Alas, another season has come and gone and Canucks fans are left once again without their team ready to take them to the dance. So what are you to do? Fear not! As we are the helpful and caring types, we have begun our annual campaign to find homes for Canucks fans who don’t want hockey to be over. Remember, your loyalty is nothing trivial, so make them tell you why you should pledge your allegiance in the quest for hockey’s ultimate prize.
I am pretty sure I don’t have to explain to you what happened 8 years ago. I am also confident that I don’t have to ask if you’ve gotten over it. Some things just need a long time to heal. But, since misery is the only thing we know, let’s pour some salt into those wounds, alright?
1- There may not be a better team out there as far as being able to stop the Lightning from a march to the Cup. Do you think there’s a danger they may look past the Leafs given the way they’ve been able to handle them over the years?
There seems to be a decent chunk of the Bruins fanbase that has spent the past few weeks doing nothing but talking about Tampa Bay. Around the trade deadline, there was a lot of talk about which moves to make, and how you shouldn’t make a big move “if you’re not going to be able to beat Tampa Bay.” It’s definitely weird, and I certainly think most Bruins fans think this team should beat Toronto.
However, I don’t know that it’s arrogance or a case of looking past the Leafs. It’s more that Bruins fans know this team can beat Toronto, as the proved multiple times during the regular season, and proved last April as well. I do think the Bruins will win the series, but it wouldn’t be a complete shock if Toronto won either. I think it’s the combination of recent success against the Leafs combined with the looming Tampa juggernaut that makes Bruins fans think “yeah we can probably take care of these guys, but what about THOSE guys?”
2- We’re all familiar with names like Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Zdeno Chara, but who are the unsung guys who could make a difference here against the Leafs?
Charlie Coyle is a guy many of your readers have likely seen a bunch of times during his time with Minnesota. He’s going to be key for the Bruins in this series. What ultimately doomed the Bruins against Tampa last year was a lack of scoring outside of the first line. Coyle figures to be a key match-up for the Bruins, as his third line should get some favorable match-ups. He didn’t blow the doors off Bruins fans after the trade deadline, but his big-body style of play could come in handy.
Another unsung guy would be Matt Grzelcyk, a guy who most people outside of Boston assume is probably a spelling error (grizz-lick is close enough). He’s kind of like Torey Krug, but has really come on in the last two seasons. Great skater, really mobile defenseman who plays a smart game. When he gets going out of his own end, it can be fun to watch.
A third guy who isn’t exactly unsung, but will likely be the x-factor: David Krejci. He’s having an excellent year, and has been putting up great numbers with a revolving door of wingers on his line. Assuming the Leafs use whoever they consider their shutdown pairing to be against Patrice Bergeron’s line, Krejci will get a lesser match-up. He’ll still be forced to play against strong competition, but will need to produce for the Bruins to win.
3- Some fans simply won’t cheer for the Leafs, but it’s still a hard sell trying to get them to cheer for the Bruins. How would you explain to them why it’s the right thing to do?
I know 2011 feelings linger, but come on: it’s Toronto. The Leafs are shoved down the throats of Canadian sports fans year-round. Do you really want to see more Leafs coverage on TSN or CTV or CBC or any of your other big Canadian media? Of course you don’t. You already sat through wall-to-wall, breathless Tavares coverage all summer. A victory for the Bruins is a victory for the rest of Canada.
Plus, Roberto Luongo mock-waved at the Garden crowd after he was named a star of the game last week. It was great. Luongo has made his peace. Canucks fans should too, and join us against Toronto. It’s the right thing to do.
It certainly gives you something to think about, right? And for those of you who choose ‘the meteor’, stop being a damn coward and pick one!
Alright, you’ve heard him make their case. It’s up to you now.