The moment the owners voted 30-0 in favor of the new CBA we knew that we had hockey. This just makes it official. Eighty nine percent of all the members of the NHLPA chose to vote. (On a side note, wouldn’t it be great if we got HALF those numbers in political campaigns?) Of the six hundred and seventy nine players that did cast ballots for the new CBA, all but twelve voted to ratify. Over ninety eight percent of the votes were in favor. The players integrity is intact folks, they said they really wanted hockey, and by this vote, they mean it.
The ratification process did tie up a thing or two for the Bruins though. Since the memorandum of understanding regarding the new collective bargaining agreement had yet to be signed, the Bruins were forced to postpone and eventually cancel Saturday’s press conference with president Cam Neely and general manager Peter Chiarelli. Best guess is that the press conference will happen sometime today. I’m sure Neely and Chiarelli will discuss their plans outlining the Bruins strategy to take back the Stanley Cup, and perhaps shed some insight on how the Bruins organization will apologies to the fan base.(Some of the other clubs, like the Pittsburg Penguins are offering up some incredible deals to their fans.*HINT!*)
The schedules were posted practically immediately after the resolution passed. The schedule wasn’t exactly what we were expecting though. The Boston Bruins will have an awful lot of Northeast Division action coming their way. They will play five games each against the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres, and and four games each against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. Eighteen games to establish and determine who will be the Division champion. (Personally, I think the Division championship can remain where it has the last few years, right here in Boston.)
My official opinion and prediction is that the Bruins will still win the Division. My best guess is that they will got 4-1 against the Sens, 3-1-1 against the Sabres, 2-2 against the Habs, and they will sweep the Leafs. Granted, this could be nothing more than the portents of a very tired chef that has an awful lot of hours dumped on him since Christmas. Those stats also reflect a healthy and even keeled Tuukka Rask. Best guess is that the Bruins will end up the second or third seed going into the playoffs.
Six days people! In six days the opening game of the season will happen! AT HOME! History has shown us that the Bruins always like to take a year off in between Cup wins. This would be a great time for history to repeat itself. I’m excited. I’m thrilled. I may only get to see one game at the Garden this year, and it probably wont even be until March. But I’m so excited. I can not wait. This is where our Bruins make good on their commitment to play their hearts out for us, and the bring back the Stanley Cup to Boston.
LET’S GO BRUINS!