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So. That’s it. Season’s over. And the ending was…uneventful? I feel somehow let down. As much as I wanted Vancouver to lose, I didn’t expect them to go out like that. That was just sad on so many levels. It wasn’t really the game seven that you hope to see. It’s going to be a long, painful off-season for Vancouver. I think Mama Sedin should punish her boys and send them each to their rooms without supper. That is, if she can tell which one is which.

Also, as predicted, the riots and looting started before the final buzzer even sounded. I’ve heard Vancouver is a beautiful city, it’s a shame people would want to burn it down. Morons.

What did make me happy about last night?  Cam Neely has a Cup. Yes, it was won as part of the Bruin’s management team, and no, this brief moment of joy should not be taken as an endorsement of anything Boston-related, but Cam Neely has finally won a Stanley Cup. And for that, the hockey gods deserve a great, big, hearty “thank you.” Excuse me while I get emotional for a moment..

Ok. All better. So. The game itself was a bit disappointing, but what happened next was as satisfying as ever. Forget the superstitions, forget the playoff beards, forget the handshake (but dear god, how I love the handshake). I’m talking about one of the greatest of all NHL traditions. I’m talking about the Booing of the Bettman. For those who are unaware, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman sucks. There’s really just no other way to put it. He really, truly, unbelievably sucks. Take every bad commissioner, in every other sport, combine all their worst qualities, multiply that by 100x and make him a puppy-kicker to boot, and you still won’t come close to the level of awful that is Gary Bettman. However,  we can’t get rid of him. No matter how hard we try. After almost twenty years, two lockouts, too many “failed” teams and moved franchises to count, we can NOT get rid of him. It’s unbelievably frustrating….

So we boo. We boo loudly, we boo often, we boo long. Seriously. Did you watch last night? That went on almost as long as the game itself. It’s become completely Pavlovian, too: See Gary, Boo Gary. And it doesn’t have to be in the big moments, like the Finals. Every time there’s a camera on him, the booing begins. I’ll bet you that he gets booed at the grocery store and the bank. Even his family boos him, I’m sure of it. True story: During the ’94 lockout, I lived in the town next door to Bettman’s. I know several people who, without hockey to occupy their narrow-minded, slightly addled, small-town Jersey minds, spent hours driving past his house, just… booing. I’m not saying I took part it such a silly exercise…but I understand.

We never even listen to what he actually says, not that we could even hear it over the boos and all. Who knows, maybe he’s actually apologizing?

“I’m sorry that I have devoted the last 20 years to destroying this sport.”

“What’s, that Gary? I can’t hear you, I’m too busy booing.”

“No really, you’re the best fans in all of sports.”

“Fi-re Bett-man. Clap clap clapclapclap.”

“And to prove it, I’m going to give each of you season tickets…or a million dollars, whichever costs less.”

“What’s booing in French? Le Boo? Le Boo, Bettman. Le Boo!!”

So, if the season has it to end, as least it ends with the the Booing of the Bettman. It’s the one thing that unites every single hockey fan. Every one of us. Well, that and the endless joy we get when we think about Rick DiPietro’s contract. That one never gets old, either.

Oh, one last thing. Whoever came up with the idea of pouring a water bottle full of melted ice from TD garden onto the Vancouver rink? Bravo. Bravo! That, my friend, was pure brilliance.

T-109 days until the puck drops again!


image courtesy of: http://dreamlandapparel.com

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