Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why We Love Sports - Chapter 1723

Sports Illustrated photo
The Rangers beat the Washington Capitals last night, 5-0, in Game 7 of the Easter Conference quarterfinals.

The significance of this is that it was done in Washington.  It is, quite honestly, shameful to be beaten like that in Game 7, the penultimate game of a series.  The Washington Post has the details.

In a series in which Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist started terribly and finished phenomenally, it was nice to see the offense make life easier for him.

They will next play...the Boston Bruins.

That's where the story really begins.

Great friends Mick McGowan and Tom Oderwald came to "The Press Box" for a fun show.  After, Ryan DeMaria and I joined them for a post-show dinner at Sundown Saloon on Greenwich Ave.  We knew we could have dinner and hopefully watch some hockey.  After securing a table in the bar area, we glanced at the TV's.

Rangers 4, Caps 0...OK, game likely over (and it was, as I said above).

Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 2.  In fact, the game had been 4-1 in favor of Toronto.  In the third period.  In Boston.  In Game 7.  With all of the emotion of recent times in Beantown, sometimes you just run out of steam.  Which, as in Washington, wouldn't be acceptable (again, it's Game 7) but it happens.

Then something wondrous happened.

As in Game 6, the Bruins pulled their goalie, Tuukka Rask, and scored a goal to cut the deficit to one.  In Game 6, it was not enough, and the Leafs held on to force Game 7.

On this night, somewhat miraculously, the story had a different ending.

With just under a minute to play, Patrice Bergeron stuffed the puck past Toronto goalie James Reimer, and the game was tied.  Two goals within approximately a half minute.

Sitting in Greenwich, even I found myself cheering.  I couldn't help myself, and I realized that almost instantly.  I loved the drama - the unlikely notion of a team down three goals (oh, the dreaded three goal lead) in Game 7 coming back to tie it and, ultimately, winning it, as Bergeron netted the big tally in overtime (New York Times).

That's why we love sports.  That reaction.

The look of "holy s***" on Ryan's face.  The "wow's" of Mick and Tom.

Incidentally, fast forward to approximately 4:42 on this video.  It's show from above the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, where fans are watching on a big screen.  The reaction is, well, ugh.  Watch the fans scatter at 2:45 in this one.

As for video, here it is, courtesy CNBC.

But, wait!  There's more!  Deadspin has footage of Jack Edwards calling the game-winner, and Toronto in stunned disbelief.

Deadspin also feels NESN did a bad thing by showing Toronto after the tying goal but, hey, your mileage may vary.

Hey, look, we're not supposed to like Boston in New York.  I get that.  And the Bruins now advance to play the Rangers.  Each team is coming in with energy and momentum.  Each fan base can tell you while they're going to win...or lose (and I heard plenty of the former coming from WFAN as I drove home).

At the same time, we remember September 11 around here.  We remember Mike Piazza.  Tino Martinez.  Derek Jeter.  Scott Brosius.

We - Mets fans, Yankees fans, etc, let out an amazing noise thanks to each of these men.

Some are calling this a monumental moment in Boston sports history and, given the Marathon bombing of just a month ago, I can't really argue.  But I'd like to let it breathe before we do that.  It was a conference quarterfinal game.  There's a long way to go, but still, oh my goodness.

Maybe we can add Patrice Bergeron to the list of legends.

With all that being said, it's on, Boston.  Game 1 is Thursday.

And, oh how I wish the late Pat Turk was around for this series.  Mother versus son.  Pat and her much-despised "King" Henrik, against Harold's B's.  Oh...baby.  Just saying.  That would have been fun.

Upon seeing Bergeron score, I posted the famous words of Jack Buck to Harold's Facebook page: "I don't believe what I just saw!"

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