Kukla's Korner

This & That: Some Last Minute Pregame Thought on Sign Sensitivity, Bergeron Back, Cheap Trick & More

How’s some scattered thought from the periphery of the Eastern Conference Final sound to take up some of your time before tonight’s opening faceoff?

Good? Good. Cause that’s what I got right now…

***

What’s the big deal?

That’s what I’ve been screaming about folks taking offense to some of the signage posted at the TD Garden and in the surrounding Boston area since the beginning of the Bruins-Lightning series.

So, they took some lighthearted swipes at their opposition’s fans.

So what?

Please tell me we haven’t reached a new level of sensitivity that dictates an inability to handle some good-natured ribbing…

I mean, if you’ve considered yourself a Floridian for any substantial period of time and you haven’t shrugged off a geriatric barb or 3,000 by now, I don’t know where you’ve been (and I’ve lived in four corners of the state) or what you’ve been doing (and I’ve done, well, whatever…)

And if you’re a fan of a mainstream sports organization and you haven’t had to deal with the drunk guy across the bar resorting to some “bandwagon” quip or other, I’m at a loss as well. (But, in this case, good for you. Means you haven’t been spending too much time at seedy bars.)

Let’s remember, of course, that this whole ball of lameness got rolling when one overzealous radio host sought some extra attention and kicked off the whine fest. Without that, we have nothing. (With it, I’d still argue… Nada anyway, really.)

But here’s the only bottom line that anyone should need.

Let anyone wanting to hate on anything-Florida say what they want. Let them, even, believe that this state and even the Tampa Bay area is indeed home to only alligators and the similarly-skinned elderly.

Then invite them to hit a beach with you some time and have them check out the local talent.

Of course, you may find it more difficult than it should be to get the pasty white-skinned northerners to take you up on your offer and spend any length of time at said beach but I digress…

***

Guess we’ll be seeing Patrice Bergeron tonight in the Bruin lineup. That’s what it sounds like right now anyway.

Guess the Lightning shouldn’t even bother coming out for this one.

And what’s that? Tyler Seguin’s in again as well? Forget it. The run’s over. Get to bed early.

Seriously, on the heels of Seguin’s coming out party in game two, this kid has been anointed to super duperstar level in the minds of many just like that.

And Bergeron, as versatile an impact player as he can be, is just one man.

If anyone expects a back-to-the-drawing-board, shuffle the deck, brand new strategy approach to this one, based on the return of one player and a two-game sampling from another, think again.

The Lightning will hit the ice tonight just as they do for any other tilt, fully intent on playing the structured game that got them this far and not overly concerned with any one individual on the other side, be he Bergeron, Seguin, Zdeno Chara or He-Man himself.

If they don’t, that means they’re out of their element once again and, in that case, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see another lopsided score in Boston’s favor at some point, as we did in game two.

Then again, we are talking about the almighty duo in Bergeron and Seguin, who will surely combine for 14 points tonight and close this series out in three.

Right?

***

Saturday’s matinee game four now has the added bonus of a Cheap Trick concert afterwards. I saw these guys open for Aerosmith about seven years ago and came away nearly as impressed with them as I was with Steven Tyler and company. We’ll see what another seven trips around the sun has done to them but what I’m really looking forward to is “I Want You to Want Me” on the St. Pete Times Forum plaza with an inhibition-lessened crowd fevered from a home team win.

I’ll snap pictures – and do my best to keep it kid-friendly.

Daddy’s alright…

***

Finally, as things are getting closer to kicking off down at ice level, I’ll leave you on a series note with a heartwarming and heart-wrenching tale involving Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson, what he meant to a young fan and, more importantly, what that young fan ended up meaning to him.

Courtesy of Martin Fennelly at TBO.com, the story of Roloson’s relationship with young Kelly Ryan.

Be you a Lightning fan, Bruin fan or whatever your affiliation, if this one doesn’t get you, I’m not sure anything will…

***

Reaction from TheBruinsBlog.net’s Matt Kalman and I after tonight’s tilt as our collaboration continues…

JJ
jj@kuklaskorner.com
JJ on Twitter

Filed in: Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | Beasts of the Southeast | Permalink
 

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