I remember it like it was yesterday, though yesterday through a soft focus. Wake up in the morning. Hell, you could barely sleep. Today was the day.
Oh yeah. The big one. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. You get up, shower with what's left of the lucky shampoo, the exact same order as the last week. Or two weeks. or month. When did you start showering in that exact way? Nevermind, you need to do it this way. For the team. Everyone has to do a routine for the city to act like a well-oiled machine. To bring it home. To end 39 long years of waiting.
Put on your lucky underwear. Throw on the playoff playlist that started as a pump-up playlist but as the playoffs continued it's become...a little bit more. You might even be getting sick of the songs but it doesn't matter. If listening to Furiously Dangerous has won the last 2 game 7s then by God you are going to blast the hell out of it this morning. Your roommate is a little annoyed but they're used to it by now.
Toughest decision of the day: Which Jersey Do You Wear? For me, Thomas, then Chara, then Orr had all lost. But, you've gotta go with the one that got you there. The one that might smell a little too much but whatever it's just one more day. Thomas it is.
You go to work for a while but aside from people exclaiming surprise that you even showed up, there's not much to do. You're too nervous to do anything well anyhow. You check on your favorite Bruins Blogs - days of y'orr, cup of chowder. Cup of Chowder is still run by SCoC. You're really only at work because it's a convenient base to get to your lucky lunch spot and the bar you're going to watch the game at.
Lunch has grown from a little bit of comfort food to a veritable feast. Not good for the health but hey, you don't mess with a winning formula. Cut out of work early (and I mean early) to head to the Four's. Meet a couple friends for dinner....at 4pm. Whatever it's not like you're going anywhere. After dinner start jostling for a spot near the bar. (By 4:45 all the barstools are long-taken). And then you wait. Maybe have a couple of beverages but to be honest you're too nervous to remember to raise the glass to your mouth.
You might cry. You think they could do it. Finally, after what is 2-3 hours of watching the line out the door not move and chatting but feels like minutes, the game is going to begin. Fat Opera Guy Sings. They bring out the pharmaceutical fine print radio guy to get through the United States National Anthem. All the pregame crap is over.
Drop the puck, it's time to gooooooo
Play starts out pretty much as normal. Bruins get chances, Canucks get chances, everyone gets chances. Both goalies look pretty tops.
14:30 in, Marchand-Bergeron-Recchi (Chara-McQuaid) face off in the offensive zone. It looks like they lose the faceoff but Brad Marchand jumps forward and grabs it. He circles a bit and throws it at Patrice and the Doctor in front of the net. Patrice gets a stick on it and it slides in before Luongo even sees the shot.
The Crowd Goes Wild. You text your dad (who couldn't make it to the bar) your hand for a high five. You get one back. It's a special kind of night. Your beer is getting warm in your hand, but who cares.
The rest of the game is a bit of a blur. The high hit on Chara, a couple of amazing saves from Timmy (though they seem routine now), Marshand scores, Bergeron has that hilarious shorty where he basically head-butts the puck into the net. Marchand pops in the Empty-Netter to seal it.
The game enters The Zone where you know the Canucks can't reasonably come back. But you never know. I've seen too many hockey games to believe its over before its over. But then we get through The Zone and into seconds, not minutes, left. Then half a minute. Fewer seconds than Bergeron. Fewer than Chara. Fewer than Thomas. Recchi steps on the ice for the last shift of his career. Kelly. Thornton. Ference. Paille. Seguin. Horton. Lucic. Schmidt. Kaberle. Campbell.
The countdown begins. 10...9...holy shit...7...holy shit...5...they're gonna...4...3...2...1!
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What an incredible ride. Thank you again, Bruins, for letting us all be a part of it. I'll never forget it.
Here's a 30-minute highlight clip of the game and cup passing.
Where were you when the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins won the cup?