Let's start here: you gotta love hockey players. In the lead-up to a rematch between the 2011 Stanley Cup winners and losers to a man players downplayed things. "It's just another game," they said, keeping to a script when inside they could hardly wait.
Just another game? The Boston Bruins and the team they beat in 7 in the final, the Vancouver Canucks, could hardly wait to have at each other. That final got ugly, with Nathan Horton and Mason Raymond suffering serious injuries and players on both benches taking more hits than the collective ego of the Columbus Blue Jackets. For hockey players revenge means two points and a chance to drive someone through the boards. And enjoy it.
Bruins/Canucks: Hard Fought Hockey
The Jan. 7th game in Boston, it was won 4-3 by the Canucks, had tenacious defense, run and gun offense, outstanding goaltending, a penalty shot, plenty of skirmishes, a dirty check for the ages, fights including one that clocked in at over a minute, wonderful set-ups and great goals. It was played at a high tempo and there was a ton of emotion from every player on the ice.
It was just another great game.
In fact it was the kind of a game that makes hockey great. A match-up that not only lived up to all of the hype but surpassed it and naturally it was the players who made it happen. Yet it was played at 1 in the afternoon and for the Canucks, who flew out to Boston Thursday, it was like 10 in the morning. On a Saturday morning most of us aren't out of bed by 10. Slamming full force into Zdeno Chara at that time? We'd rather be sailing. Or sleeping.
Hockey: A Game of Desire
Hockey, like most things in this life, reaches its zenith when desire and emotion is present, when the will to gain an objective sky-rockets and competitive juices are flowing at their peak. And with hockey players you know that's the case when they tell you it's just another game. Just another game? Hardly, and it is a great shame that the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks don't meet each other again this season.
Let's end it here: unless, of course, it's just another 7 games in June.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com