Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hockey Road Trip 2010: Destination Boston

Trivia Tuesday will not air this week, so that I can share this special presentation.

You always knew something good was going to happen when CBS played this! In this case, I hope you feel the same way as I was able to witness NHL history live! Now that I have your attention, I wanted to let you know that I received countless (meaning zero; that’s countless, right?) e-mails asking me whether or not I took the annual hockey road trip for the 2009-2010 season. After several delays, we finally arranged to attend two games during the final weekend of the regular season. First stop: Boston, Massachusetts to see the Boston Bruins face the Carolina Hurricanes.

As soon as I entered TD Bank I knew I was walking into something special. The something special meaning Fan Appreciation Day! Just for buying a ticket, I received some sort of Hard Rock CafĂ© all access card; a poster with Bruins notes and rosters of both teams; a Boston Bruins iPhone cover/case; and a Rally Towel. Does anyone else think the Bruins’ rally towel is a rip-off of something else? (It's even worse in the video below.)

Besides the rally towel fiasco (in my mind), the Bruins actually did a nice job of thanking their fans, “the Best Fans in the NHL.” The organization gave away prizes throughout the game including a “Shirts off our Backs” promotion where fans won game-worn jerseys from the players immediately following the game.

Before I discuss the game itself, here are some thoughts:

- Tuukka Rask is an awesome name. Seriously, just say Tuukka Rask out loud, and I dare you not to smile.
- I was impressed by how many Boston fans wore Phil Bourque jerseys. While he was born in Chelmsford, MA, the former Pittsburgh Penguin never played for Boston, yet many people wore a #77 Bourque Bruins jersey. Even more odd is that Phil Bourque never wore #77 in the NHL.
- It was nice seeing Mark Recchi playing in person after first seeing him play at the Civic Arena nearly 35 years ago!
- At the conclusion of a Bruins’ goal announcement, the public address announcer yells a Ric Flair “Woooo!” I’m still not sure how I feel about this, though I do like the crowd participation with a Woooo reply of their own.
- I’m a big fan of the Boston bear.

As for the game, there was nothing out of the ordinary. Well, except for something that has NEVER happened in league history. At the beginning of the second period, Boston’s Daniel Paille scored a shorthanded goal. Less than a minute later, Boston’s Blake Wheeler followed with a shorthanded goal of his own. Steve Begin must have felt left out since he also scored a shorthanded goal moments later. Overall, Boston scored three times on the same penalty kill in 64 seconds. This was the first time in NHL history that a team scored three times while short-handed on the same penalty. If you don’t believe me that this actually happened, check out the video (listen carefully for the Ric Flair-like Woooo after the first goal announcement).

There was also one other play that was out of the ordinary. With an upcoming penalty against Carolina, Tuukka Rask went to the bench so that Boston could bring out an extra attacker. This would have turned out disastrous if not for Patrice Bergeron.

Oops. Wrong Bergeron.

We believe that Cam Ward touched the puck last for Carolina, so if Bergeron didn't make the save, Carolina's goalie would have been credited with the goal.

Overall, Boston was a great success. I'll have more about this year's hockey road trip soon, but I'll leave you with this. As part of the silent auction, there was only one item not related to the Bruins. One of these are not like the others!

For more about the game, check out Yahoo's Puck Daddy recap and the Boston Bruins website.

Oh, for any Boston fans, how does the new Garden compare to the old Garden?


Brendon said...

Damn, if I knew you were going to Boston I'd have let you borrow my Ulf Samuelsson jersey. I think they're big fans of him up there due to his close friendship with Cam Neely.

Messiah said...

"I was impressed by how many Boston fans wore Phil Bourque jerseys." I love it when I get hockey jokes! This was funny.

Sean said...

Hand of Godard - Thanks for the offer. Maybe next time! Actually, the best jersey I saw was a Bruins #8 jersey with Seabass as the name on the back.

Messiah - I wrote a hockey joke?

Unknown said...

Sean - #77 is for Ray Bourque. He played for the Bruins for 21 seasons and was our longest serving captain. At the end of his career he was traded to Colorado so he could win a Stanley Cup there, and he did. Check out the History Will Be Made videos. The playoffs have been terrific :-)