Tag Archives: Tuukka Rask

Hockey Questions with Michael Hurley

12-27-13The Boston Bruins are on their Olympic break,  And, while our favorite players are in Sochi or the Dominican Republic, I am seizing the opportunity to ask a few of my favorite Bruins writers to answer some questions for me.
My first interview is with Michael Hurley from CBS Boston Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub & WBZ-TV. I first fell for his hilarity last year while reading his “Leftover Bruins Thoughts’ during the playoffs. Something I looked forward to after every game.  Not only is he a huge Anton Khudobin fan, but he is always insightful, always funny. Definitely follow him on twitter: @michaelFhurley. There is a good chance he will make your day. OR, if you leave him a ridiculous comment, there is a good chance we will laugh about you all day long.
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What photo makes you most excited to not be in Sochi?
Oh my God, definitely the double toilet picture. I mean, we are human beings here, and there are lines and boundaries we must respect in order for society to function peacefully. That’s just … nasty.

A close runner-up would be the yellow water from the reporter who said her hotel’s front desk advised her not to put any of the water on her face “because it contains something very dangerous.” That’s slightly concerning.

Of all the recent Boston Championships, during which one did you let GO the most?

I don’t know if it counts as recent anymore, but the only one that would qualify would be the ’04 Red Sox. I was still young, and that was a week-long stretch that was a whole lot of fun.

What is your favorite part of writing about sports?

The part I always appreciate and never take for granted is that I have the unique opportunity to have a platform and a microphone to express any opinion and make any case I want. That doesn’t mean I always think I’m right, but I appreciate that I can say something that can start a discussion or debate. So long as that debate doesn’t involve someone relentlessly hurling curse words at me, it’s usually a solid experience.

Who is the best interview you’ve ever had?

Well, I’m a little biased on this one, just because I liked the guy so much, but I’m going to have to go with Anton Khudobin. The guy was hilarious, and I think he knew it. He was like a less-crazy but just-as-entertaining version of Iilya Bryzgalov, except he could actually stop pucks, too. Every time I got to the Garden and saw Khudobin lead the team out of the tunnel, I got excited, because I knew it meant there would be a chat with Anton on tap for after the game.

I remember talking to him after he made 45 saves in a win against Ottawa on a night when Robin Lehner made 47 saves in a losing effort for the Senators. I informed Khudobin that it was a career high for him, and he wasn’t aware. He said he was just hoping that both goalies could get 50 saves, because that would have been entertaining to him. That’s what he was thinking about during a game in which he was asked to make 45 saves.

I miss Anton.

What is the craziest experience you have had as a sports writer?

I’m not sure “crazy” could ever be the right word to describe anything that takes place during my job, but I have been able to witness more amazing sports moments than I ever could have imagined. I was at Gillette this year when Tom Brady led the Patriots to a last-second win over the Saints, and I listened to the radio on the way home as David Ortiz cranked the game-tying grand slam in Game 2 of the ALCS. The next weekend, I was at Fenway when the Red Sox finished off the Tigers, and a week and a half after that, I was there to see the Red Sox win the World Series.

I have to say, I never really anticipated ever being at Fenway to witness the Sox winning it all, and being there for that postseason run was certainly one of the craziest experiences I’ve had.

What is the piece you’ve written that has meant the most to you?

That’s a good question. I think it might be the recap I wrote after the Bruins’ comeback victory in Game 7 against Toronto last year — http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/05/14/bruins-miraculous-game-7-comeback-will-forever-go-down-in-boston-sports-lore/ . It was just such an incredible moment, and I know that I’ll never witness anything like that again.

I remember that for whatever reason, I started writing that one on my phone. I think I was in the hallway waiting for the locker room to open to the media, and I was trying to figure out a way to put that experience into words, so I just started tapping away.

To be honest, it’s pretty rare for me to write a story and think afterwards, “Hey, I feel good about that one.” So that Game 7 story stands out in my mind as one I feel good about.

Which hockey team do you pick to win the Olympics?

I think the most obvious answer is Canada, but I would have some concerns about goaltending if I were from the Great White North. Carey Price falling on his face wouldn’t totally stun me, and I think the 2010 team won despite Roberto Luongo. So I think that might get in the way of another gold for Canada.

I think Sweden might be the next best team in the tournament, in large part due to Henrik Lundqvist. A handful of the players were on that gold-winning team in ’06, and the Swedes are my pick this time around.

At the same time, I’m not ruling out the Russians getting some favorable calls. I’d never put anything past Putin.

Who is your pick to win the Stanley Cup?

I really feel like Pittsburgh is overdue, but I just can’t pick them to win four playoff series with Marc-Andre Fleury in net. I know it’s happened once before, but I just don’t see it happening again.

The Bruins should be right there again, but based on how difficult it is to go on long playoff runs in consecutive seasons, I’ll go with Anaheim. Not exactly the boldest pick, I know, but they’re just such a solid team.

Is there one NHL player that will benefit the most from an Olympic win?

I think it’s unlikely that Ryan Miller gets the opportunity to play for USA again, but let’s say he does, and let’s say he magically pulls off another run like he had in 2010. If he can put the team on his back and lead them all the way to gold, he’ll make himself the biggest name at the trade deadline and he’ll stand to make a whole lot more money in free agency this summer.

It’s unlikely, but hey, you never know.

One NHL player that will benefit the most from an Olympic loss?

Maybe an early exit for Slovakia wouldn’t be the worst thing for Zdeno Chara. The man needs rest.

Which Boston team will be the next to give us a reason to get drunk?

If you drink enough at a Celtics game, it might actually start to look like a good game.

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Break Up Day

Bruins Line 2

If there were a better term for today, or for this entire week, I am 100% unable to come up with it. Two days after losing our chance at a game 7 and ultimately, the Stanley Cup, the Boston Bruins made themselves available to the media for one last time before they all parted ways for the off season.

Monday’s heart breaking loss feels exactly like the worst break up I’ve ever had. And considering that I’ve been with my husband for almost 10 years, it has been a while since I’ve had a feeling quite like this. As a Broncos fan, the playoff losses the last two years in a row have been hard. But not this hard. Not even close.

I keep trying to figure out why that is the case. I have definitely been a fan of the Denver Broncos for a hell of a lot longer than I have of the Boston Bruins. I was born in Colorado, born bleeding Orange & Blue. The longer I think about it, the more reasons I come up with. Football is different. Fewer games. A lot of times more fluctuating.

Also, I know what it’s like to win a cup with this Boston Bruins team. It’s the kind of high that you couldn’t pay for, even if you tried.

Bruins SaluteHere’s the other thing, though, the thing that a lot of people don’t understand: this team was 100% instrumental in healing an absolutely broken city. For me, that first Bruins game after the Marathon Bombings was the first time in DAYS that I had been able to almost forget for even 3 hours, what had happened on my favorite street in my favorite city. We lost that game against Buffalo. But that isn’t what I will remember about it. I will remember the Bruins fans singing the anthem for Renee. I will remember the teams saluting the fans. I will remember the Bruins, every one of them, wanting to win for “their city” for “their fans.” And they took that feeling all the way through the playoffs.

In a way, this shortened season has felt every bit like a very long playoff run. There were so many games crammed into such a short time period and every one of them counted for twice as much. It’s hard to see and follow every single game during a regular season of hockey. It’s a lot! And it often conflicts with other TV and other life. The day after my football season ended is when I found out about the end of the hockey lockout. It felt like divine intervention. Erin’s sports life was saved. And because I was still pretty hurt about the Broncos, I poured myself into the Bruins’ shortened season like I never had before. I barely missed a period, let alone an entire game. Of all the drama unfolding on my TV screen, the Bruins were the most entertaining. Their team chemistry and ability was undeniable. And oh, good lord, so much fun to watch.

There is something to be said, about not getting too overly invested in any one thing. Everyone is always talking about moderation. I blame the short, fast season. The fact that I never missed all of any one game. It has all been so very intense. I love my television shows and I absolutely take the love of my favorite shows to the next level. Though, if you were to compare hockey time to TV time, one entire 23 episode season would be about the same as one 7 game series (Toronto vs. the Bruins). And if you want to compare drama vs. time invested: I have never seen any TV show more compelling than that. As much TV as I watch and love, nothing has ever come close to equaling the dramatic finale of that series. It will go down in hockey history.

Win Bergy Marshy SegsBeating the Rangers (who were an incredible opponent, fans included) and then taking down the unstoppable Pens (which was most fun knowing what they’re really like) = the kind of rush that can’t ever be bought. The Bruins absolutely earned their place in the Finals and I dare anyone to say otherwise. WE WERE ON FIRE!

The Bruins were able to bring us together, just when we all needed a cause and a way to unite. They gave us a reason to cheer for Boston when so many of us wanted only to mourn. They gave us Soupy, skating on a broken leg, willing to acrifice himself for our unbeatable PK. At that time, we all wanted to win for Soupy. And Soupy just wanted to fight, to win for Boston.

I will be forever grateful for the memories. So many great games with so many great friends. Amazing times shared with incredible people. I will never be sorry that I cared as much as I did.

Losing this way, in the last 90 seconds of a game that was almost won, it stings. Not like a sunburn after a great day at the beach. More like getting tasered when you were just trying to escape.

To say that it hurts like nothing else, is an incredible understatement. All of the players feel the same way. It’s hard to find videos of them talking about the end without tears in their eyes.

All hockey players play though injuries during the playoffs. Bad hips, broken bones. It’s nothing new. Our Prince, Bergy, played with a busted rib, torn tissue, a separated shoulder AND a hole in his lung. The guy was on the ice for over 17 minutes and absolutely made a difference to his team. You really don’t get more Boston Strong than that.

SoupySegsI think about how much the loss hurts me and then I try to imagine how these players must feel. They tried so hard. And so many of them have said that they felt that they owed the city of Boston, that they just wanted to win for us and make their fans proud.

Congratulations, Bruins. You have done that and more. Speaking for all of the fans that matter, we are so proud and we could not love you any more than we do now. You are ALL Champions to us. If it were up to me, you would be getting a parade tomorrow.

Tuukka Rask is a God among goalies. Cannot wait to make him a Bruin for life. That guy has earned that AND THEN SOME.

To add insult to injury, we will be losing Andrew Ference during the off season. When I say that I am devastated by this loss, I am toning my feelings down just a tad. Ference is not only an incredible player, but an exceptional man and leader. Our team will be less after losing a player like him. Our city will be less, when he is gone. He will be missed. Deeply.

Jaromir Jagr will not be wearing the Bruins jersey again, either. This is a week of mourning. He once told the media that the Bruins locker room was the first place in his entire career where he felt at home. I just could not be more sad.

As we dry our tears, we must also prepare for next season. I am a Boston Bruin fan for life. I could not be more proud of this team. I know that they did their best. I will NEVER be sorry.

More hockey is only 13 weeks away!

It’s gonna be a long damn summer.

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