Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Stanley Cup Finals begin

It's been 17 years since the forces of evil in the universe have been able to harness all their powers of darkness and deliver the Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals. Fortunately, in 1994, Mark Messier and the New York Rangers were on hand to preserve order and justice, and send the Canucks back to the underworld.

Much like Germany in the 1930s, however, the Canucks have returned in a more vicious and even less appealing form. Led by the Sedin sisters - Danielle and Henrietta - Satan's team has found its way back to the finals, in part because of a blown icing call in the last game of the Western Conference finals that let them get up off the mat and win on a fluke goal in double overtime.

Standing between civilization and a Canucks victory: The Boston Bruins, who I picked as the Cup winners here, about seven weeks ago. The Bruins are a franchise with a proud history, an Original Six team, and a club that counts Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Gerry Cheevers, Cam Neely, Eddie Shore and Ray Bourque among its alumni. The current club is led by 6-foot-7 defenseman Zdeno Chara, and 37-year-old goalie Tim Thomas. They've survived two Game Sevens in this year's playoffs, defeating Montreal in the first round, and topping Tampa Bay 1-0 in the Eastern Finals.

There is a long line of evidence - the fall of the Twin Towers, the Packers Super Bowl wins, Ted Kennedy surviving Chappaquiddick, Titanic (both the ship and the movie), Madonna's career, the making of Star Wars Episode 1, the Obama presidency - that shows us that once in a while, the bad guys win. For 40 consecutive seasons, however, we've been able to watch the Stanley Cup be presented to a team NOT from Vancouver.

If the Bruins can't make it 41, there may be no hope for the future. Does anyone really want to live in a world with "Vancouver Canucks - Stanley Cup Champions" t-shirts? Anyone?

Come on, B's, all the members of decent society are rooting for you.

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