Here we go again. Round 2. Well, almost. It’s not quite the Stanley Cup Final yet, even though Monday night’s Bruins-Canadiens game felt like it. The Blackhawks return to TD Garden on Thursday night, 275 days after winning the Cup in Boston last season. I’m hoping this game will be a prelude to a rematch this June. I’m thinking you guys might feel the same way, too. Last year’s series may go down as one of the best of all time. With all of the overtimes and one-goal games, who wouldn’t want to relive the drama? An average of 5.7 million people tuned in each night. Both fan bases were loud, including the Blackhawks fans that live here in Boston (see the video clip below if you don’t believe me). But before the puck drops and Blackhawks fans flood the Garden again, I’d like to pen a sequel to the first open letter I wrote last June .
Thanks Bruins for beating the Avs!
Seriously! It was helpful the Bruins beat the Sharks and Ducks too. But of the three, the Avalanche tend to be the hardest for the Blackhawks to beat. In five meetings this season, the Blackhawks have only beaten the Avs once, and that was way back on December 27th. Since then, it’s been three consecutive losses, and I can’t understand why. Both Patrick Sharp (30 goals) and Patrick Kane (29 goals) have more goals than Avs leading scorer Ryan O’Reilly (26 goals), and Duncan Keith has more assists (51) than Matt Duchene’s team-leading (46). I believe in Jay Z’s adage “Numbers don’t lie, check the score board” but these numbers are straight deceitful. So, the Bruins beating the Avs bolstered the Hawks place in the Western Conference standings.
Nothing’s changed, we’re still cousins
As a resident of this great hockey town and native of Chicago, I can’t emphasize enough how much like family we are. In addition to our shared love for St. Patrick’s Day and high level of sports fanaticism, both of our teams continue to dominate in hockey. They ruled the conference standings — well, the B’s still reign — and each team has achieved stellar feats. The Bruins recently won 12 straight games, their longest streak since the golden era of Bobby Orr, and the Blackhawks are one of two teams in the league to have five players with 50 points or more. The pesky Pittsburgh Penguins are the other (whom the Hawks beat for Bruins benefit).
And if this doesn’t convince you that we’re family, just think of the newspaper page the Blackhawks took out in the Boston Globe last June. How sincere! Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz and president John McDonough aptly expressed the heart of every Chicagoan. The sportsmanship on and off the ice was unparalleled. We tipped our hats then and we tip our hats now — until the puck drops again. Then we battle it out like brothers until the last goal is scored.
Lauren Edwards is a special contributor to NESN.com.