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Best of the best in 2011

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  December 23, 2011 09:32 AM

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I could do a "Top 10 Boston games of 2011" thing here, but I realized it would be awfully-centric to a period consisting of April-June, and not much else.

The best Patriots game of the year was the fourth-quarter win over the Cowboys at Gillette, with Tom Brady showing that magical late-drive spark that has waned over the years. Despite the defense, there is overwhelming hope for January, and there should be.

The best Celtics game of the season might have been the dramatic 96-93 playoff win over the Knicks, a game in which Kevin Garnett sunk the game-winner with 14 seconds remaining, and then stole the ball to seal victory. Boston would go on to sweep what very well could be the Big 3's final playoff series win. Sorry, that's true. 

The best Red Sox game of the year was really Opening Day, when Dustin Pedroia delivered an emotional first-inning home run that sparked the Sox to their first win of the year over the Yankees. It was just one more display as to why the second baseman is the team's most important player and de facto captain, and an all-too absent presence in the other 24 guys for the season's remaining schedule.

(I'd post the video here, but all my YouTube search is showing is "Sweet Caroline" videos. Sorry.)

The best Revolution game of the year was when David Beckham and the Galaxy visited Gillette, a game which I attended (my first), and found a certain affinity for the Revs crowd. And yes, my wife swooned when the Bend-it-Man ran within 50 feet of our seats.

The Bruins? Good luck.

Obvious Fella says it was clearly the Game 7 win over the Canucks, but that's simply acknowledging the completion and ignoring the journey. My goodness, it was some spring for hockey. Picking a favorite game is like picking a favorite child.

Gun to my head? It's the Game 7 win over the Lightning, a game that was played so perfectly by both sides that you would not expect to see such a contest again in your wildest dreams.

The Canucks series as a whole was probably the greatest NHL series I've seen in my lifetime, so it's hard to single out one game in particular. But that Game 7 against the Lightning...it was perfect. A perfect hockey game.

Your picks? Have at it.

We're vacating this space until Jan. 3. Wishing you and your families the happiest of holidays.

Take care of your shoes.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.


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