This was one of those games where we got through two periods then got ugly. Preceded by three days of drama from both sides – Kessel claiming not to be bothered by the boo’s, even though his coach said otherwise – Shawn Thornton publically admitting on the Toucher and Rich show that he didn’t like Kessel, and enjoyed the garden jobbing him – buildup, buildup, these games are all about buildup.
Let's wipe that smug little grin off his face, Bruins.
Claude Julien, in an awesome effort to mess with our minds, puts Matt Hunwick in at forward. Bitz is out of the lineup. Rumors about taking care of his 5 cats abound. Whatever the case, we want Bitz back soon. 7PM EST. Game on.
All this has happened before, and all this will happen again. (YESSS, two nerdy sci-fi references and I’m just getting warmed up!)
As is well-documented, Bostonians are fiercely loyal to our home teams. Like, excessively fiercely loyal. I’m guilty of this, as are millions of other fans around the New England region. We will defend our teams to the end, we’ll punch you in the face (or at the very least, curse your entire family including your dead grandma) if you mention 18-1 or the Yankees’ eleventy-billion World Series trophies or the Canadiens’ eleventy-billion Stanley Cups, and we will sure as hell sport our jerseys/hats/team gear in enemy territory with the greatest of pride. Spot another Red Sox cap or Patriots t-shirt while you’re away from the region, and a fist-bump or at the very least a nod and a smile is totally necessary, while an extensive conversation about whatever teams are currently playing is highly encouraged.
There is a flip-side, though: a player leaves us for an enemy team and badmouth our city, and they are DEAD to us.
We saw it when Damon went to the Yankees, when Clemens finally left Boston, and to a smaller extent, when Vinatieri left for Indy, though Vinatieri was a lot more gracious to his former team. Boston has a long history of feeling used by the players we loved; hypothetically, this dates back to Babe Ruth. It’s totally legitimate, though – if you love a player and he abandons your team for one you hate, obviously the hate is going to transfer. If the abandonment is for monetary reasons, the hate will multiply exponentially. If the player sings the praises of the new team and basically craps all over Boston? Forget it, we’re done. (see: Clemens, Roger.)
As of Friday, it has happened again. Phil Kessel, the Bruins’ leading scorer in 2008-2009, has signed a 5-year, $27-million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.