This One’s For You

When I was young I thought Bobby Orr could fly. In fact, our television broke in spring 1970 and in listening to the SCF it happened: the CBC announcer said “and Orr flies through the air and scores!” and even that famous photo isn’t as good as the image in my brain.

Bobby Orr was my hero, so of course the Montreal Canadiens were Lex Luthor, Solomon Grundy and J. Wilbur Wolfingham all rolled into one.

I’ve never learned to love the Habs, they’ve always been the enemy. It makes little sense, since I could not love a team more than I did (do) the Expos and all I ever hear about Montreal is that it gushes beautiful women from every street corner.

And yet, all I see when Montreal plays hockey are that Sam Pollock arranged the 1967 expansion draft so he could screw the league, the Habs got every damn call they ever needed in my lifetime and at exactly the right time.

As a child I would worry over the Bruins, Superman had bad knees and you never knew when the other Bruins were going to go overboard with the brawling and cost a game. They didn’t have a Bernie Parent (although Cheevers and Johnston were very good) and they had a center who would often skate through all three sets of wingers before Hodge and Cashman returned for a second shift.

I dreamed of a 4-game sweep in the playoffs. It never came in my childhood and barely came in my adult life. But it’s here and it’s beautiful. So, in my own way I’d like to remember Bobby Orr tonight. He was a man touched by God, and the Bruins have done something that was impossible in his own time: beat the Habs in 4.

Best of luck to Carey Price, who is a good kid in a bad situation and to Bob Gainey who looks like a man on the way to Shawshank based on the television images. The fans? Stop booing the American anthem and stop blaming your goalie assclowns. You were never good enough this season and 100 too-many-men penalties couldn’t have saved you.

Own it. You’ve earned it.

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