What a Shocker!

As predicted, the Bruins beat the Canucks. Although many will say, quite correctly, that one goalie simply outplayed the other (by a long shot), I believe the Canucks loss goes much deeper. The NHL had decided Boston was going to win the series no matter what it took and by game 4 it was painfully evident that the Bruins would be getting away with everything short of manslaughter. Perhaps a more strong-willed team than the Canucks would have overcome this handicap. And they almost did. But I am convinced that if Luongo had not let in some easy ones in the final game, the refs would have taken the game over and assured Boston would win, just as they had done in earlier games throughout the playoffs.
I could not possibly watch any Bruin hoisting the cup. So I turned the tube off, half-way through the third and did not watch TV for three days. I didn’t want to see any news reports, and parades…etc. So, I missed the riots too! One thing about being retired, one can operate in virtual isolation for days and I did so. I missed all the nastiness, although I do confess that I heard about it from other people. But I refused to watch TV, lest a stray shot of a Bruin celebrating his ill-begotten “victory” might somehow flash across the screen. I can say with some pride that I have not seen a Bruin hockey player in any form since mid-way through the third period a week ago and don’t wish too.
So, now I am focused on the summer, barbeques and my garden. Go Lions Go!

More Tears Tonight

The officials of tonight’s game, the seventh and final game of the Stanley Cup championship round, know who the NHL wants to win. The President of the NHL, Gary Bettman, the Chair of the Board of Governors, Bettman’s boss and owner of the Boston Bruins, and Gary’s good buddy, Collin Campbell, whose son plays for the Bruins all want the Boston Bruins to win. The officials know this. And one of the reasons the officials were appointed to referee this game, was because they know how to ingratiate themselves with the hierarchy of the NHL. If they call an “iffy” penalty against the Bruins, they will fall into disfavour with their bosses….and they know it.  So the officials will continue to claim the Canucks are “diving” when they are cross-checked, slashed, high-sticked and boarded.

And, just like happened in New York in 1994, when official Terry Gregson called the first four of five penalties against the Canucks in the seventh and final game, the Boston bruins will get all the calls in their favour.
Why would things change now. Mason Raymond, the speedy young right winger for the Canucks, who was skating circles around the Bruins in this series was crippled with a cheap shot “can-opener” check into the corner boards in the first 20 seconds of game 6.  The hit happened way after the puck was gone….longer than the delay involved in Rome’s hit on Horton. No penalty. Not even a whisper about a suspension, following one of the dirtiest checks I’ve ever witnessed. It was a deliberate attempt to injure and was not a so-called “hockey play” such as the check which Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton in game 3….a hit which resulted in a record 4-game suspension. Meanwhile, Horton is skating in the warm-up for tonight’s game.
Game seven, Boston and Tampa Bay.  No call on any number of plays…. involving Boston. In fact, for the first time in 20 years, not a single penalty called in the game….a game which Tampa Bay forced by scoring three power play goals in game six. The final score……1-0 for Boston. Hmmmmm

Game three, Boston and Vancouver. Bieksa is crippled by one of the cheapest slashes of all time on the back of his calf, well behind the play. No call.  Game one, two, three, four, five and six. Henrik Sedin, receiving painkilling shots before every game for injured ribs and back muscles, is cross-checked after every whistle by Zdeno Chara of the Bruins. No calls. Chara, the biggest player in the NHL cross checks Sedin to the chest and they BOTH get called….so-called “unsportmanship” by the Canucks. The Vancouver team has played all year by the rules. They are built as a team to play without the slashes, the punches, the cheap shots that were the hallmark of the old Philidelpia Flyers and by the Bruins of today.  There will a lot of non-calls by the officials tonight. That, of course, will favour the Bruins, who depend on cheating to win. Should the Canucks, somehow manage to get a goal lead, the whistles will begin to blow. Mark my words. The fix is in.

Meanwhile, EA Sports, the famous Vancouver based computer game developer, predicted a Vancouver Boston final when they created this years version of the game last October. EA Sports has been unbelievably correct for this year, correctly predicting 13 of the 14 series played this playoffs. They had the Canucks winning the Presidents Trophy and they had the Canucks winning over the Bruins. EA Sports has the Canucks winning 3-1 tonight with the final goal coming on a empty netter.

Desperately Seeking Stanley

June 10th, 11


GB: Hello, Bettman here.
JMJ: I’m sorry to be calling you so late, Gary. It’s Jerry. Look, I don’t really think I have to say that this call never happened…etc….
GB: Oh…No…No..No Sir… I completely understand. Those Canadians would simply not understand. I mean we are trying to run a professional league here and all we hear from them is more “sportsmanship” and all the British crap. I mean what the hell!
JMJ: Exactly, Gary. Anyway. The reason I’m calling. I mean…I think Murph did a fine job under difficult circumstances with that record setting suspension for Rome. That was a dirty play. Yas…of course…we’ve heard all the squeeling from those
Vancouver pigs…he didn’t hit ‘em in the head and he had his head down and it was a hockey play and all that…but I mean…I just think we did the right thing there.
GB: Well thank you, Sir. These are difficult times with all…..
JMJ: Yes…Yes…of course. But look’t, Gary. That’s not why I’m calling. For God sakes what the hell are we going to do with these bastard Canucks?
GB: Well, sir. They got the first four penalties tonight. And I mean every call was ….you know…. “extra fair”…so to speak. And then, your players….I mean the Bruin players…were spearing, slew footing, cross checking after the whistle…and our official told me after the game…he was worried about a riot for God sakes! So..he had to make those calls against your players…I mean the Bruins.
JMJ: Look Gary. We all know that we just can’t allow those damn Canadians to win the Cup. We’re trying to crack the U.S. market here. We’ve got a huge investment in our TV contracts down here. Do you know what would happen if the Americans sensed that they were watching a sport they didn’t OWN? Come on! The Americans aren’t losers, OK? They want to win…..at everything….even the stuff they’re only half interested in, for God sakes.
GB: Well of course, Sir. But I just don’t know…..Our officials will do everything they can…..just like the other two games in Boston. We know it’s going to be a gong show on the ice. I was told that they’ll keep the ice at 30 degrees which should really slow things down. And then, the officials have warned to be “extra fair” to the Canadians. So, I fully expect your guys….I mean…the Bruins..will be sitting pretty going back to Vancouver.
JMJ: Well, I certainly hope so, Gary. It’s just that the Board is getting restless with all the hype that’s going on in Canada. We’ve even got stories popping up about the bush-league behaviour of Boston fans…for crying out loud.
GB: Sir, we really can’t control that. I mean, …OK so a few kids hit a 60 year old Canucks fan with a flying beer bottle. What can we do? I think she made up the story. What are the chances of Bruins fans..all sauced up..riding in a car and managing to hit an old lady in the head with a beer bottle…for Christ’s sake. Give me a break. She’s old…she’s all confused….She probably fell down and hit her head on the sidewalk. And, I know there were all kinds of stories from Canucks fans about being punched in the head and smashed into walls from hooligans after those Boston games. But, that’s got nothing to do with the NHL. That’s just some over exuberant fans.
JMJ: Well Gary. As you know I’ve been with this team for many years and we kind of take pride in our reputation for pushing the envelope…so to speak. The big bad Bruins…and all that. Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn’t go for the skill game…passing the puck and making plays …instead of the goon show.  But, Gary, do you realize just how popular this UTF wresting is these days? That’s were we’ve got to go, Gary. We’ve got to get those kinds of TV contracts that the no-holds-barred-goon shows get. We could make a fortune.
GB: I know exactly what you’re saying, Sir. And you can count on me.
JMJ: I know I can, Gary. Thanks for your patience. Talk to you after the game….goodnight.
GB: Goodnight. CLICK …….Son of a bitchen bastard….what kind of goon show have I got myself involved in?

“Extra Fairness”

June 8th, 11


GB: Hello, Bettman here:
JMJ: Gary, its Jerry here. How are you this evening?
GB: Just fine Sir….uh…but…of course..very concerned about the incident tonight.
JMJ: Yes, Gary, as a matter of fact that’s what I’m calling about. Now, needless to say…this call never happened. Me being Chairman of the Board of Governors and owner of the Bruins…you know….being your boss….and all that….some misfits might see something sinister in my calling you…etc. ..etc.
GB: Oh..of course, Sir. I understand completely.
JMJ: Gary, it’s just that we’ve had so much media coverage about concussions and all that….we just want to make sure that a clear message goes out that the league is prepared to deal with these issues fearlessly.
GB: I agree completely, Sir. We do, however, have a bit of a problem, because you may recall that when the Canucks were playing Nashville, the Canuck player involved in tonight’s incident was blind sided by an elbow to the back of his head. I mean it was definitely a late hit…against the boards from behind…and he had to be carried off the ice as well, but there was no penalty called. And there was no question of a suspension. And then, of course there was the incident with Anaheim and one of the Sedin boys was nearly killed by a blindside hit from behind by Ben Eager. That was late…it was an obvious intent to cripple, unlike tonight….and again…no penalty. He’s still obviously hurting from that. So It’s going to be tough to …..you know….kind of….change the rules….right in the middle of the final round.
JMJ: Well, of course you’re right Gary. The fact is that some of the other Board Members have been grousing about all the inconsistency and I’ve heard through the grapevine that they think it might be time to change things right at the top. But I know you’ve been doing your best and I don’t think knee-jerk reactions are what we are looking for here. What we need is a steady hand here. There’s a storm of controversy raging all around. We need somebody to look at the bigger picture.
GB: Yes Sir. But, to completely change direction right in the middle of the final round. And besides, Rome’s hit wouldn’t even have been a penalty if he had hit him 4/5ths of a second earlier.
JMJ: Look…Gary…we had to move Collie from his role….he’d been running into a lot of flack about inconsistency when it came to league discipline…and his son being a player on the Bruins…and now we’ve got Murphy……a completely new guy in there. So now would be a good time, I think, to really send a message…if you know what I mean.
GB: Well, I guess a one game suspension would make sense.
JMJ: Wha!….no….no… Gary…I’m talking some bold action here. Something unprecedented. Something to set the tone going forward.
GB: I see. Yes of course Sir. You know, Sir, I’m just a bit concerned that someone’s going to say….here we go again. You know, Carolina against Edmonton…and Roloson deliberately y crippled in game five and no call. Then there was the no-goal call when Calgary won the game against the Lightening…but ended up losing. I’m a bit worried ….I’ve never seen Canadians so united behind one NHL team like the Canucks. At some point the Canadians are going to see through it all. I mean, how long can we keep this up?
JMJ: You let me worry about that, Gary. The Canadians will watch anything when it comes to hockey. They’re like little kids. They’ll believe anything. Just get Murphy to call Burkie to work out the final decision. Burkie will know what to do.
GB: Well, we’ll have to be careful there, Sir. I mean, Brian was fired by the Canucks in 94 and then fined for tampering with them in ’95…so there’s a lot of bad blood there. If it ever got out that Murph talked to Burkie…it would be game over.
JMJ: I’m sure you’ll be just as discreet as usual, Gary. I think we’re on the same wavelength here, right?
GB: Oh yes Sir. Goodnight.