Boston is on fire.
Currently 9 wins in a row for the Red Sox and a total of 35 runs scored during their sweep of the Blue Jays. The smoke is still clearing from the net that Roberto Luongo was cleared out of with 4 goals scored during the first period (three of which were scored during a time frame of three minutes, four seconds) of Game 6 in the Stanley Cup Finals.
For three weeks in a row, a Sox player has earned the title of AL Player of the week, first Crawford, then Ortiz, and now Ellsbury. Ortiz is calling his shots, never mind the cocky “bat flip” homerun against the Yankees, but perhaps the next homerun, his 15th of the season. Ellsbury racked up 10 runs and 4 RBIs to earn the title and Crawford is earning more respect along with his $142 million as he’s playing more and more like a Sox player (but Tuesday’s game will tell against his former Rays).
The Bruins regained momentum after their 2,500 mile trip back to their home ice and again not only beat the Canucks but outscored them within a few short minutes of the first period. After winning 5-1, the Bruins secured a Game 7 and another 2,500 miles back to Vancouver on Wednesday night. After Game 5, Luongo took jabs at what sports anchors have dubbed, “the toughest goalie in the NHL,” Tim Thomas, saying that the 1 goal Thomas let through was “an easy save.” Needless to say, both goalies have their strengths, but Thomas has been on fire throughout the season and into the playoffs, and when the team backs him offensively and defensively they are the best 5- on-5 team in the NHL.
If a team is strong as well as lucky, they will be able to pull out a win in a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup. If a team continues to call their shots and not let the small errors amount to big errors, they could increase their winning streak to 10 games against the Rays with Wake pitching. Pedroia’s recent scare of a bruised kneecap provided haunting reminders of last season, of what can go wrong, of a mounting disabled list. With Nathan Horton out with a concussion for the final games of the hockey season, the Bruins know all to well what injuries can do to reshape the team. It doesn’t take long for something to put out the fire. It was a relief to see Pedroia back on the field over the weekend just as it was a relief, a little bit of lighter fluid to ignite the Bruins during Game 6 with Horton in the stands waving a Bruins rally towel.
Boston is on fire. Although all fires will eventually burn out, they will first use all of the passion and breath in the air completely. In order to burn out, you must first be on fire and at the moment these teams are blazing paths through their 2011 seasons. How long will last? The Bruins will be decided Wednesday night while the Sox might reduce to embers and rise again during the coming months. As long as the passion feeds the fire, these teams will continue to ignite the scoreboards and stats. At the end of the day, game, or season, “it’s better to burn out than fade away,” so as long as the fire in the heart of the teams is left behind, that is all that fans can ask.