(Illustration courtesy of Boston artist Joanne Kaliontzis with a nod to John Singleton Copley. She also happens to be OBF's cousin. The MFA and Art Institute of Chicago, meanwhile, are continuing their Facebook Stanley Cup art throwdown.)
Hey Chicago: "The Bruins are coming. The Bruins are coming."
Paul Revere worked in silver when he wasn't horsing around during the middle of the night in Middlesex County. He would have loved the NHL's silver chalice. After all, Boston was in the original Adams Division, which featured Sam, John, Abigail and John Quincy.
What neither Revere nor any other prognosticator could have seen coming was this past week, one of the craziest and most bizarre in recent Boston sports history.
One if by land. Two if by sea. And three by Patrice Bergeron wouldn't be so bad, either.
And it isn't even over yet, since the Bruins and Blackhawks play Game 5 tonight.
Everyone now knows that you can beat Corey Crawford high on the glove side.
If it was that simple, how come the Bruins didn't score 33 goals Wednesday night instead of just five?
Five goals, and yet they still lost.
The Bruins defense took a beating Wednesday in Game 4 and left Tuukka Rask exposed and victimized by rebounds. Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and Patrice Bergeron (who scored a pair of goals) were an astonishing minus-7 combined in Boston's 6-5 OT loss. With those numbers, it's even more astonishing that the Bruins nearly won that game.
The Bruins and Blackhawks have worn the Stanley Cup Final down to a best-of-three series that starts tonight at 8:20 Eastern on NBC. That's regular NBC and not NBC Sports Channel, CNBC or NBC Shopping en Español. Boston is one Chara off-the-inside-of-the-post shot in the 2nd OT of Game 1 and one Chris Kelly-missed-wide-open-net in Game 4 away from sweeping the series.
After going 149 minutes and 36 seconds without scoring on Boston, the Blackhawks scored four goals in the first 36 minutes against Boston on Wednesday.
That was perhaps the most surprising surprise in this week of the unexpected.
Paula Deen got the boot before Doc Rivers.
Doc and Kevin Garnett were on their way to the Clippers. Then they weren't. Then David Stern said it can't happen, Doc and Danny talked. There was a press conference Friday that was moved to Monday.
Aaron Hernandez has been a murder suspect, a non-suspect, the subject of an arrest warrant and not arrested all in the span of three days.
The courts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts demand the presumption of innonece and proof beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a guilty verdict. The court of public opinion does not. And neither does the Star Chamber of Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft. "Muscle Milk" has already dropped Hernandez as a spokesman.
We do know he bought gas on Thursday after stopping briefly at Gillette Stadium. It was televised live. Twenty years ago, you couldn't watch Patriots' home games because they were blacked out locally. Now, we can watch one of their soon-to-be-former tight ends buying gas on live television.
That tank of gas could last him anywhere between a week and 30 years.
Hernandez drove around town in a white Audi, chased by TV choppers all the way. This came just after 19 years to the day that murder suspect O.J. Simpson, who was fleeing an actual real-life arrest warrant, led police in the world's most-televised slow-speed chase while driving a white Bronco. Amidst all this mayhem, Kim Kardashian, the daughter of O.J. attorney Robert Kardashian, and her baby daddy Kanye West announced the birth of girl allegedly named North.
Ah, the circle of life. Right down the toilet.
On the diamond, former Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey made two appearances, blew two leads and gave up two home runs after facing just seven batters. The Red Sox don't have a legit closer, but they're still up by two games in the A.L. East.
And turned out Ray Allen had it right all along. At least he didn't ride out of the American Airlines Arena on Wade Boggs' horse after the Spurs completed their choke job against Miami in the NBA Finals. In 2000, Colorado's Ray Bourque brought his Stanley Cup back to Boston and was greeted by 20,000 fans at City Hall Plaza. In 2013, Allen will not be doing the same with the Larry O'Brien trophy.
In just six years we've seen Johnny Damon win a World Series with the Yankees, 2012 NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro win a World Series with the San Francisco Giants, Adam Vinatieri win a Super Bowl with the Colts and Allen earn his second ring down in South Beach with the Heat.
Damn, if only Boston had players like that.
The Bruins could make next week even more memorable by winning their seventh Stanley Cup. The Cup will be inside TD Garden Monday night for Game 6, since either Boston or Chicago will have a shot to win this thing in six game. The Original Six matchup has boosted TV ratings and national interest in the series.
If this series goes seven games, it's likely Game 7 will be the most-watched NHL game in network TV history. And it will be on at least one television in Alaska.
This beyond-awesomely-cute photo was passed along from Bruins fan Alaska Jeff, who outfitted one of his sled dogs ("Higgins") in this Bruins hat when he was a pup three years ago. "He’s now my best lead dog and totally rocks the B’s look," Jeff said. (For more cool hockey themed classic art and pet photos, click here.)
The Bruins' alpha dog is named "Chara." Chicago's Bryan Bickell was bragging on NHL.com about how much fun and easy it was to hit Chara in Game 4. Expect those comments to bite Bickell in the ass throughout Game 5.
Alaska Jeff uses his dogs to get around in the winter. This time of year, they watch summer hockey. Sunset tonight in Fairbanks is 12:47 a.m. local time tomorrow. Jeff should be able to squeeze in 18 holes after tonight's game, even it goes into triple OT.
The Bruins and Blackhawks have demonstrated their best and worst in the past four games. Each team has an overtime victory (the Blackhawks have two). The biggest stars on each team have made contributions, since Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews finally decided to join us in Game 4.
Given what's happened in the past four games, one would be foolish to predict with any certainty what's going to happen tonight. The Bruins have to re-set themselves defensively and score quickly tonight to silence the United Center crowd early and often. Rask still has 14 wins in the postseason and Game 4 was an aberration, not the new norm. But if Rask gives up six goals again tonight, expect Gary Bettman to be giving the Stanley Cup to Kane on Monday night in Boston.
And that would make next week a real bummer.
Join us tonight at 7:30 for our live in-game chat on Boston.Com and ChicagoTribune.Com. And if you've got any more cool Stanley Cup art or photos, pass them along and we'll post them here, or on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page and @realOBF Twitter feed. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go Bruins!
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