tclakin

Scotty Bleepin’ Walker

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2009 at 4:47 pm
Last night felt like 2003 all over again

Last night felt like 2003 all over again

In 2003, we had Aaron Boone. Last night, we had Scott Walker. 

Boy, did that one hurt.

Last night’s Game 7 was, up until Walker’s season-ending, dream-crushing, vomit-inducing goal, an absolute barn burner. It was dramatic, it was back-and-forth, and it was perfectly set up for a Bruins walk-off (skate-off?) win in OT. After a slow second period, the Bruins picked it up in the third and when Lucic scored, the roof almost blew off the Garden. By the time OT started I had no voice left, I could barely croak out a “Let’s go!”, and my energy was completely spent. Spontaneous “We Want It” chants were breaking out throughout the balcony. The crowd was literally begging for a Bruins goal.

And then, silence.

Walker pots one, Tim Thomas bolts from the net, and that was that for the 2008-2009 season. 

Obviously, you have to be disappointed. It was a shell-shock of an ending, especially after such a promising regular season and first round playoff sweep. Could the Bruins have played better in Game 7? Probably. Did they look like their Games 2-4 selves during an awful 2nd period? Sure they did. Do I wish they had played a little more physically, with a little more aggression? Yes. But the fact is that the first place regular season finish probably skewed expectations a little bit for this Bruins team. Last year at this time, everyone would have been happy with a 2nd round playoff appearance. Then as soon as the B’s finished first over all, it became all about a Cup or nothing. But hey, it’s over. I don’t want to dwell on it any more than I already have and no one – and I mean no one – wants to read some kind of game recap right now. We all know what happened last night. It was a gut-wrencher and it’s going to sting for a while. But here’s the thing: 

You need a 2003 in order to fully appreciate a 2004. Without Aaron Boone, there is no Dave Roberts. There is no bloody sock. There is no miracle comeback. There is no World Series win – at least, not one half as magical as the one we all experienced in 2004. 

Last night’s loss hurt as much as it did because we all felt like this really could have been the year for the Bruins. But, fact is, it wasn’t the year. When it’s time, it’s time – and not before. We all thought 2003 could have been the year for the Sox, but it just wasn’t. 2004 was. And 2009 wasn’t the year for the Bruins. That’s just the way it is. 

Last night was, however, an essential part of the journey. It marked a fundamental piece of the Stanley Cup puzzle – the devastation piece. Every great victory is born out of some kind of devastation. Sure, the Bruins have taken their lumps over the last two decades. There have been some brutal losses – Stanley Cup Finals losses, even. But last night was the culmination of all that defeat. The Bruins went down at the hands of the one guy who they couldn’t let beat them. A guy who, had Colin Campbell any sense at all, should have been watching from the press box. And it hurts. It will for a while. 

But when it finally is the year and the Bruins hoist hockey’s Holy Grail, last night is only going to make it sweeter. When the Black & Gold do bring the Cup home to Boston, where it belongs, we’ll celebrate and we’ll talk about that one night, however long ago, when that punk Scott Walker thought he’d gotten the best of us. And we’ll laugh, and pour another glass of champagne.

On that night, whenever it comes, 2009 will end up exactly where 2003 did – in the scrap heap of our memory, just another speed bump on the road to a championship. 

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