Thursday, June 16, 2011

5 1/2 Lord Stanley Comes to Live in Boston

Today is a bonus post for my regular readers. Last night my life-long favorite hockey team won the national championship, better known as the Stanley Cup. Congratulations to the Boston Bruins!

Before you dash off to read something more interesting than a blog about sports, consider this. Each one of us has a God given destiny. For the some of the Boston Bruins, last night was part of who they are in Christ - whether they know it or not. I suppose there are some that have chosen this path, and on it they will miss God. For others, this may in fact be the path that leads them to Jesus.

Enough spiritualization, here are 5 1/2 reasons why you should at least checkout the video highlights of the winning game HERE. Or you may read about it HERE.

-1 Because the Action Doesn't Stop: Hockey, unlike football and baseball (snore) plays until there is a reason to stop the play. (like basketball and soccer) There is no stopping for a huddle to make plays, no waiting for a pitcher to wind up and throw another ball. The plays unfold in a high-speed and fluid manner until one of the rules is broken. You are not going to get up and get another bowl of chips or hit the bathroom and take chance of missing a goal! (I actually did this last night to get a glass of water! I was gone 30 seconds)

-2 Hard Hitting: In addition to superior balance, physical strength and hand-eye-coordination, you need to be tough; really tough. This is the fastest team sport in the world. I believe the fastest hockey player ever was clocked at over 35 mph. Skaters smash into each other at 3 times the speed of any football player. It is called checking, and it is not for wimps. Good hits are like good blocks in football, they take a player out of play. Bad hits are extremely dangerous. Both the Canucks and the Bruins suffered serious injuries from "cheap hits" this series. Even good hits are dangerous. HERE is a good legal "hit." HERE is a cheap shot that ended the season for Boston's Nathan Horton.

-3 Goals: The point of the game is to score goals and keep the opposing team from scoring against you. The goal is 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide. You put a fully clad goalie in front, and there are few places to sneak a 1 inch tall by 3 inch in diameter chunk of vulcanized rubber called a puck. Boston's Zdeno Chara can make it fly 105.4 mph. That's quite a bit faster then a MLB pitch. I'm just sayin! Shooters learn to find one of the 5 holes.

-4 Strategy: Every team wants to wins. Professionals are able to adapt to changing strategies. What works in one game, doesn't work in the next. In period 1 (there are three @ 20 minutes) you can bring the puck out of your zone (end of the rink) along the boards (the walls that keep the play on the ice for the most part), The opposing team now places players along the boards and you need to have a new strategy. It takes some skill to spot these subtle changes, called adjustments. My wife says watching hockey is like watching fish swimming back-and-forth in a fish tank. But they are fish with strategies.

- 5 Skill: Like any sport, there are players that do stuff that simply makes you say wow!  Boston's goaltender, Tim Thomas (age 37) made some amazing stops! He gave up 8 goals in 7 games. Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks gave up 23 in the same 7 games. I saw the Bruins win the cup in 1972, and it was all about one player, Bobby Orr ( the most skilled player to ever play the game - see the TV graphic above). This year it was about a team. Each game had an MVP.

- 5 1/2 Spirit...

How about you, has a team you were a fan of won a championship?


Arny said...

Don't think I've ever watched a hockey game...

But...the houston rockets won the basketball championships 2 years in a 93 and 94...

"Oh how sweet it is"

Andrea York said...

What would you have said if the Stanley Cup was in Canada (where it belongs)?

It was a great series, made a little more enjoyable by my new friend on the East Coast.

I never watch hockey through the regular season but I've loved the excitement around the city. It's been fun and your team deserves it.

David-FireAndGrace said...

@Arny - yeah, I don't like hockey teams from cites where it never snows - seems cheap like blow-up palm trees!

I do like B-ball, and followed the Celtics until this year. Last year they got blown out in game 7.

@Andrea - Canada, well, the Bruins are part of the NHL for long enough to be allowed the cup! And they've been around for longer than the Canucks. As far not having the cup - it's been a long 39 years that I have hung in there. BTW - only Mark Recchi was alive when they last won it!

I don't watch too much TV, but this series was exciting. In fact, I didn't know that we had an NHL channel on cable until I got stuck with Ellen, or a game show.

The C's put in a noble effort. As we have said here for nearly 40 seasons, "there is always next year."

Tony C said...

I don't watch a lot of NHL during the season, but playoff hockey is awesome!

Congrats to the Bruins. Maybe the Predators will make it someday...

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

I was pulling for the Canucks hard but they deserved to lose. They fell apart at the end and made you question why they were there in the first place

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