. Nice seeing you, bye-bye.

2007 Buffalo Sabres had better luck than most of the Trophy winners. Advanced to the Conference Finals. However Ottawa knocked them out.

2008 version of Detroit avenged their earlier mistake and handled their business with advancing to the Finals and winning the Cup. Only team since the lockout to do so.

2009 San Jose Sharks, out in Round 1 against Anaheim. Aforementioned Caps out in Round 1 last year against Montreal. So 3 out of the 5 teams that claimed the President’s Trophy couldn’t get to Round 2. Crazy.

Add to that the fact that Canucks were knocked out by Chicago the last 2 seasons. Who you think I’m going to pick? Chicago in 6.

Some teams just have another one’s number. Need I mention the Leafs/Sens playoff encounters. Ottawa could never beat them. Heck, I lived in Ottawa during 2 of those series. I went for the Leafs by the way each time. Senators were too vanilla for my liking. And when push came to shove they didn’t show up.

(2) San Jose Sharks vs. (7) LA Kings

Natalie predicts a win from the Sharks.

2 California teams so I can’t come up with much for this. Neither team has travel concerns for once in a playoff series. Not even leaving the state let alone their own time zone. Kings in 7.

(3) Detroit Red Wings vs. (6) Phoenix Coyotes

Natalie picks the Red Wings, we agree.

Coyotes in the playoffs again even with all the crazy behind the scenes stuff going on. In a market no one cares about. And Toronto misses the post-season. Phoenix getting there is a good story but they can’t beat Detroit. Red Wings in 5.

(4) Anaheim Ducks vs. (5) Nashville Predators

Natalie picks the Ducks.

4 vs 5 are never fun to pick. 5 seed winning is not an upset especially in this case. Ducks, Predators and Coyotes all had 99 points. 4th to 8th place separated by 2 points out West. So betting on the lower seeds might be the smart thing to do. Two teams with 99 points, I flipped a coin and went with Nashville in 6.

Natalie’s usually anchoring on the weekends, but to keep up to date you can check out her on Twitter and Facebook.  She can be doing other shifts during the week as well.  We both work holidays on long weekends.  Probably the few people who are at work at 5am on a long weekend Monday.  Some of us have to do it. 😉

http://twitter.com/NatalieTWN

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Natalie-Thomas/114191888624177?v=app_4949752878

U2 reference in the title is since we’re both big U2 fans.  If I had more time I could’ve come up with a song title for each series.  Bruins/Habs ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ is almost too easy isn’t it?