On May 10th, 2010, the Boston Bruins organization (one of the classiest in all of professional sports) honored their greatest player ever (sorry, Eddie Shore fans - or Cam Neely fans!) when they unveiled a magnificent statue depicting him in his famous "Orr Soars" pose of May 1970, when he clinched the Stanley Cup for Boston after a 29-year drought. Yes, the player is Bobby Orr - of course. And yes - the piece of art depicting him is a tremendous tour de force of craftsmanship, succeeding in rendering the dynamics of a superb athlete as he is in fact celebrating his accomplishment in mid-air. In comparison, all the pieces of art depicting Montreal Canadiens are boring, run-of-the-mill humdrum pieces of granite merely delineating a humanoid in apair of skates - nothing dynamic about it, nothing kinetic, nothing extraordinary. The Hub of Hockey's legendary number 4, Bobby Orr, in that defining moment of his career is, also, the single most defining moment in all of hockey's history - and it isn't just me saying it either! "Hockey's most famous image," stated Wayne Scanlan of Canwest News service renown. Harry Weber's bronze art is a masterpiece defying the laws of gravity themselves - and that nobody can deny! Bobby Orr is also a jolly good fellow too - but that is another story... (Only a jolly good-natured fellow would brush off the seeming annoyance of goaltender Glenn Hall at being always associated to "The Goal" as, evidently, the guy who let it into his net! But let us not digress at this time, here...!)
Aye - number 4's moment of glory is THE defining moment in all of hockey's fabled imagery - and no amounts of titles, records or other achievements by various "great ones" could ever match it, in this or any other era!
All the more cruel, indeed, that on the very same day that they honored their number 4, the Boston Bruins did not win by four but instead lost by four in a game that could have seen them clinch their berth in the Eastern Conference Finals - and possibly be on their way to another drought-snapping Stanley Cup Championship!
Alas, that is exactly what happened: the Boston Bruins reverted back to a punchless formation for that one game which could have honored Orr like not even Harry Weber's bronzed moment in time does; alas, they could not score a single goal that night. They were met by a desperate opponent that did not want to be eliminated - that is why...
Fact is, throughout the 2009-2010 season, the Boston Bruins had somewhat been labeled as a team that lacked offensive power. They had scored less goals than many of the top contenders - and even less than some pretenders too! This was attributed to the loss of offensive star Phil Kessel in the off-season; that and many injuries had turned the offensive juggernaut Bruins into a more defensive-minded team, perhaps... But then the playoffs started and the Bruins started scoring like the previous season, when they were indeed the best team in the East - and likely in the league (sorry Sharks!)
This continued in the series versus Philadelphia - with the return of Marc Savard and resurgence of David Krejci and Michael Ryder, to name but two. But then Krejci got injured, Marco Sturm as well, Ryder got into another cold streak... just as Philadelphia got two offensive stars back. All was set for that debacle on May 10th - what terrible timing, for Orr's sake!
Still - defense is what wins games and series; and Tuukka Rask is the one who can make the difference in a deciding game six!
Plus: let's not forget that, in this year of being deemed to have a lacklustre offense, again, the Boston Bruins actually accomplished what no offensive-minded club could EVER do: not the mighty Oilers of the 80's, not the Penguins of the 90's, not the league-leading Washington Capitals of this year (that went nowhere fast - but that is another story also) not the Bruins of the glory years either and not even the Canadiens of serial cups ever did THIS:
And to think that the Boston Bruins who scored three shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill were Daniel Paillé... Blake Wheeler... and Steve Bégin! (In a "redemption game" if you will - for it was a postseason berth clinching victory against the team that ruined their high aspirations of last year's playoff run - only to go absolutely nowhere after that and miss the playoffs entirely this year! Now why didn't the pathetic Hurricanes give up three goals in the span of two minutes in game seven of their series against Boston last year, instead - huh?!? Another digression - mea culpa!)
The Boston Bruins have plenty of secret weapons that can strike at any given time and that is what has to be retained here and now - they just didn't do it for Bobby Orr and Harry Weber, that's all!