By Sarah Connors, Stanley Cup of Chowder
Are you new to hockey? Has your team packed it in and gone home, never to taste the 2013 playoffs? Well don't worry, because we've got the playoff team for you! After winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, lots of fans jumped off the Boston Bruins' bandwagon in 2011-2012, so there's plenty of room for you, friend. We even have snacks. Here are five reasons you should cheer for Boston in the playoffs.
Reason No. 1: Because we have the cleverest fans
How often do you go into an NHL building where all 17,565 fans can start chanting in unison to make fun of a player in a more clever way than just (player X sucks)? The answer is: not very often. But if you start following the Bruins RIGHT NOW, you're in luck -- Bruins fans' favorite target is Phil Kessel, who just happens to be on the Maple Leafs -- aka the team they're playing in the first round.
But the Garden crowd is too clever to just make fun of players. We also occasionally wish them happy holidays, call for our coach to put players with two goals back on the ice so they can go for the hat trick, and when bad stuff happened in our city, we added our voices to Rene Rancourt's and (blow the roof off the Garden with our singing.
The playoffs are an electric time to be a fan in the TD Garden for sure.
Reason #2: Because DRAMA.
Boston media is notorious for drawing the dramatic, if overplayed, story out of every playoff series and this year will be no different. Do you love dramatics? You will love this team! Here's a little background for the first round of playoffs.
Once upon a time, noted Maple Leaf Phil Kessel actually played for the Bruins. Shortly thereafter, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli managed to pawn him off on Toronto for two first round picks (in 2010 and 2011) and a second round pick (in 2010). Toronto then proceeded to completely tank in the 2009-2010 season, and thanks to them, the Bruins had the SECOND overall pick -- which they used to draft Tyler Seguin. The following year, not only did the Bruins manage to win the Stanley Cup, but also the Maple Leafs didn't fare much better -- which allowed the Bruins to draft 8th overall and select defenseman Dougie Hamilton.
Enter the drama -- Phil Kessel always seems to lose his nerve when playing against Boston. On the flip side, Tyler Seguin always manages to light Toronto up. He has 10 goals and 6 assists in 16 games against the Maple Leafs, while Kessel has three goals and six assists in 22 games against the Bruins. Heck even with limited ice time Dougie Hamilton already has an assist in four games against the Leafs. Thank you Kessel, indeed.
But anyways this is going to be a great opportunity for you to learn all about this trade and its implications because obviously whoever wins this series clearly won the trade!!* (*ignoring the fact that Seguin helped Boston win a Stanley Cup)
Reason #3: Because Jagr
He never stops smiling, he has about a thousand and a half career points, he's ancient, and yet he still keeps on chugging. He's impossible to knock off the puck, he has a fascinating life story, and the way Boston acquired him (miss out on Iginla? No problem, we'll just fleece Dallas to get JAGR) is maybe not hilarious, but it's pretty funny.
We have a living legend making one more run at the Stanley Cup, a man who was a hero to some of the younger players on the team growing up (he is, after all, approximately twice their age). Czech fans all love him; he wears the number 68 for semi-political reasons; and he's all around just a cool guy. If you love Jagr, this is the team for you.
Reason #4: Because the rest of our forwards are pretty great, too
Whether you're talking about "Perfect," "Saint," "Perennial Selke Candidate" Patrice Bergeron, Brad "Little Ball of Hate (approved by Pat Verbeek)" Marchand, or Milan "I will truck you right through a pane of glass" Lucic, when Boston's forwards are clicking, they're dynamic and a delight to watch. And really, we've got everything you'd ever want in a corps of forwards. We have lots of friendly Canadians! We have Czechs! We even have a Latvian, though he probably won't play in the playoffs. We have a Swede that recently abandoned his country to come play for the Bruins! We've pretty much got it all.
Reason #5: Our defense and goaltending are also amazing
From 6'9 Captain Zdeno Chara all the way back to crazy Finn goaltender Tuukka Rask, the people whose job is primarily to keep the puck out of the Bruins' net do their job and they do it well. Only two teams in the NHL allowed fewer goals than Boston this season. Our defense corps are a bunch of characters as well. There's Dennis "Das Hammer" Seidenberg, who wears special snowflake t-blade skates, there's rookie Dougie Hamilton, part of the Phil Kessel trade; and there's Adam McQuaid, who once concussed himself by tripping over his suitcase and hitting his head on a desk while packing for a callup to the NHL. I wish I were kidding. McQuaid is also best known for his mullets and the fact that he smiles like a crazy man when he fights people.
We also have Andrew Ference, aka Alternate Captain Planet, best known for both his environmental efforts and letting Sidney Crosby win his first NHL fight. What a nice guy.
So basically, if you want to cheer for Boston, welcome to the bandwagon! We hope you enjoy your stay here! Please feel free to ask any further questions about our team!
And if you don't, well who cares, we don't need you anyway.