It's the theme that ran through the whole of the 2013 Boston Bruins season, and indeed the 2012-2013 lockout that Jeremy Jacobs prescribed to precede it.
Surprise! There won't be a season starting on time, after all. Hope you didn't buy those plane tickets or hotel rooms in faraway lands to see the Bruins play.
Surprise! There won't be a winter classic, really hope you didn't pay for those tickets.
Surprise! There will actually be a season! It starts in a week!
Surprise! Tim Thomas wasn't kidding when he said he was sitting out this year!
Surprise! The Bruins rivalry games are against Buffalo and Ottawa, and not Toronto or Montreal.
Surprise! Andrew Ference does totally want to be a part of trees for goals!
Surprise! The Bruins come flying out of the gate, going 8-1-1 in their first ten games, losing only to the...Buffalo Sabres???
Surprise! The Bruins sign future-assistant-coach Jay Pandolfo to a one-year deal. Nobody knows why.
Surprise! It's mid-february and the Bruins have already played every game against the New York Rangers. That might make a pretty good playoff series, we all say. Someday, perhaps, we all say.
Surprise! The Bruins got Iginla!
Surprise! No they didn't!
Surprise! We claimed Kaspars Daugavins!
Surprise! Actually we got Jaromir Jagr in the Old Guy role!
Surprise! Carl Soderberg signed a 3-year contract with the Bruins!
Surprise! No, seriously for a minute: A terrible shock befell the Boston Marathon and the city of Boston as a whole. It was truly one of the most harrowing times to be a Bostonian. But so much good grew out of it. There's power in a community that can come together. We've got it. And now everybody knows it. That whole week is a mess and it's hard to write about, even now on the day that they're moving the memorial to archives. It's been a current through this city ever since and I doubt that Boston Strong goes away anytime soon. Don't forget to give to The One Fund.
Surprise! Carl Soderberg is actually in a Bruins uniform!
Surprise! We're playing the Leafs!
Surprise! Toronto didn't roll over and die!
Surprise! With 10 minutes left, Phil Kessel holds the series-clinching goal! The Leafs did a little more than not roll over and die, they are damn near close to winning this damn game 7 in Boston? 5 minutes to go, the same? 2 minutes left, oh no?????
Surprise! The Bruins win game 7 after a stunning comeback. One that should only happen once every 60 lifetimes, per some calculations!
Surprise! The Rangers that the Bruins faced early had all but fallen apart. Brad Richards played 4th-line minutes, and Henrik Lundqvist gave up 5 goals in one game for the first time ever. His previous high was 3.
Surprise! The Rangers fall apart so massively that John Tortorella gets fired after getting bounced in 5 games.
Surprise! Jagr in Pittsburgh, Iginla in Boston, we're back in the Eastern Conference Finals!
Surprise! It's the Stanley Cup Final! And I do think it took the Bruins by surprise, a bit. There weren't any special playoff towels for the Final like there were in 2011, and there weren't any pretty tickets that the team had mailed out. Of course, 3 months was not nearly long to plan for all that.
Surprise! It's one in the goddamn morning, and you stayed up through 3 OTs just to watch Andrew Shaw have a puck bounce off his ugly ass and into the net.
Surprise! Daniel Paille scores the game-winning goal as the Bruins take one on the road!
Surprise! Daniel Paille has a second SCFGWG!
Surprise! The Bruins aren't invincible at home! The Blackhawks take game 4, 6-5 in OT.
Surprise! Bergeron and Toews are both out for a bunch of game 5! Bergeron goes to the Hospital!
Surprise! The Bruins are up 2-1 in the third, everyone on their feet screaming because game 7 is just 2 minutes away!
Surprise! ...just 1 minute and an overtime goal away!
Surprise! ...just 1 goal in 1 minute and an overtime goal away!
Surprise! Hawks win, completing a comeback much like the one that's supposed to happen once every 60 lifetimes!
Surprise! The Draft is this weekend!