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June 21, 2013     Post-Gazette
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June 21, 2013

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Page16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 21,2013 HOOPS and HOCKEY in the HUB by Richard Preiss The Paul Revere Statue in The Prado (Paul Revere Mall) shows his support for the Bruins sporting the team's jersey. As the historic Stanley Cup Final series between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks neared its midway point one thing was certain: there literally had never been one like it. That's right. In the history of the two franchises that goes back to the 1920s there had never been a meeting between the two teams in the Stanley Cup Final. The two Original Six teams had, of course, met before in the playoffs but never in the final best-of- seven series that deter- mines the champion. And yet both have experi- ence in that. It was, after all, the Blackhawks that warmed the hearts of all those in Bruins Nation back in 2010 when they defeated Philadelphia to claim Lord Stanley's Cup. That made the Black and Gold faithful extremely happy since it was Philadelphia that had eliminated the B's in the second round that year in the famous melt- down series that saw the B's jump out to a 3-0 lead in games only to have Philadel- phia come back and tie the series 3-3. Then came Game Seven where the Bruins actually went ahead 3-0 but wound up losing to the Flyers as the team from Pennsylvania forged ahead into the East- ern Conference Finals and beyond. We distinctly remember the ensuing press confer- ence a couple of days later when Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli took to the podium with head coach Claude Julien by his side. It was a vote of confidence that denied the naysayers their short term victory (the coach's potential firing) and set the groundwork for focus- ing on the future. A scant 13 months later that resolve would be re- warded as the B's hoisted the Cup in Vancouver, their first championship in 39 years, forever dispelling the doubt- ers to the sidelines. The fact that it was a long and tough post-season road -- the Bruins need to win three game sevens en route to the final conquest -- made the victory over Vancouver only sweeter. To be sure coach Julien had his doubters early on, even this spring. How many people who were at the Garden for game seven in the first round series with Toronto would have believed that the B's would be skat- ing for the Cup in the middle of June? Especially after being up 3-1 in games and then hav- ing the Leafs not only come back to tie the series at 3-3 but actually hold a two-goal lead with less than two min- utes to play in the seventh game. The fact that the Bruins came back to tie in regula- tion and win in OT (one of the greatest comebacks in playoff history) served to recharge the players in mind and spirit. From that game forward a different team took the ice, one with the same bodily form as before, but different in terms of determination and resolve. New York went down in five games and Pittsburgh, one of the favorites to win the Cup, went in four -- a sweep that surprised even the most veteran of NHL observers. And so here we are, smack dab in the middle of some- thing that wasn't supposed to be in this town this year -- the Stanley Cup Final. The old Bruins -- those Bruins who played prior to the miracle comeback against the Leafs -- are gone. They've been replaced by "new" players in attitude and spirit. Although they are not there yet, it almost seems as if they had ac- quired a destiny that night against Toronto. So, far it's carried them deep into the Stanley Cup Final. Whatever happens, the 2013 Bruins have been an inspiration to all in a community that, quite This historic hero is also showing Boston pride and support with the words "617 Boston Strong" printed in the back of our home team's jersey. frankly, has needed some- thing inspirational given the terrible events that took place at the Boston Mara- thon back on April 15 u. TALKING HOCKEY -- For those around the Bruins on a regular basis, the lines of communication seem quite normal. One asks questions or starts a conver- sation in English and the players or Coach Julien promptly respond. However, during the play- offs another dimension comes to the fore. One learns that some of those who are so adept in English are, in fact, quite fluent in other languages. It is some- thing that people would not know if all their information about the Bruins came from standard media outlets in America. Thus, it is somewhat of a revelation when coach Julien concludes his press conference in English and then proceeds to answer questions from Montreal and Quebec -based journalists in fluent French. You never see that here because the staff- ers of media outlets -- both regionally and nationally -- get up and leave. Only ff you are present do you witness it. You also see Dennis Seidenberg go through a full interview answering questions in German and goalie Tuukka Rask doing the same in the Finnish language. It's only at this special time of year that Boston- based journalists get to experience the true inter- national flavor of hockey with media members from numerous overseas outlets on hand to cover the world's most outstanding hockey event -- the Stanley Cup Final. In fact, there are so many members of the Fourth Estate on hand that the working area for media is at least four times as large as it is for regular season games. The same goes for the media dining area. Media seating is on the ninth floor of the Garden and takes up the vast majority of the space in that area. Folks from all around the globe gathered on our corner of the world -- the TD Garden on Causeway Street. Quite a thing to wit- ness and experience. SAVE TH E DA'I"E North End Athletic Association ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT IN MEMORY OF CARMEN "TILLY" DE MARTINO MONDAY, AUGUST 5, 2013 7:30 a.m. (shot gun start) ANDOVER COUNTRY CLUB Canterbury Street, Andover, MA More than 144 golfers participate in this sold-out tournament annually. It is important that you save the date and plan on joining us on Monday, August 5 th. GOLF, LUNCH AND RAFFLE PRIZES ... The money raised from this tournament allows the North End Athletic Association to purchase uniforms and equipment for sporting events and add to the existing programs. The North End Athletic Association is a 52-year-old organization, which provides athletic, social, educational and civic activities within the community and the City of Boston. For further information, please contact touie Cavagnaro at 617-523-7410 ,IW