Bruins Sweep & Skate to Cup Finals

What a night for the Boston Bruins. Nobody expected a sweep of the vaunted Pittsburgh Penguins, but there you have it: two goals by the Pens in four games. Kudos to the B’s “Immense Defense.” Tuukka Rask has earned a place in goalie royal-dom (I think we should just call him “Tusk,” and forget about the Finnish spelling.) He is as tough as a tusk of a woolly mammoth and comes from a cold place and dominates on ice. This team can go all the way. Reminds me of the Bruins in 1970 and 1972, and Red Sox wins in World Series in quick succession in 2004 and 2007, after a long wait in New England—and the Patriots’ Super Bowl victories in 2002-04-05.

Random thoughts:

Bergeron and Marchand make it cool to be French Canadian this month, and should get a shout out at Lowell’s Franco-American Festival Week events (June 23-30). The Canadian national anthem, “O Canada,” was composed by Calixa Lavallee, who lived in Lowell for some time and married Josephine Gentilly of Lowell. Lavallee wrote the music for the words of a poem by Adophe-Basile Routhier.

Young defenseman Torey Krug has a bright future. When he cranks it up, he has wheels like Bobby Orr, and that’s saying something. Plus, he can deke and shoot with the best of them. He could be a franchise player, and has a strong vibe like Orr and Derek Sanderson when they joined the Bruins in the mid-1960s.

I want Jagr to get a hat trick in one game of the finals. The man has been immense in the corners, using his body to block out guys digging at the puck and shielding the puck from poke-checkers. You can tell he has made a million passes when he lays the puck cleanly on a teammate’s blade from three feet or thirty feet.

What can you say about “Z”? I tend not to like over-sized players in sports, whether it is a juiced-up fat neck slugger in baseball or a nearly mutant shot-blocker in basketball, but I’ve warmed up to our Ice Giant, a Slovak who speaks seven languages and has a financial planning degree (thx Wikipedia). Zdeno Chara was elected captain of the B’s for a reason. The man works and works and works. I am awed by his fluid strength.

David Krejci has superstar written all over his uniform. What a powerhouse he has been in the playoffs. And a “smooth operator” in the words of Sade Adu.

Salute to Gregory Campbell for heroics in game three this week. Guts and glory on display. He would not give up his spot in the square on the penalty kill. Much more impressive than the “bloody sock” of Schilling.


Calixa Lavallee (1842-1891)