Congratulations to the Boston Bruins on winning the 2011 Stanley Cup.
Putting aside the usual claptrap about supporting CANADA'S TEAM, where "Canada's Team" equals whoever goes farthest, I can't even pretend to hate on the Boston Bruins -- because they were the second-scummiest team in this series, yes, but more particularly because this Boston group was the hockey incarnation of the Island of Misfit Toys. Tomas Kaberle and Tyler Seguin are the twin daggers in the heart of Maple Leafs fans (which means they're okay in my books), Zdeno Chara was the guy Ottawa threw away because Wade Redden was just such an important player to keep, Claude Julien has been unceremoniously thrown out of several classier joints than this, and 37-year-old Tim Thomas (did you see his victorious CBC interview where he got flustered, had to stop, and then said "I'm sorry -- I've never done this before?" SO ADORABLE) has been at this so long, and underappreciated so long, that he was drafted 217th in 1994 by the Quebec Nordiques. Now he's the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe winning goalie who had the best regular season save percentage and best playoff shot total in hockey history, and multiple camera angles in Game 7 confirmed that his wife is hot and his daughter is just the cutest thing. I don't know how you not like Tim Thomas. Is that possible? Is that a thing people do? I should certainly hope not.
As for the Vancouver Canucks, the fourth Canadian team in seven seasons to reach the Final and the third in seven years to push it to seven games, let me just say this on behalf of Winnipeg sports fans:
You are dead to us. Next year, it is on.
We here in the Manitoba capital were willing to pretend that we were your friends so long as we had that tenuous AHL connection to you, swallowing our pride and serving as your subservient underlings for as long as it took to shake off your reigns and regain our rightful place in the spotlight, but now that we've clawed our way back to equal footing -- having the same number of Stanley Cups as you do, after all -- you know full well that every bit of vitriol we've carefully saved up since 1996 will be fired at you at once, and furthermore that every bit of it will end up in the back of the net because you started Luongo instead of Schneider. Yes, once we and our speculative Photoshop galleries get ahold of you, we fully intend to give your tiny floppy team something to dive about.
This was your one last chance to cash in on all of our accrued Moose goodwill, all the support and love we poured out for locally developed heroes like Schneider and Burrows and Hansen and Oreskovich (yo, can we trade for Oreskovich?), and you blew it like Aaron Rome blows every defensive assignment you give him. So no more! You are the enemy now, our bitterly hated rivals, and next year when we play you once because we're technically in the Southeast Division until 2012 we will beat you and you will deserve it.
Fear and beware the wrath of Unnamed Winnipeg NHL Team 2011!