Being A Bruins Fan: MY Bruins, OUR Bruins

MY Bruins, OUR Bruins finally did it!

I don’t know what to say. I feel like I am in the History is made commercial where Billy Guerin, Ray Bourque, and Bill Ranford(against the Bruins in ’90) are at loss for words because they have reached the hockey pinnacle.

It’s so surreal your vocal chords no longer function.

You are suffering from laryngitis of Joy.

I can’t pinch myself black and blue anymore.

I can’t throw water on my face anymore or I may drown.

It’s not a dream. MY Bruins, OUR Bruins are Stanley Cup Champions.

No more heartbreak. No more disappointment. No more pain.

Just images, feelings and moments emblazoned in my mind.

Michael Ryder beating Montreal in their own house in OT.

My friend Joe and I are rabid Bruins fans.

Nathan Horton scoring in double OT and again in Game Seven dismissing the hated Habs.  This was the moment that made this band of Bruins different. No longer did they melt under the pressure, they began to learn that they could overcome.

Tim Thomas frustrated the Flyers with his netminding brilliance  helping to rid Bruins fans of all the playoff pain we experienced a year earlier. It was sweet redemption and these Bruins yet again amazed us all with their passion and incredible will.

Two things we questioned for much too long.


Seeing Tyler Seguin score his first playoff goal in person with my two best friends at the Conference Finals was incredible. Witnessing “The Kid’s” jaw dropping encore in Game Two versus the Lightning, the Bruins next superstar had truly arrived on the game’s biggest stage.

Feeling the pit in my stomach during Game Seven versus Tampa. Hoping and praying the Bruins could go to the well one more time. Wondering if it was possible that my Bruins could beat Dwayne Roloson who was standing on his head. Would that shoe drop?

Not this time!

MY Bruins, OUR Bruins yet again found a way to win with the tip of Nathan Horton’s stick.

As the seconds winded down and the man tears streamed down my face, MY Bruins made me so proud. They still had work to do, but win or lose they gained my utmost respect and undying devotion. These Bruins were warriors and could never be counted out anymore. I felt honored to have Black and Gold blood run through my veins for all these years.

Winning the Stanley Cup would be icing on the cake, so I was hoping that icing would be very sweet.

The Finals versus Vancouver was a microcosm of their season. Their backs were against the wall being down 0-2. However, MY Bruins, OUR Bruins were not going to fold or pack it in as their predecessors may have done.

The Bruins got smacked in the mouth, were bitten, and battered with dirty hits. Nathan Horton was knocked out of the series with a devastating blindside that made you ill.

There was one question running through my head.

How would they react?

How would they fight back?

All I could recall were images of the “old” Bruins doing nothing as Matt Cooke nearly decapitated their teammate, Marc Savard. I felt that same sickened feeling in my stomach that day and I never wanted to feel that again.

MY Bruins, OUR Bruins were not going to let history repeat itself. They became even more resilient and reinvigorated.  They fought, scrapped, and scratched their way back into the series imposing their will on the Canucks at home. Tim Thomas dominated between the pipes and Marchand got under Vancouver’s skin. The tide of the series was beginning to turn.

The “We Can” Campaign was in full swing.

MY Bruins, OUR Bruins were in the Canucks’ faces and most importantly minds. “We’re not going to take it” could easily be adopted by the Black and Gold as their theme. They were no longer going to be called soft and uninspired. They were going to give birth to new age of Boston Bruins hockey.

This was never more evident as they faced elimination in Game Six. They came home and took care of business. The Bruins fed off the Canucks trash talking and arrogance.  MY Bruins, OUR Bruins took the series by throat and weren’t going to let go.

On the eve of Game Seven, I was nervous with anticipation and horrified by the memories of Bruins’ past heartbreak. However, as the day went on, the tension and stress diminished. Sure I had butterflies before the game but they were no longer the size of Jumbo Jets.

Something put me at ease, but what?

Game Seven was no longer an ugly term to me. MY Bruins, OUR Bruins proved to us all that they no longer would wilt under pressure, they would thrive off it.

This reminded me of Game Seven of the 2004 ALCS as the Red Sox took out 86 years of aggression, frustration and failure out on the Yankees. It was no contest. The Old Red Sox were dead. That was their time just like this was the Bruins time.

Tim Thomas was epic in the post season.

You could see in the Canucks faces that they were already beaten, but nothing they could do would stop Boston from reaching their goal. The Bruins second line skated around the Vancouver defenders like pylons and shattered Roberto Luongo’s fragile psyche. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind who the best goalie was and he was in the Bruins’ net.

Tim Thomas was nothing short of epic in this series. He was a difference maker, a game changer. There was no way he was going to relinquish this lead.

Game. Set. Match. The outcome became inevitable.

MY Bruins, OUR Bruins were finally going to reward us. This was their long overdue thank you to their fans for being devoted through 39 years of heartbreak and disappointment.

As I watched the conclusion of the game with my best friends, all the bad memories were washed away. No more falling short in the Finals. No more Game Seven devastation. No more historic collapses. Those Old Bruins were just ghosts now.

Man Tears streamed down my face.

Hugs with friends and family were exchanged.

Black and Gold Perma-Grins were all around.

Chara raised the Cup over his head.

My screams of jubilation were interwoven with sighs of relief. They did it!  MY Bruins, OUR Bruins are Stanley Cup Champions! I no longer had to live through Ray Bourque’s Cup because we finally have our OWN!

I will never forget this as long as I live. My hockey heart is finally at peace. The Maalox bottle can finally be retired.

THANK-YOU BRUINS!

P.S. Claude Julien I am sorry for the Mr. Potato head comments. The footage showed how much your players truly love you. Forgive me?

14 comments

  • My eyes were moist after reading this. When Marchand got the empty-netter, I found myself tightly embracing the person next to me at Jake & Joe's. I initially thought it was my friend Dave, but then after about five seconds I realized it was a guy from another table that I did not know. Didn't matter because the Cup was ours.

  • Nice post Joe! Lots of Man tears around New England this weekend! Funny have you heard from all those Vancouver "fans" that were trying to call us all out last week? They seem awfully quiet!

  • Meg- Pay no attention to the trolls in the comments section. Just insecure people from another website trying to knock Joe down.

  • Hi Meg :-). I'd love to go but I'm half-owner in three antique boats that we're trying to sell at the Portage Lakes boat show this weekend. Lots of travel coming up for this guy.

    Have fun!!!!!!!!

  • Nice work Joe…perfectly said

  • Wow! This is very funny. I enjoyed it article most. Need more writings from this writer.
    Thanks a lot.

  • Lisa Leary Gertz

    That playoff run was one of the best things to happen to me and it came at a time when I personally needed something that incredible to lift me out of a black funk. I will always be grateful to the Bruins of 2011 for doing that. I don't know if the city of Boston will ever feel that level of euphoria again…New England actually levitated for about a week and the high lasted all summer long. Thank you again my Bruins!

  • Loved reading this…I, soulfully, agree with every thought and feeling you described. Since I don't live in Boston, I watched the game glued to my tv. Also, lost my job because there was no way anyone was going to keep me away. I am a lifelong fan who will always cherish my memories of that playoff run. My guys did it…I should say OUR Guys!!! I am forever grateful for the play of our team…and always honored to have had the best goalie a team could ever hope for…Bruin Fan For Life…Tim Thomas fan Forever.

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