Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Worst Thing About a Playoff Round Against the Bruins

I couldn't be happier that the Habs beat the Bruins and are on their way to the conference final. (Okay, I could be, because I'm still in disbelief. When it sinks in, I'll be even happier.) There was so much in this series that I loved.

And lots of stuff that I didn't.

Some of it was the standard stuff you see every time the playoffs heat up, or anytime the Habs face the Bruins: players getting a little too angry at each other, fans engaging in inappopriate/racist/sexist/homophobic language, and hockey sticks hitting delicate areas. But the worst thing, by far, was having to face this reality:

I've been in denial about Jarome Iginla ever since he signed with the Bruins. You know how people say they remember where they were when they found out Kennedy was shot, stuff like that? I remember exactly where I was on July 5th, 2013, when I found out Jarome Iginla signed with the Bruins. I was at the Bell Centre, which is supposed to be my happy place. And I've been trying to forget that moment ever since. Okay, actually, I've been denial about all this ever since he left Calgary:

I made it through the entire regular season just by exercising the kind of denial that is probably rarely seen among healthy adults. I would pretend I didn't see him in that black-and-yellow jersey, that it was another #12. I couldn't get away with those denial tactics through seven playoff games. And that is how I found out that Jarome Iginla isn't the same player I used to love with all my heart.

The Jarome Iginla I saw during the playoffs wasn't just an amped-up version of the strong, all-around player that everyone knows he is. He was a Bruin, through and through. He put that jersey on, played with that team, and he turned, like a gremlin someone fed after midnight. He was aggressive, and not in a good way. He was angry. I no longer had any interest in seeing him make a run for a much-deserved Stanley Cup. I just wanted to see him go back to his old self. He wasn't the same guy whose T-shirt I wore, whose hockey card I bought. And it sucked to have to face that.

There are lots of reasons why I don't like the Bruins, but right now, ruining Jarome Iginla is the only one that matters.

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