The Boston Bruins have played 105 games between the beginning of October and the middle of
June, but everything they have worked for comes down to a Wednesday night showdown on
Causeway Street against a franchise they vanquished nearly 50 years ago in the Stanley Cup
Finals. If you’re a betting man or woman, then head on over and read a BetOnline review and
you will see for yourself that not only is BetOnline one of the most well-respected online
sportsbooks in the industry, but right now they are dealing the Bruins as substantial favorites to
hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup aloft when the final buzzer sounds.
Had it not been for a dominating effort by the Bruins, and a sensational performance by Tuukka
Rask on Sunday night, then the St. Louis Blues would be planning a parade on Market Street as
we speak. However, we now know the destination of the celebration because the St. Louis
Dispatch inadvertently published a letter on its digital site from Blues’ owner Tom Stillman
stating, “Winning the Stanley Cup was a dream come true for so many of you. All of us will
remember where we were, what we did and how we felt when the Blues brought the Cup
home. We are so very proud of our players, our organization and our fans. And now, together,
we can finally say ‘We won the Cup for St. Louis.’ We look forward to celebrating with you as
we parade the Cup down Market Street.”
Well, that’s awkward. The Dispatch has since deleted the letter from its website but the fact
remains that the Blues were convinced Game 6 would be the final punctuation mark on a
season whose story was seemingly fated for a disappointing ending back in early January when
they were ranked dead last among the 31 NHL teams. In addition, not only did the owner take
an early victory lap but the team had already reserved the entire top floor of a downtown bar
on Sunday night in anticipation of a rowdy postseason gathering. If you believe in jinxes then
Boston looks like a good bet to get it done on Wednesday night.
Much has been made of the officiating in this series with St. Louis coach, Craig Berube, casting
the first stone after Game 3, in which the Blues fell 7-2, when he complained about his team
getting an unfair share of the whistles. Fast forward to Game 5 when a staggeringly blatant
tripping penalty by Blues’ forward Tyler Bozak on Boston’s Noel Acciari went uncalled, resulting
in a St. Louis goal at the other end only moments later with Acciari still flattened on the ice.
Berube’s rant had clearly hit its mark and Bruins’ coach Bruce Cassidy took Berube’s blueprint
and excoriated the non-call, as well as the officiating in general, in a postgame presser after his
team’s 2-1 loss. We surmised that Cassidy’s righteous indignation would resonate with the
officials in Game 6, as it was stated in this article over at Sportsbook Review, and lo and behold,
the refs called them as they saw them with St. Louis bearing the brunt of the whistles due to
their overtly physical style of play.
Ironically, the Bruins’ franchise has long epitomized the prototypical lunch pail gang whose
success was predicated on intimidation and physicality. But this year’s edition is more finesse
and hustle as opposed to power and muscle. Regardless of how they got here, it’s a nice place
to be and on Wednesday night, in front of nearly 20,000 rabid supporters donning the black
and gold, chances are all of those St. Louis fans yearning for a parade, will have to come to
Boston to get one!