I am only doing this as a last-ditch effort to generate further closure (the Blues Cup victory was most welcome) from the otherwise traumatic experience of the Bruins toppling my beloved Vancouver Canucks in 7 games to claim the 2011 Stanley Cup.
I am also doing this because any opportunity to make fun of Brad Marchand and some commercial plonk wine in the same breath simply must not be passed upon.
So, without further ado, here it is: The 2011 Boston Bruins as wines.
5.) Zdeno Chara
You'll notice that in previous Sporting Editions, I've often saved the best players (see: Michael Jordan & Pavel Bure) for last, comparing them generously to such fine wines as First-Growth Bordeaux and prestige cuvée vintage Champagne. Well, I respect Zdeno Chara. OK, I also respect Patrice Bergeron. But that's where it ends. Chara is a progressive: a vegan with Czech roots. Did I hear that correctly? He's a true leader, and has publicly eschewed the proliferation of the word "rookie", saying that if you're a new member of his team, you're inherently equal to any veteran in pursuit of the same goal. I certainly cannot fault his leadership and the culture he created, which is seriously ironic considering how much I can't stand the rest of his team. He plays so hard, and he's so hard to play against. He's also still playing and an effective leader, if a little slow, at age 43. This guy is practically bionic. Due to his progressive nature, undeniable force, and longevity, Zdeno Chara can only be an iconic Super Tuscan. He also plays a little dirty. More than a little dirty sometimes. Due to the inside-baseball nature of the backdoor-lobbying that made Super Tuscans possible, this is a match made in heaven. That said, we'll give him the good side of this arguement and call him Sassicaia.
4.) Patrice Bergeron
If it seems like this post is starting out a little more like a friendly game of tummy sticks, just bear with me for a hot minute. Patrice Bergeron. Soft-spoken. Old-school. He could easily be wearing the "C" for the B's and I feel like very little would change. One of the great centers of his generation, all with a elegant, understated quality. Bergeron might not be Crosby, therefore, I am reluctant to award Grand Cru status, but I'll give him the recognition of classifying him as a fine Pommard. Few in their right mind would say no to one. And few wouldn't take Bergeron on their dream team.
3.) Gregory Campbell
Everyone who has ever rooted for the Vancouver Canucks has a death-grip on the idea that the Bruins' victory was a conspiracy at the hands of lil' Greg's daddy, Colin Campbell, aka the current Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations for the National Hockey League. Suspensions for nasty behaviours going uncalled. Campbell the Elder infamously had some emails leaked that made it appear (as the league's chief disciplinarian at the time) that he was asking for preferential treatment for the Bruins due to his son's position as a member of the squad. Without going much further, this incestuous behaviour can only make Gregory Campbell comparable to the "wines" of Sofia Coppola. Specifically, the "blanc de blancs" she offers. In a tiny can.
2. Milan Lucic
One thing I miss about Don Cherry, despite trangressions, was his satisfying and relentless pronunciation of this paltry character's last name: "LOO-SICK". I know how it should be pronounced, as I applaud most fans and commentators for also respecting its proper pronunciation, but he's kind of a dick, so I don't get too upset about a little jabbing here and there. It goes further to say that, amazingly, I'm glad the 'Nucks couldn't get a deal done to trade LOUI ERIKSSON for Loo-sick in a potential problem-for-problem deal this past off-season. Lucic certainly may have been effective, dangerous, and ruthless on the journey to the apex of achievement in the NHL. But he's aged poorly. And every time I meet someone around Vancouver who proudly proclaims that they know him or that they're friendly with him, I feel like I'm back on the Granville Strip watching a live performance of Jersey Shore. And I get the distinct feeling that I wouldn't want to be friendly with him. But I can only speak for myself. Short-lived, over-cooked, and made in poor taste to begin with. His expensive and wishingly ditchable contract is also proving that he was overvalued, at least on term. Lucic is The Prisoner. And as ol' Don might have said in his signature rasp, The Prisoner is, indeed, NOT "one of my favourites...!"
....and then there's Brad Marchand.
I refuse to put the number 1 next to his name. Out of pure principal. I don't need to preface this one. Brad Marchand is Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. Why is that? He's only loved by the organization that makes money off of him and by people with highly questionable taste.
And with that, I bid you adieu!