The Bruins are on their way back to the Stanley Cup Finals. It hasn't happened since 1990 and they have not won since 1972 (Bobby Orr's iconic leap across the goal mouth), so they remain the gaping hole in my sports fan's scrap book.
I've covered some of this before, but I grew up watching the Bruins and am named after one of the 60s-70s legends, Derek Sanderson, since my Mom apparently found him to be dreamy. When I was a kid and spent tons of time at my grandparents' farm I used to watch Bruins games all the time in their bedroom, where I also watched the killer afternoon lineup of Banana Splits, Caspar, Woody Woodpecker, Tom & Jerry, Flintstones, Brady Bunch. That might give some chronological perspective.
I vividly remember the Petr Klima 3-OT nightmare in 1990 but can only vaguely remember the infamous Too-Many-Men-On-The-Ice call against evil Montreal (which came in the same era as the infamous roughing call against the Pats' Sugar Bear Hamilton. Jesus, the 70s were awful). I saw Ray Bourque have to go elsewhere to win a Cup not long after seeing Cam Neely's thigh calcify much like Bo Jackson's.
When I was just a little guy my aunt Joan, who lived what seemed then to be the good life in Boston (she was what was once called a spinster and I'd bet that her distant view over the Monster at Fenway was something she would have traded for more amorous, lasting happiness) bought me a Bruins jersey that was way too big for me. But that proved to be fortuitous, as I was able to wear it for several years.
The B's are one series away. They will face Vancouver, which will have all of Canada (or as I call it, North-North Dakota) behind it. Tampa was tenacious as hell. But the Canucks won this year's President's Trophy for the most points in the NHL regular season. At this point none of that matters. The Bruins are knocking on the door. Let's see if they can knock it down.