10 Things I Love About the Stanley Cup Finals

1.  Dan Shaughnessy without a hint of snark

“The 2013 Bruins are the team that has captured our town with heart, resiliency, and hard hitting. Like the Patriots of 2001-04, they have been the embodiment of team above self. In Boston’s spring of fear and uncertainty, the Bruins have reminded us who we are.

The signature moment of this team forever will be the vision of Gregory Campbell taking a bone-breaking shot to his right fibula, then getting up and skating 47 seconds to finish his shift on a power-play kill in Game 3 against the Penguins.

Tonight is about survival. It’s about keeping the Stanley Cup under wraps in a Garden broom closet. It’s about taking this series for the ages back to Chicago, where Campbell can pour a bottle of Boston water on the United Center ice.”

2. No villains

How can you not love Chicago?  It’s a great city, a great sports city, with great fans.  And as for the Black Hawks, as much as I do not love Jonathan Toews, or Patrick Kane, or Marian Hossa, I respect them and their talent.  So different than 2011, when the hated Sedins and their wannabe fans made it easy to despise all of Vancouver and the Canucks.

3. Dressed-up statues

The Bruins PR staff snuck (sneaked?) around in the early morning hours before the Finals, and put Bruins’ shirts on many of the historic statues around Boston. Although some (one) would say the wearing of the black and gold by Paul Revere is disrespectful. I hope that crusty bellyacher is a significant minority in need of a hobby and some Sam Adams Porch Rocker (see below).

4. Pre- and post-game commentary and interviews, and in-game play-by-play

Unlike any other sport, or at least that’s how it feels, the talking heads actually talk.  They are critical.  They are passionate.  They shut up when there is nothing to say (Doc Emerick to Eddie Olczyk [paraphrased]: “Eddie, is there anything more to say about the play of Sidney Crosby?”  Olczyk: “No.”)

5. Sam Adams Porch Rocker beer

A limited release seasonal brew, the Porch Rocker is similar to a shandy with its lemonade and beer mix.  It is light, it is delicious, and it is perfect when the temperature hits 90 and you are wondering how the ice at the Garden is gonna hold up.

6.  Each city’s cheesy national anthem

I love that both singers put so much into the song (Chicago’s Cornelison has an amazing voice, while Boston’s Rancourt makes up for lack of talent with enthusiasm) and that both wear championship rings from their teams.

7. The unexpected gift of hockey in June

Hockey was over with for Bruins fans on May 13th.  My dad and Milan Lucic’s dad had gone to bed when the Bs were down 3-1 at the end of regulation.  Not so fast, Mr. Lucic.

8. The unexpected gift of hockey with my dad in June

I think he really missed me when I was in DC for game 4.

9. The unexpected gift of hockey with my husband in June

Despite his ridiculous work load lately, my husband has managed to make it home for at least the second half of every game.  I think my dad likes watching with my husband even more than he likes watching with me. Even though my husband cannot find the Lucic sweater I gave him for our 17th anniversary.  Anywhere.  Too hot to wear it anyway, I guess.

10. The hockey

What incredible games!  Up and down and back and forth, strong hits, few penalties.  Competitive. Which is what my dad has said before every game.  “I just want them to be competitive.”  That they have been.  Such a gift.

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