The Boston Bruins, for years a suffering franchise in the shadows of the other local teams, are 2 wins away from winning their first Stanley Cup in 39 years.
Anyone who knows me knows what a devoted (sometimes blindly faithful) fan I am. In '88 and '90 they lost to a loaded Oilers team. Over the following years I took abuse from fans of the other teams. Then in high school, Id crow every October that *THIS* was the year they'd win it, only to see my hopes dashed in April. Then, while the Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics were all respecively making strides and winning championships, the Bruins kept punching me in the gut over and over, culminating last year with a horrible collapse against the Flyers.
This years team, after a grinding regular season, rolled into the playoffs and after falling behind 0-2 to arch rival Montreal, came back to win the series in 7 games. Then came revenge against the Flyers with a dominate sweep. Suddenly, something just felt *different* this time. A hard fought 7 games later, they beat the Lightning to go the finals for the first time since I was 8.
After falling behind 0-2 (again) to the Canucks, they now sit tied 2-2. 2 wins away from a moment Ive waited 25 years for. As a fan, THIS is what you watch for. The shot to see your team finally get to the promised land. But there's more than that for me. The Bruins have always been something that my father and I have bonded over. Saturday mornings were always the same. WWF Superstars in the morning, and then there would usually be an afternoon Bruins game. So, from an early age, I loved those afternoons with dad. Then he took me to a game when I was 6 and from there on out, it was in my blood.
Over the years we've gone to countless games, and watched hundreds and hundreds more. After a victory, we'd talk the next day about it, basking in it. A crushing defeat wouldn bring a day of comiserating. But the one thing we always talked about is 'What will we do to celebrate if/when they ever win the whole thing?' We'd talk about how awesome it would be, how cool a parade would be, watching a triumphant team roll by with Lord Stanley's cup. 'When they win this thing.....' Now we're 2 wins from finding out what it would feel like.
During this years run, it's been a running joke about he and I sharing 'awkward man hugs' after each win. A cup would bring an awkward man hug and a rediculous celebration that would be off the charts, one that I have been waiting my whole life for.
2 more wins.....my heart of hearts is faithfully praying for it.