In praise of Bobby Ryan

In praise of Bobby Ryan
"The biggest thing is just his poise and his hands are unbelievable. I played with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, and those guys are probably the two best in the league. Bobby's hands are right with those guys... He's a superstar in the making, it seems."
---Ryan Whitney, former Ducks defenseman

Thursday, June 16, 2011

2010-11 Stanley Cup Champions

(Author's note: This was a post that I wrote for a different blog site... but I felt it was appropriate here too)

The Stanley Cup Finals Game 7 went down last night. In true Murphy’s Law fashion, I was stuck at work, threatening people not to reveal the score as I had it all DVR’d and waiting for me once I got home.

(btw, if you’re a Canucks fan, my apologies beforehand!)

I had started off cheering for the Vancouver Canucks, cuz they had eliminated the Nashville Predators (who took my Anaheim Ducks out of the playoffs in the first round). You know, cheer for the guys who avenged your guys?

But then various Canucks players started to reveal their true colors. They were openly telling the press that certain teams had no business being in the playoffs, and they started badmouthing some of their rival players… not cool!! C’mon guys, what about sportsmanship? What about showing a little class?

So yeah. Boo to the Canucks. They have some good players, guys like Ryan Kesler, Manny Malholtra, Sami Salo… but not enough to get me to cheer for them over their snotty, arrogant players! Especially their goalie, Roberto Luongo. This guy is ARROGANT! And sometimes, you aren’t even that good, ‘Berto.

Anyway, I wasn’t completely on board with the Boston Bruins either. Boston has some MEAN fans. And some of their players are MEAN too. They showed it in this series. They’d be winning a game by more than a couple of goals, and their guys were still getting into fights and taking bad penalties. You’re winning! Why do you hafta be an asshole about it??? Eh. Of course, it would be so much better if my Ducks had made it this far. But, since they didn’t, and I watch Stanley Cup Finals hockey no matter who’s playing, I had to adopt a team.

Player of the day: the Bruins’ Tim Thomas. An American-born goaltender who’s 37 years old (That’s OLLLLDDD by hockey standards) and I don’t believe he’s ever won a cup before. I met him two years ago, in Vegas during the NHL Awards. I didn’t get an autograph or anything at the time, just kinda stood in awe and managed a hello. He seemed to be a nice guy and earned himself tons of class-points this series by not stooping to the level of the Canucks’ goalie when insulted by him before the press.

So it was. Go Timmy Thomas and his Boston Bruins.

As the series went on and Timmy played his heart out, practically carrying his team to the championship, it wasn’t hard to cheer for him. The Canucks, after winning the first two games, began imploding. Their top guys couldn’t get pucks past Timmy, and Roberto, true to his streaky form, started to fall apart.

Watching Game 7 and the final moments of the 2010-2011 hockey season, Tim Thomas sealed his team’s win with a 4-0 shutout. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is given to the playoff MVP, and became the oldest player in history to do so. Also, he’s only the 2nd American-born player to do so. Watching him skate around the rink with the Stanley Cup held high above his head, I was truly happy for him.

And next week at the NHL Awards in Vegas, when I see him, I won’t be afraid to shake his hand and tell him that I couldn’t be happier to watch him win it all.


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