There has been a lot of negativity following the actions of some Vancouver Canucks fans in the aftermath of their sides loss in game 7 of the Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins. However there are some reasons to like the outcome.
1. Who doesn’t like the breaking of a long record. The Boston Bruins took home their first cup since 1972. Breaking the 39 year wait for hockey’s greatest prize. Whilst it may not have been as long as Vancouver’s wait (96 years since Vancouver Millionaires won the cup in 1915), or as long as Chicago’s wait that ended last season or other long waits for hockey’s greatest prize, it was still long enough that only 1 member of the Boston Bruins team was even alive at the time of the 1972 victory. Mark Recchi. Which brings us onto our next point.
2. Going out on top is how every player, fan and coach dream of doing it. Rarely has this ever been the case. But by helping the Bruins to the cup Mark Recchi did just that. Maybe it wasn’t quite the same as Ray Bourque winning his first ever team trophy in 2001 at the age of 41 but nonetheless it is not possible to begrudge Mark Recchi the honour.
3. Another honour that is hard to beat for other reasons is Zdeno Chara. Forget about the controversy for a second and note that by being the captain and accepting the cup from Commissioner Bettman, the big Z hoisted the trophy higher than any other player before him.
4. Another high was the viewing figures for game 7. With an average audience of 8.54 million views watching on NBC it was the highest USA figures for an NHL game since 1974. Whilst in Canada it was the second highest viewed sporting event on CBC in history. Second only to the 2002 mens Olympic ice hockey final.
5. By winning in Game 7. The Boston Bruins became the first NHL team to win 3 game 7’s in a single play offs (beating Montreal, Tampa Bay and Vancouver) and the first to come from 2 games down twice to win the cup (losing game 1 and game 2 against both Montreal and Vancouver). Not bad for a team that hadn’t won a game 7 since before the NHL lockout.
6. The actions of the Vancouver fans after the game will also make the headlines for the wrong reasons. But what I was particularly pleased to see was that coming from all the negativity was a community spirit. At 7am the following morning Vancouver woke up with one of those ‘did I really do that last night’ pricks of the conscious and turned out in force to make up for the wrongs. The actions of the rioters can never be excused but the spirit soon to clean up must not be forgotten.
So there we go some positive reasons to end the season with. And don’t forget if you want some hockey fixes this summer. The 2011 AHL season is now underway. That is the Austriallian Hockey League.