Joe Nunez, 33, Los Angeles
We are down 2-1 with minutes left in the game. The mood is a bit somber, resigned. Every idiot sportscaster on ESPN, the NHL Network, and SportsCenter said that Boston would win tonight, in their "house." With two minutes left, there's NO WAY the Blackhawks will pull off a goal, let alone two to win it! Everyone's mentally preparing for Game 7. "It's fine. Gonna win it in Chicago!" my friend says as he high-fives me. Some ask their waitress for their tab. A few more run off to the restroom.
Then, it happens. With a minute-sixteen left in the game, Bryan Bickell scores the game-tying goal!!! Holy shit! Holy shit!!! Overtime!!! We like overtime! The Blackhawks LOVE overtime! Renewed hope! We can do this! Even if we don't win in OT, who cares? We got Game 7! The whole bar is screaming at the top of their lungs, people jumping, fists pumping, high-fives all around. The owner of the bar, Brian, turns on the siren light that's affixed to the center arch of his beautiful, carved mahogany bar. He sounds his air pumped goal horn. Huge, goofball smile on his face from ear to ear with his crazy, bug eyed, grey-bearded face. It's ON, baby!
But before we can even stop jumping and high-fiving, another roar from the bar. What just happened??? What!!! Bolland!!! Oh my God! Fifty-eight seconds left in the game and we just scored again????!!! Are you kidding me???!!! The game announcer informs us that it took Chicago only 17 seconds to score what could potentially be the game-winning goal.
There are still 58 seconds left in the game and don't count Boston out. They have been in this situation before. Really? Okay. At this point, I am just as shocked as the Bruins. But my elation and joy are outweighing the doubt and humility of giving Boston a chance. We have just witnessed a miracle. A literal Act of God. You are kidding yourself if you don't believe there is a God because He/She helped His/Her favorite hockey team score TWO GOALS to tie and win Lord Stanley's Cup in SEVENTEEN BLISSFUL SECONDS! The entire city of Boston, the Bruins, the world, were in utter shock and awe over what they had just seen.
It's like a scene in a Greek war epic where the evil general is killed by the hero/conquerer in their "at last" man-to-man sword fight. And when the bad guy finally gets the sword speared into his gut, he looks directly into the eyes of his most worthy and dominating adversary, whispering his killer's name with his last breath as he falls to his knees in death.
That's exactly what the Bruins went through in the final minute of that game last night. Exactly.
Counting down the last seconds to victory was amazing. We all just knew. It was ours. It was always OURS. The whole season was ours! We have THE greatest professional hockey team in the history of the sport! Seriously. As the clock counted down to zero, the cheers and the goal horn and the high-fiving and the unbelievable feeling of being together with my "Chicago family" in a place that is not Chicago, came down to this. But it felt sooo much like home because I was with people that I love from home. I'm being very cheesy here, but THEY are what make it home.
After the presentation of the Cup, I proceeded to get stupid drunk and go with four friends to a tattoo parlor on Hollywood Blvd. to get a Blackhawk tomahawk tattoo that I couldn't get because it was too late and I was too drunk.
But I have an appointment to get it done Thursday.
2. My friends.
Alex Quigley, RedEye contributor
1. Jumping around my living room with my family like pogo sticks, singing "We WON the STAN-ley CUP!" in time with our bounces.
2. Oh yeah. I'll think of The Streak. Seabrook's playoff OT bombs. The magic bullet game-winner vs. Boston in Game 1. The complete lack of worry that this team wasn't going to win the Stanley Cup.