Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A detailed look back at game seven, which due to a scheduling error had to be published twelve hours early

After a stunning game seven, Roberto
Luongo can barely contain his emotions.
Editor’s note: Due to a scheduling error that is too complicated to explain here, this analysis of the June 15, 2011 game seven between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins had to be published twelve hours early. If the game hasn’t happened yet, please close your browser now and come back tomorrow. Thank you for your cooperation.

So here we are. After a six-month season, four rounds of playoffs, and seven gruelling games, the NHL has crowned its champion. The Stanley Cup has been awarded. One fan base is devastated, while another will celebrate late into the night.

In the moments after a thrilling game seven, I’d like to take a moment to address you directly, fans of the winning team.

It seems like only yesterday that your team was struggling through a first round series against your bitter rivals who historically dominate you in the playoffs. But you survived, just barely, thanks to an overtime goal in game seven. Remember the excitement when the winning goal was scored, by that particular player? Little did we know the controversy that awaited them weeks later.

Your team waltzed through the second round against Peter Forsberg’s old team, then beat that non-traditional warm weather team in the conference finals. And there you were, back in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in a generation. Who can forget that last time you played for Lord Stanley’s mug, back in the early 90s? I bet you can still picture your team competing furiously, proudly representing those black and yellowish-gold uniforms that they wore then and perhaps still do, before finally going down to a bitter defeat. Damn you, Mark Messier!

But a generation later you were back, and this time the opportunity would not be wasted. It wasn’t easy. It was a vicious series, in which your team persevered despite several sickening cheapshots by the opposing team. You endured your team being taunted with immature finger waves. You watched devastating hits on Nathan Horton and Mason Raymond, 50% of which you thought were unquestionably dirty. The entire hockey world outside of your particular city was united against your team, you told us, incessantly. And let’s not even mention those shameless homer announcers on the other team’s broadcast.

And then game seven. The series had seen it all, from overtime thrillers to lopsided blowouts to everything in between, and game seven certainly fit into one of those categories. All eyes were on Roberto Luongo. Many thought he would rise to the occasion while others thought he would crumble, and in the end we now know they were right. Without question, this game will be his defining legacy.

The end of the game must seem like a blur to you now. There was that goal scored by that one guy, and then that big hit with that other guy, then that other thing done by some other guy, and then the Conn Smythe won by Tim Thomas.

And then, the magic moment you’d been waiting on for four long decades, give or take a year. What fan among you will ever forget the sight of Gary Bettman passing the Stanley Cup into the waiting arms of good old #33? And who says Europeans can’t make great captains? Certainly not anyone who has had the pleasure of watching your team’s leader, a truly unique talent. He certainly is one- or at the very most two-of-a-kind.

And now it’s all over but the riot cleanup. Your boys are champions. A Stanley Cup banner will be raised in your arena next year. After an agonizing, debilitating, gut-wrenching test of your endurance as a fan, it was all worth it.

But at least you’re not like those fans of the other team. Imagine how devastated they must feel right now. Serves them right, those losers. Thank god you have nothing in common with them.




120 comments:

  1. Canucks and blackhawks?

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  2. Nice change on the fly -- I didn't think you did corrections ;)

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  3. This is amazing.
    Well done Sean.
    I am going to go place a bet on a team now. Y'know, the team that you have told me will win.

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  4. !@#$ brilliant.

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  5. Awesome as usual

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  6. eerie that these two teams are so similar

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  7. This is onion-worthy!

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  8. This might be your best work ever

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  9. Gotta say this is the most clever one so far. Brilliant stuff.

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  10. Baha, I didn't know they had THAT many similarities.. eerie.

    "and then the Conn Smythe won by Tim Thomas.."

    Best line of it. There will be no other who comes close.

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  11. Great post. One of your best!

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  12. "And who says Europeans can’t make great captains? Certainly not anyone who has had the pleasure of watching your team’s leader, a truly unique talent. He certainly is one- or at the very most two-of-a-kind."

    Ok, that cracked me up.

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  13. most brilliant piece you've ever written (and i'm not a fan of either team)

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  14. Awesome. One of the best DGB posts ever.

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  15. Best. Piece. Ever.

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  16. Hands up everyone who read the Peter Forsberg line and your first thought was "Wait a minute, Colorado didn't make the playoffs?"

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  17. shoot, I thought the Conn should go to Aaron Rome for sure.

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  18. This is truly fantastic! Great piece!

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  19. One of your best articles, ever.

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  20. san jose isn't in the south

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  21. Hahaha that was a great read! Nice job piecing it all together!

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  22. Best article I've ever read here, totally brilliant and awesome.

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  23. brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

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  24. Zdeno Chara could indeed be seen as two people. So subtle. So brilliant, the whole thing.

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  25. Wonderful read. Amazing how the #33 bit worked out

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  26. Absolutely terrific. Actually, one of your best ever. The schedule quirk sucks, but you made it work and then some!

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  27. Aside from San Jose being in Northern CA, this is pretty spot on.

    The Forsberg line was great.

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  28. I just assumed the non-traditional Southern team was the Preds, but then I realised they didn't make it to the Finals.

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  29. Absolutely unbelieveable.. this is awesome!

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  30. I think he was talking about the Bruins. They defeat Peter Forsberg's old team ( Flyers), and non tradictional southern team ( Tampa).
    But who knows.
    Mark Messier was member of Rangers ( beat Vancouver in 1994) and Oilers ( beat Bruins in 1990).

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  31. Forsberg played for PHI and NSH.
    Southern teams are TBL and SJS.

    Amazing piece by DGB

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  32. SJS won't be considered southern team. It is in Central Pacific.

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  33. AWESOME!!! but where the hell did wednesday go? for some reason i have no memory of the game! someone help, r WE stanley cup champs or chumps?

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  34. Yeah not as if San Jose is also south for hockey standards, or as if Forsberg played for Nashville, making the joke work to begin with... oh wait.

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  35. Why do people keep wondering who the 2 teams are? What 2 teams are in the finals... duh

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  36. That was awesome. Thanks, DGB.

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  37. give DGB the Conn Smythe

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  38. Brilliant... hate to admit it but I totally thought that this piece was about 1 team in particular until I read the comments and I had to google the teams and players mentioned to actually understand the brilliance of it all. I'm not a band wagon fan, just a true fan of 1 team. Nonetheless, Awesome post :)

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  39. My hand is up on the Peter Forsberg part for sure. Well done sir.

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  40. Who says journalism is dead???

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  41. This is a great article, DBD. Well done sir, well done.

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  42. You, sir, are a genius. Without a doubt the most consistently entertaining hockey writing I have ever laid eyes on.

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  43. Brilliant piece of writing, great job.

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  44. Archbishop KrejciJune 15, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Well Done Sir!

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  45. Genius, genius, genius, GENIUS!

    My only (small) critique is that San Jose isn't really "southern" as its understood in America. But still - Utter genius.

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  46. Holy shit DGB, this is INCREDIBLE. I'm really jealous of your talent and success. Damn you.

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  47. The only thing this is missing is a '93 Leafs reference.

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  48. Excellent article. Although I wish it was Luca Caputi being handed the Stanley Cup. :P

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  49. "Southern" in Toronto parlance must mean "south of Canada."

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  50. "Damn you Messier"

    So... Much... WIN!!!

    Way to go DGB!

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  51. Too COCKY. TOO COCKY. I AM SCARED.

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  52. Brilliant. Simply... brilliant. Especially the bit about the European captain wearing #33.

    I must add, however, that we Sharks fans don't think of our team as "southern"... that word only applies to "those other two" California teams. Believe it or not, the temperature even occasionally dips below 50 deg. F here in Northern California.

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  53. Absolutely brilliant post. Loved it. Loved everything you've done through the playoffs, actually. Great stuff, and thanks.

    (Oh, and Go Canucks :))

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  54. Absolutely perfect. Through all the noise of analysis and opinions, this gave me a moment of peace today. I am a huge Canucks fan, and I have to say, that put things into perspective. Well done!

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  55. Congrats to French-Canadian guy who previously coached the Canadiens.

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  56. Extend the Mason-Dixon line to the West Coast and San Jose is below it. It's the south. :p

    Great read.

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  57. Well written.....For a Leafs blog....

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  58. I am in awe. All I can do is share this with friends - this may be the best DGB ever!

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  59. To all the idiots complaining about the Sharks not being southern...

    go to Google, search for a map of North America. Locate Vancouver. Locate San Jose. Which direction is San Jose from Vancouver?

    I congratulate you on your lack of a 4th grade education.

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  60. How about "expansion team in a sun-drenched non-traditional hockey market"?

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  61. Ha ha, great.

    One suggestion... It seems like only yesterday that your team was struggling through a first round series against your bitter *original six* rivals who historically dominate you in the playoffs.

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  62. DGB, you've outdone yourself. so good i barely even laughed, just sat here with a stupid look on my face in shock at the genius of this post. thanks for making the day of everyone who's read this.

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  63. Let's fellate DGB a little more.

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  64. M'eh, this wasn't so good.

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  65. I love how everyone's picking on how SJ isn't actually southern... hasn't anyone considered maybe DGB is writing about the Bruins and the Bruins only? ;)

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  66. This blog posting is the dictionary definition of BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  68. Re: 3:57 - Somebody's unhappy because his dick is dryer than San Jose's non-traditional southern market.

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  69. No, let's quibble about extremely minor issues with one line of an otherwise brilliantly written piece some more.

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  70. the tim thomas line is awesome, lol.

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  71. nicely done.. though God should always be capitalized, "Thank god you have nothing in common with them."

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  72. Awesome awesome awesome. Very nice work.

    Thanks for the perspective too.

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  73. Geography lesson:

    Nashville is at 36° N latitude
    San Jose is at 37° N latitude
    St. Louis is at 38° N latitude

    Posted from Portland OR, which at 45°30' N is farther up the Northern Hemisphere than Toronto.

    And, um, thoroughly brilliant post, BTW. Best thing this post-season by far.

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  74. It was clearly obvious which team you were talking about when you mentioned "Homer Broadcast"... The CBC has been all over the Bruins' jocks yet are supposed to be the Canadian home team broadcasters, therefore this obviously cannot be about the Canucks. You almost got me though...

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  75. I can only quote Nikolai Borschevsky: "Un-be-lee-ba-ba!"

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  76. This is clever and all, but I was hoping for a "Mike Milbury is Fat" article.

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  77. "Congrats to French-Canadian guy who previously coached the Canadiens." — yes, I was happy to see him get the Stanley Cup less than five years after winning the Jack Adams award for coaching his team!

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  78. Awesome post! And those commenting on San Jose not being southern - well we do consider it in the South Bay, so there is that. :)

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  79. Amazing. Both that you wrote it perfectly and that the teams fell into sync like that. Impressive on both accounts.

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  80. brilliant... ftw!!
    the peter forsberg thing... took me a minute to remember that he played for both nashville and philly.. sort-of...


    ~ cheers....

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  81. So good! One of the most genius pieces I have ever read.

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  82. best thing i've ever read here

    and I love this blog

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  83. Sean; your best piece! So far!
    Absolutely brilliant!

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  84. Awwww... Cam Neely's old team lost err... won

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  85. note to all regarding the "southern, sj sharks."

    The line states "non-traditional warm weather" team. I dont see anthing about south in there.

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  86. Great post DGB.

    Wonder how Keith Ballard is feeling right now? Traded for Grabner and a first, earns $4.25 mill and is sitting while the throw in, Phil Oreskovich, is playing. Ouch!

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  87. Clap,clap,clap.....I hope the winners and losers get the Clap, seeing that you have proven they are mirror franchises. You sir, have to ask for a raise for gold like this.

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  88. jonathon redsox said...
    AWESOME!!! but where the hell did wednesday go? for some reason i have no memory of the game! someone help, r WE stanley cup champs or chumps?

    JUNE 15, 2011 12:10 PM


    Let me refresh your memory...we are the CHAMPS

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  89. I read this after the game... so eerie!

    You must have changed it since then, cuz i'd consider SJ as "non-traditional warm weather"... awesome job!

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  90. Johnny AppleseedJune 16, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    Those losers. Go team! We are the champions!

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  91. ABSOLUTE GOLD.
    Thank you DGB for this amazing post!

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  92. Good call on the riot cleanup!

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  93. this is awesome!

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  94. Love the blog, keep up the good work.
    Congrats on getting mentioned via Grantland (http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/228/dear-hockey-idiot-here-are-answers-to-all-your-questions-about-game-7-youre-welcome)

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  95. I just want to say...I am a Bruins fan, and I couldn't be more happy to see my guys finally win the Cup. I spent this whole season rooting against the Leafs because we have your first round draft pick. It wasn't out of hatred, though...that's reserved for P.K. Subban and Alexandre Burrows. In 2010, an Original Six team broke a long Cup drought...in 2011, an Original Six team broke a long Cup drought...there's only one logical choice for next year, isn't there? If we don't repeat, I hope the Leafs win the Cup. You fans deserve it.

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  96. You got picked up by Puck Daddy, too.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Puck-Headlines-Conn-Smythe-voting-does-Romney-?urn=nhl-wp7266#remaining-content

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  97. Ha ha, going back and reading your old posts and came across this. This deserves the praise it got for your encyclopedic recall .. Messier, Forsberg,

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  98. Even predicted the riot cleanup. That's just bonus points for style :)

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  99. To all the "San Jose is not south" comments. I live in San Jose, we go to hockey games in January in shorts, we go to the beach in February. San Jose is south.

    You've never been to Winnipeg, have you?

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  100. I just read this now, months late, and holy crap was this brilliant.

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  101. Still crazy after all these years...

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