Bruins

Haggerty: Everybody waking up to the real Tim Thomas

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Haggerty: Everybody waking up to the real Tim Thomas

In another example of his inability to leave well enough alone, former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has alienated more of his fan base with another infamous Facebook post.

With four simple words Thomas aligned himself with an embattled Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy after the fast food executive came out with some strong statements against the legality of same-sex marriages.

Everybody thats ever enjoyed a Chick-Fil-A sandwich knows about the companys strong beliefs in religion over commerce. They are the only major fast food chain thats 100-percent closed on Sundays despite prominent placements in mall food courts all across the country.

Thomas Facebook post simply said I stand with Chick-Fil-A.

Of course, it would have been much less controversial if Thomas had posted I stand with Chick-Fil-As waffle fries and then called it a day in the Colorado bunker with a can of Spaghettios.

Never mind the rhetoric-laden argument whether supporting the sanctity of traditional marriage is the same as spouting hate about homosexual couples seeking to enter into same-sex unions. Thats a different argument for a different day, and a much longer column.

But Cathy actually called those that go against the traditional idea of heterosexual marriage as prideful and arrogant to think that we would have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.

Those are strong words and highly critical of those that believe any able-bodied, in-love adults should have the right to a legal marriage.

In the world of Cathy and Thomas and those of the same mindset a gay or lesbian couple shouldnt have the right to enter into a marriage recognized by the government, the church or their friends and families. Thomas remarks, of course, sparked plenty of discussion, rancor and even pushed some Bruins fans off the fence from supporting the Conn Smythe-winning goaltender.

Its taken some time, but as the weeks go by realization seems to be setting in for many things around Thomas.

The 38-year-old made the choice of personal politics over his teammates in the middle of last year during the teams White House visit, he whisked his family out of the Boston right around the same time and then deserted the Bruins at the end of the season to refocus on friends, family and faith.

Part of the reason the Bruins arent able to do anything this summer is because they cant move the 5 million rock that is Tim Thomas cap space.

But through all of these things most still supported Thomas after he was the main driving force that brought the Stanley Cup back to Boston for the first time in 39 years. Some even held to the amazingly misguided belief the Bs goalie would one day return to the team when he was done with his journey of self-discovery in Colorado.

But it appears that the truth is finally sinking in as Thomas continues an unflattering self-illustration on his Facebook account. Some finally dont like what theyre seeing as the goalie pulls back the curtain behind the Wizard of Oz.

We already knew that Thomas is a Tea Party supporter, somebody that thinks the Greenhouse Effect is a conspiracy for companies to make money through the green movement. Now were acutely aware that he doesnt believe in same-sex marriages. Some will say hes merely supporting traditional marriage and upholding the good word of the Bible, but then again some people still dont want to connect all the dots.

Perhaps the best take was that of Patrick Burke from the You Can Play project, who has argued vehemently, passionately and eloquently for the rights of LBGT athletes in sports over the last year. Burke met with Cam Janssen after his controversial, insensitive comments toward the gay community on the radio several weeks ago, and both athlete and activist came to a greater understanding on the issue.

Tolerance, love and understanding won out over hatred and ignorance. Thats the way it should always be in an ideal world where two adults should be allowed to pronounce their love for each other to the world.

Burke wouldnt comment on the Thomas post, but instead pushed media, fans and members of the hockey community to focus on Bruins players Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton. Chara took part in the You Can Play project supporting gay athletes when it first was born during last years All-Star weekend in Ottawa, and Thornton has been outspoken in his theoretical acceptance of any future gay teammates.

What isnt acceptable?

Its hard to understand people that continue to blindly support Thomas because he was a great hockey player or because he brought a Stanley Cup to Boston. Nobody is saying Thomas is an evil person because of his political beliefs, or that he shouldnt have the platform to spout his beliefs-based agenda.

But hes also far from heroic or great.

The once-unanimous support for Thomas is eroding in the Boston area as he alienates one group of people after another, and people are starting to get tired of his act. Just a year ago Thomas was a folk hero that could do nothing wrong in the eyes of just about everyone living in Boston.

But his rigid belief system combined with his unwillingness to ever play for the Bruins again are finally waking people up from their unwavering allegiance to the United States of Tim Thomas.

Better late than never as people continue to understand what he is all about when he starts speaking about the real world rather than stopping pucks.

Bruins Playoff Rewind: One brief moment of sunshine vs. Oilers

Bruins Playoff Rewind: One brief moment of sunshine vs. Oilers

Although it was a competitive series early on with the Bruins playing well in the first few games, this week marks the one and only victory the B’s recorded during the 1990 Stanley Cup Final against the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers.

In fact, it was the only win that the Black and Gold managed in facing the dynastic Oilers in two out of three seasons from 1988-90 when the B’s had Ray Bourque and Cam Neely in the very prime of their respective Hall of Fame careers.

The B's went into that Stanley Cup Final having won nine of their last 10 games while riding a ton of momentum, but they were then going up against a Wayne Gretzky-less Oilers crew that still counted Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Craig Simpson and Esa Tikkanen among their ranks on their roster. The Bruins had infamously lost Game 1 in triple overtime on Petr Klima’s stunning goal in the longest game ever played in Stanley Cup Final history, but they trailed 2-1 in the best-of-seven series after Andy Moog made 28 saves in a 2-1 win in Game 3 in Edmonton at the Northlands Coliseum on May 20, 1990.

The game was notable in that it was role players and goaltending/defense that guided them to victory rather than anything else.

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A 22-year-old John Byce (who scored two goals during that 1990 postseason run and two other goals in his entire 21-game NHL career) scored 10 seconds into the game to give the Bruins an immediate lead after they had dropped each of the first two games on the Boston Garden ice. Then Greg Johnston added to that lead with another first period score to give the B’s a 2-0 road lead over the stunned Oilers group.

The scoreboard remained 2-0 for nearly the entire duration of the contest as Moog stood on his head in Game 3 stopping 28-of-29 shots, but the Oilers did halve the lead in the third period when Tikkanen scored his 12th goal of the playoffs on the power play. That was it for the Oiler crew, however, as the Bruins clawed back into the series and gave B’s fans hope that they might be able to rebound from the early 2-0 deficit.

As it turned out, that was the last, best gasp from the Bruins before they collapsed in the series. They were held to one goal in each of the last two games in the five-game Cup Final and were outscored 9-2 as Simpson, Kurri and Glenn Anderson did most of the offensively heavy lifting while Messier was held without a goal in the series.

On the other side, the Bruins defense was touched up in a big way by the explosive Oilers attack with Greg Hawgood, Don Sweeney and Gary Galley combining for a rough minus-15.

Boston’s best chance to dictate the series would have been to find a way to capture Game 1 at the Garden while riding their momentum from the previous three rounds of the playoffs. But a 21-year-old Glen Wesley famously missed an open net in Game 1 and it came down to the little-used Klima drawing the dagger goal in triple-OT.

Credit where it’s due, the Oilers effectively held everybody down on the B’s offensively aside from captain Ray Bourque, who led the B’s with three goals and five points along with 27 shots on net in the five games. Cam Neely was the only other Bruins player with even more than 12 shots on net (he had 24) in the five-game series as the B’s supporting cast was effectively shut down by the Oilers aside from Game 3.

There were not a lot of good moments for the Boston Bruins during the late May dates in Stanley Cup playoff history, but at least this was one was the fleeting feeling of victory 30 years ago amidst a lot of losing against the Oilers.

When should 2020 NHL Draft happen? Mark Recchi gives honest take

When should 2020 NHL Draft happen? Mark Recchi gives honest take

Just a few weeks ago it seemed that the 2020 NHL Draft was on the fast track to taking place in June as a way to fill the void left by the absence of games with the NHL regular season on pause. The draft was originally supposed to take place during a late June weekend in Montreal, but there was even talk of moving it up to early June after the NFL Draft went off so successfully in April.

It wasn’t going to be without complications, of course, as the NHL was going to need to figure out a draft order without a finalized regular season, and executing trades involving anything but draft picks would have been impossible prior to the league executing the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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An NHL Board of Governors meeting in early May slowed the momentum toward holding the draft ahead of the season resumption, but it remains up in the air as to when exactly the 2020 NHL Draft will take place.

Mark Recchi is a Hall-of-Fame hockey player and three-time Stanley Cup champ, somebody that’s worked in player development for the Pittsburgh Penguins and a current assistant coach with the Pens as well. Needless to say, Recchi has plenty of experience in all areas of NHL operations and thinks that holding the draft would be a difficult proposition given how much trade talk goes on around the time of the actual draft weekend.

Certainly there wouldn’t be anything much more awkward than trade rumors surrounding NHL players just as they’re readying for an unprecedented 24-team playoff format while playing hockey through a global pandemic.

“They’ve got to do what’s best. Personally, I thought it was going to be tough to have the draft in June. You could still make deals. But the unfortunate part would be if a deal was made while we’re still playing and then the deal gets out [into the public]. You can make a deal and say ‘Hey, we can stuff it in a drawer until we’re done here.’ But that always seems to find a way to get out,” said Recchi. “That’s never a good thing to happen. You’re in the middle of a playoff series and then the rumors come up that [a player] has been traded to wherever for a first-rounder coming up.  

“Say with Pittsburgh they wanted to make a trade for a pick with a player that deal could be done, but I think it’s a pretty risky way to go. There is too much there that could happen to hurt players in the long run.”

Perhaps there’s a way to find a middle road, like the NHL prohibiting all trades at the draft aside from anything but draft picks. But the sentiment across the NHL was that there was very little team support for holding the draft in June, and it was instead something being pushed hardest by the league and league rights holders looking for quality content.

The NHL Draft still may happen as the perfect event television that could bridge the hockey content gap until the NHL playoffs presumably re-start during the month of July. But it’s not something that has the unbridled support of a hockey community used to sticking to the routines that have already been set in the NHL world.