Tonight the Boston Bruins could have very likely lost its undefeated at home status. In a shortened season where every point has meaning, we came incredibly close to losing one of those points. This loss would not have been the fault of any of the Bruins lines, their defensemen, or its goaltenders. That point would have been lost by an act of stupidity committed by someone who was at the game tonight.
For those of you who were there or watched it on NESN, the Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils were tied at one at the end of the overtime period. As most of you know, it meant the game would be decided in a shoot out. The first of our players to take the ice was Tyler Seguin. Seguin was our in house wunderkind that showed all of us in the Nation what an amazing hockey player could look like. (That wunderkind status may have to be revoked in the name of the new hockey phenom, Dougie Hamilton.) Seguin has not had much luck on the ice since he came back from dominating in the Swiss league. His only goal of the season came from an empty netter in the game against Carolina.
Seguin lined up made his play, and was able to score on the Devils’ goalie Johan Hedberg. Near the end of his run, an unidentified member of the audience threw a hot dog onto the ice. The hot dog sailed in behind Hedberg, and was almost certainly not in his field of view. However, it gave the New Jersey team an opportunity to get a shoot out goal overturned. (Something I didn’t even know was possible.) The refs saw a replay, and overturned Seguin’s goal. Thankfully Seguin showed a level of professionalism and made a very similar shot on the opposite side of the crease to (re)validate his score.
Bruins Nation, we can agree that Tyler Seguin has not had the breakout year we were hoping for. We can also agree that that young man saved our team and the Nation’s collective bacon last night. Had he not been able to connect on that second pass, then Ilya Kovalchuk would have had the only score in the first three rounds of the shut out and the Bruins would have lost that game. Tyler Seguin, thank you very much for proving some of us wrong, and thank you for winning that game last night for us. (No offense meant to Nathan Horton, or Brad Marchand)
Now, to the fan that committed that act of sports heresy. You are a fool. (In the name of journalistic integrity, fool is the best word to use here.)
In case the offender is a Bruins fan, I seriously hope you take a moment to reflect what that one act could have done. What if that point is what changed the seed in the playoffs, or by some disaster kept them out of the playoffs? You would have been the biggest sports tragedy to affect a Boston sports team since Bill Buckner. (No offense Red Sox Nation.) Your act lowered all of us in the minds of other fans of other teams in the NHL. Yes, some of you ‘Hate the Habs’, and I admit I am no fan of Vancouver and it’s fan base, but there a limits to stupidity. Apparently, not for you.
In case the offender is a Devils fan, I don’t think I can respect you as a human being. Bruins Nation is a loud and boisterous bunch of people, and a lot of us will disagree with other NHL fans. (Lord knows, I know some of you were outraged with the Horton spraying TD Garden ice water on Vancouver’s rink.) There is a level of respect that all fans should pay to a team’s home stadium. Stan Musial’s funeral should be that kind of example for us all to emulate. Commiting an act of sabotage DURING THE GAME is beyond uncalled for. It shows an utter lack of maturity and charachter.
Compared to most major league sports teams, the average NHL player is a decent, hard working person who takes time out of their very insane lives to be part of the fan base. They give up time with their families, and their marriages, and things that are important to them. Adam McQuaid just buried his grandmother. Did he get to grieve and mourn that nice old lady that was in his ‘Day with the Cup’ video? Barely. He had to fly out of Boston, go all the way to Prince Edward Island, work through the grief process, bury his family member, get back on a plane and get back to work in one of the toughest games in sport. All this in less than a week.
To whomever you are I seriously hope you take your action into account. You took it upon yourself to take a (what was likely a Jeremy Jacobs’ apology voucher) hot dog, and came within a single shot of doing an incredible amount of damage to the National Hockey League. The lockout severly damaged the integrity of the institution, the last thing it needs is a bruise caused by a careless act of stupidity.
I really hope you are a Devil’s fan. It’ll be easier not to forgive you.