Those of you who are regular listeners of the WOSH Morning News Focus know that I am a huge Boston Bruins fan. Today, I am celebrating the end of 39-years of frustration--as the Big Bad Bruins dominated Vancouver in Game 7 of the Final last night--winning the Cup for the first time since 1972. I'd like to thank a few people for bringing me this joy this morning.
First, thanks to my Dad for getting me interested in hockey. Many a Friday and Saturday night was spent together watching Badger Hockey games on tape delay on Wisconsin Public Television. Even though I never played organized hockey as a kid, those games instilled in me a love for the speed and physical nature of the sport.
I'd also like to thank NBC Sports for hiring Mike Emerick as their hockey play-by-play guy. As a second-tier sport in the US hockey has received short-shrift from its previous network partners--meaning second-tier announcers working its premier events (I'm talking to you ESPN and Gary Thorne). But "Doc" shares the same passion for the game as the fans who watch. He doesn't do baseball in the offseason--he doesn't do football on Sunday. Emerick is a hockey man through and through and win or lose he makes a broadcast a lot more fun.
Thank you to Bruins owner John Jacobs for hiring one of my all-time favorite Bruins--Cam Neely--as Team President. Cam was a stalwart on a lot of great B's teams in the '80's and '90's--none of whom could win it all. Now he gets his name on the Stanley Cup--just like Ray Bourque did after his trade to Colorado at the end of his career.
Thank you to the NHL for assigning officials to the Cup Final who didn't get fooled by the continuous flopping and faking by Vancouver players. You could tell that the former players in the NBC broadcast crew--Jeremy Roenick, Mike Milbury, Ed Olczyk--were getting fed up with the Canucks' antics, criticizing their attempts to draw penalties--rather than getting out there and battling like real men.
And finally, the biggest thank you goes to Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. Every year since I started following the B's they have lost to the team with the "red hot goalie" (Ken Dryden, Bernie Parent, Patrick Roy, et al) or they had the goalie that melted down in the playoffs (Andy Moog, John Casey, Tuuka Rask). But Timmy was great from game one against Montreal all the way to game seven against Vancouver. Not bad for a guy that bounced around the minor leagues for years--and heard all the time he couldn't be successful being so aggressive in the net.
I'm going to have to stop now--getting choked up again. Those promos for the NHL with the speechless captains and the Cup are right. There are no words to describe this feeling.