BOSTON, MA – This past Wednesday the NHL saw its defending Stanley Cup champion ousted in the opening round of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year when the Washington Capitals bested Grote2DMax’s and my Boston Bruins 2-1 in overtime of Game 7. The best part of getting together to watch the game was the pizza Grote2DMax ordered from Bash; a thin pie with crushed tomatoes, fresh “muts-ah-rel,” and meatballs. But back to the hockey…. Boston’s winning hockey’s Holy Grail last year bandaged the opening of an old wound caused by one of hockey’s all-time S.O.B.’s, Dale Hunter, now the Capitals head coach. As a player, this guy made Claude Lemieux and Esa Tikkanen look like altar boys.
Coincidentally, Wednesday also marked thirty years to the day when a young Dale Hunter was on the ice in Boston, getting under the Bruins’ skin, in the waning moments of another 2-1 Game 7 score. That time it was another Bruins playoff failure versus the Quebec Nordiques. That 1982 series between those Adams Division rivals has a lot in common with the recent Bruins-Caps series, which has been dubbed the most evenly-played series in NHL history. Five one-goal games, two OT’s with each team winning once, a one-goal Game 7 margin and some serious controversy when Terry O’Reilly took a swipe at referee Andy Van Hellemond. Again, Dale Hunter was right in the middle of it. The incident got one of my favorite Bruins suspended for a chunk of games the following season.
In my opinion Dale Hunter only grew to be a larger scumbag. The countless penalty minutes this bastard accrued on his way to becoming the league’s career leader in that category prove it. In the 1992-93 playoffs, as a member of these same Washington Capitals facing a spirited and heavy underdog New York Islanders squad, Hunter got Gary Bettman’s heaviest suspension to date -21 games – as a result of his cowardly hit on Pierre Turgeon – after Turgeon scored the nail-in-the-Caps’-coffin goal. Draw your own conclusions on Hunter as you watch this:
One might say let bygones be bygones, given the time frame involved with this hockey history. Bullsh!t, I say. Former Bruins defensemen and current NESN studio analyst, Gord Kluzak, said he needed to add to his one hockey mandate of “Never question what Ray Bourque says.” The addition: “Never have a nice word about Dale Hunter.”
With that, I say Bruins fans, Islanders fans and hockey fans should unite in crying, “Let’s Go Rangers!”
Rangers in 5, Flyers in 5, Predators in 6, and Blues in 6.
Please comment below and come back tomorrow for MTM’s Lady Bing winner, West Coast Craig.