A Letter To Boston For Liking A Hockey Team More Than the Bruins

A Letter To Boston For Liking A Hockey Team More Than the Bruins

Sorry Boston, but the Bruins are NOT my favorite hockey team.

Dear Boston,

I am 100% not sorry for liking a hockey team more than the Bruins. I do NOT dislike the Bruins, they just so happen to take a backseat to my favorite hockey team, the St. Louis Blues. Also, I am not from St. Louis, Missouri, or anywhere in the midwest; I have lived in Massachusetts all of my life. Living near Boston, like many other sports cities, comes with an expectation that your favorite team in each sport would be one from your home state, which is a rule that I may have broken (whoops).My personal hierarchy of hockey teams does not sit well with people from around here, as they reject the simple thought of liking another team more than their beloved Bruins. I understand completely where they are coming from, because I am a huge fan of the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics; it just so happens that the Bruins fall in the #2 slot in terms of hockey teams for me.

The first hockey game I had ever watched was in 2005 at a friend's house. The game was between the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks, who were one of the best teams of the whole decade and would go on to win the Stanley Cup the following year. The one important thing I took away from this game is that the Blues absolutely sucked. They ended with one of the worst records that year (21-46) and, truthfully, I saw their team as the laughing stocks of the league, which they were that year. I started rooting for them not just because they were the first team I had ever watched, but also kind of as a joke because they were the worst team. It was funny for me to root for them because I expected a loss a majority of the time.

Eventually, I would come to find that I would begin to get genuinely excited whenever they won and very angry whenever they lost, even more so than the Bruins, who I was rooting for solely due to the fact that I am from Massachusetts. This is when they started to take over the role as my favorite team, and I started to pay very close attention to their team. In 2011, their franchise improved drastically from the year preceding it. They finished at the top of their division for the first time in a while, and I got very excited. Sure, they ended up losing in the 2nd round of the playoffs, but to me, that season was a success. Ever since then, it has been much of the same. The Blues have finished in the top 3 in their division and have qualified for the playoffs in each of the past 5 seasons. In each of those seasons, though, they have had a very early exit in the playoffs. 2015 was the closest they have come to making the finals in a very long time after they lost to the San Jose Sharks in 6 games, 4-2. The Blues have been juggernauts in the regular season, but have always found ways to lose in the playoffs. Understandably, the playoffs can be hard when you have had to go up against dynasties such as the Chicago Blackhawks every year. In fact, this has been the trend all throughout the history of the St. Louis Blues franchise. They have made the finals only 3 times and have lost all three of those. I am hoping that, especially with the talent they have on the team now and the trajectory their franchise is going, I will see a Stanley Cup go home to St. Louis in the next few years.

So, Bruins fans, I do not apologize for loving the Blues as much as you all love the Bruins. I also do not apologize for going to a Bruins vs. Blues game in my Vladamir Taresenko jersey and cheering after every St. Louis goal. I like the Blues because they are really the first team I have cared to pay much attention to in hockey, and they are the team that got me interested in the sport as a whole. And let's be honest, nobody here hates the blues; you hate me for liking a team that isn't the hometown favorite. What I can say to get you all on my side though, is that at least I don't like the Canadiens, because then we would have a real problem on our hands.

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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Trade Deadline Notes: Cavaliers

Post-Trade Dealine the Cleveland Cavaliers lost a host of faces while bringing in a handful of new ones.

Not to be confused with the "New Look Cavs" v1.0 from the beginning of the season, The NEW New Cavs, post-Trade Deadline, dropped off some of the non-essential members of the team in favor of mostly younger and more "twitchy" players. Immediate reactions to the trades were mixed, to say the least. Plenty of fans were excited that something was changed in order to stop the "slow death march" the Koby Altman saw in old Cavs future. With Kevin Love out, we won't know just how good these Cavs can be until he returns. For now, we can evaluate what changes we should expect, good and bad, for our new Cavaliers team.

The first major trade that took place was CLE-LAL in which IT, Channing Frye, and the Cavs 2018-first rounder were sent to LA in favor of Jordan Clarkson (PG, SG), and Larry Nance Jr. (PF). With that goes Cleveland's chance of being called a "super team" given that IT was meant to be the third piece to the Cavs Big Three v2.0. Gone is Channing Frye, a well-known and well-loved member of the 2016 championship team and an avid social media personality. Out goes a 29 and 34-year old and in comes two spry 25-year olds. Clarkson, a 6-foot 5-inch guard, has a career ppg of 14.3. Not bad for a young guy who mostly came off the bench on a bad team.

Larry Nance Jr. is not a player whose impact shows up on a stat line apparently but at 6 foot 8 inches, a future dunk contest participant, and a second generation Cavalier, Larry will likely fit in fine in Cleveland as some spark off the bench. Overall, I was surprised that a first round pick was necessary to make this deal go through, but I think the IT experiment wasn't heading anywhere good. The offense was never a problem in Cleveland, and having IT on the floor is essentially the worst defensive liability in the NBA. Best of luck to IT and Channing in LA.

Next up came Rodney Hood (SG). In a three-team deal with the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento Kings, the Cavaliers agreed to send Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose in exchange for Hood. Crowder, while having some high points during the Cavs winning streak prior to Christmas, ultimately lost his starting role to Tristan Thompson, showing his value was on the decline. Rose was certainly an interesting talking point for the Cleveland media during his time here despite not showing much on the floor.

After taking time away from basketball for nearly a month, Rose never caught much of a stride in Cleveland. By the time of his trade, Rose was third-string PG behind IT and Jose Calderon. Hood has shown some legitimate ability while also having some injury struggles to fight through. Despite that, Hood was an important piece for the Jazz team that made the playoffs with Gordon Hayward and new-Cavalier George Hill.

To Sacramento goes Iman Shumpert and a second-round pick in 2020. In return, the Cavaliers receive George Hill (PG), a 31-year old veteran. Although some may be saddened by the loss of Iman and his glorious hair, his production for the Cavaliers was insignificant at best. When healthy, his only role seemed to be to get on the court to show interested teams that he is in fact, healthy.

Draft picks are historically meaningless for the Cavs, especially late ones. The return on investment is arguably the best overall. Hill is seen as having a playstyle better suited to complement the strengths of the Cavs while simultaneously improving their weak points, namely defense. What more can be asked for in a trade? Hill seems like the prototypical player to play their best ball when paired with LeBron, and I'm excited to see what he looks like in our starting lineup.

Last but not least comes Cavaliers legend, Dwayne Wade. Obviously, he's truly a legend in Miami, which makes it fitting for that to be his landing spot. Not much to be said about this one. The Cavaliers decided Wade wasn't necessary to keep on and sought to find the perfect spot for him as a show of respect. Miami is that ideal location. Wade gets to go home, Miami gets their best player ever back, and Cleveland gets a second-round draft pick six years from now. Everyone is happy.

All in all, the Cavs did what I had hoped they would do a few weeks back, all while retaining JR Smith (GOAT) and Brooklyn's first-round pick this season. With JR contributing at a higher capacity as of late, he earned the right to stay here in my opinion. Clearly, there is some bias in that statement, but I digress.

The Cleveland Cavaliers got younger, taller, and more fun (at the low-low cost of 28 million). So far, the trades are paying off. The New New Look Cavaliers dismantled the East-leading Celtics by 22 points. Once Love returns from injury and these new guys get a few more practices under their belts, it truly seems as though the sky is the limit.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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The Rising Stars Challenge: A Showcase To Why The Celtics Future Looks Bright

If you did not get to watch the Rising Stars Challenge, it was a great night to be a Celtics fan watching this game

With the NBA All-Star break finally here, the Celtics get a much-needed rest and hopefully get back on track because they have just looked winded and lost at times lately. However, this weekend won't have all the Celtics resting, Friday night was the Rising Stars Challenge and the Celtics had two representatives, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. If you didn't get a chance to watch, allow me to recap this for you and just say, our future looks really bright after watching these two play.Representing just the third team in history to have two all-stars (Kyrie and Horford) and two rising stars, safe to say this was just the beginning of what looks like it could be a fun Celtics filled weekend. These two are the very definition of Rising Stars, and last night was a great example of why.

First, we had Jaylen Brown, known as an incredible athlete and big-time dunker, he led all scorers with a nice little 35/10 performance on 14-21 shooting and had his own dunk contest showing that just maybe he got snubbed from the dunk contest Saturday night. Jaylen lives for these moments, plain and simple. Even though this is a game that doesn’t count and people weren’t really trying, just watching him dominate like he was, is all I needed to see as a reminder that the Celtics should not consider trading this guy. He is going to be a full-on monster and is going to get better every year.

Next, was Jayson Tatum, our favorite 19-year-old. As we know, Tatum has been slumping as of late and hopefully, this was just the kind of thing he needed to get his groove back. He finished with 15 points (3rd highest on the team) on 7-13 shooting and he looked like he was having a good time out there doing it too. Most importantly also, no one got hurt! You're always worried in these kinds of games that if someone tries to pull off a crazy looking play, they may pull something but no injuries and the young guys look like they got some kind of confidence back in them. Hopefully, this leads to the team coming out on all cylinders right out the gate too.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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