As the Bruins and Habs head into game 7 OT in the 2011 playoffs, I thought I’d recall some of my Bruins/Habs Playoff memories…
Lucky, I was too young to remember 1979. I did hear about it quite a bit from my parents, and I’m glad I didn’t watch it. As I became a Bruins fan in the early 80s, I got to expect to see the B’s lose to the Habs in the playoffs.
In 1987, my friend Adam’s Bar Mitvah happened on the same night as game 4 between the Bruins and Canadiens. The B’s were already down zero games to three, so a loss wasn’t that unexpected. My friend Billy used a pay phone to call his parents and see what happened in the game. Our expectations were correct, and Billy relayed the bad news. Something that happened that surprised me that night was my “7th grade sweetheart” telling me she didn’t “like” me anymore. Not a good night for the Davester.
In 1988, my family took a vacation to Disney World. The park was amazing, and the trip had a few usual “McGrath Moments” involving puke, farts, and watching the B’s. For the first time in my life, I watched the Bruins beat the Canadiens. I remember Terry O’Reilly hugging all the players after they won. All 7 McGraths were excited, but my parents seemed to appreciate it a bit more than the 5 kids.
In 1989, the B’s lost to the Habs but I went to the first round game 7 against Buffalo with my Dad and it was awesome. Words don’t really do justice to being at a game 7 when your teams wins, but if you’ve been to one, you know.
In 1990, I went to Bruins/Habs game 2 with my Dad, a Bruins OT win. Even though I went to a game 7 the year before, this game was more exciting. To date (this is sad), it’s been what I think is the best Bruins playoff game I’ve ever attended.
In 1991, The B’s beat the Habs and made it to Conference Finals – I brought a walkman to my Jr. year prom for game 6 against the Penguins. The B’s lost the game, and the series (I’ll have to dig up the picture at some point).
In 1992, the Bruins swept the Habs as I began my battle with brain cancer. Without knowing it, the B’s helped me and my family keep a sense of normalcy as we rooted together for them and temporarily forgot about my life threatening disease.
In 1994, I was in the middle of a two-year struggle with drinking. Again, the B’s lifted my spirits by beating the Habs in 7 games (no doubt they would win game 7 at home) – I watched game while working at The Club snack bar on BC’s Upper Campus.
In 2002, the Bruins were the #1 seed but were first round casualties to the Hated Habs.
I went to games 1 and 5 of the B’s/Habs series in 2004, but the Bruins blew a 3 games to 1 lead and were shutout in game 7 in Boston.
In the early hours of April 19, 2008, I was having a major Crohn’s attack (puking without stopping, huge cramping) and had my father take me to the ER. After a lot of waiting, some IV fluids, and a CT Scan a doctor came to tell me what the situation was. He said there was a “backup” in my intestines most likely where my surgery had been (when I was 14), but wanted to do more tests and I he was definitely admitting me to the hospital. He went on to describe all the scenarios, one of which was the possibility of more surgery. When he asked me if I had any questions, there was only one thing on my mind… “Will I be able to watch the Bruins game tonight?”. He laughed, and told me he was pretty sure UMass had NESN. My older sister came to watch game 6 with me – a classic, close, intense B’s /Habs game that the Bruins pulled out. My sister also came for game 7, and even though the B’s lost, it meant a lot to me that I wasn’t watching alone.
Two years ago, I wasn’t surprised when the Bruins swept the Habs. I was convinced even before the season started that the B’s were going to be strong. They had an amazing season, swept the Habs, but lost in game 7 OT to Carolina. Ouch.
I just watched the Bruins beat the Canadiens in game 7 OT. It was the first time since 1994 (When I was working at BC) that the Bruins won a game 7. I was also working while this game was on. Tonight, at Hope Lodge, we had a group of Relay for Lifers from Hopkinton come and make us a spaghetti dinner. One of them was a high school senior (going to BC next year) told me he was very happy when he saw me wearing my B’s jersey, knowing it meant we would be watching the game during dinner. We had a great dinner with the group and the guests, and I’m sure the leftovers and desserts will not last long. I got to do that, then watch the B’s win. Pretty great night! Now, time to beat Philly, B’s!