With all my excitement about the recent Bruins victories, and anticipation about Tuesday's matchup with the Montreal Canadiens, it's worth taking a moment here for Marco Sturm.
It was announced this weekend that Sturm will be having knee surgery and is done for both the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. This is not only a big loss for the team, but has to be a big disappointment for Sturm himself, who has been nothing but a solid competitor and a great Bruin ever since coming here in the Joe Thornton trade. That was no easy way to come on to any team, especially seeing as everyone in the league (pretty must accuratley) stated that it was a terrible trade for the Boston Bruins. Both Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart have moved on, but Marco Sturm has hung in there, in good times and bad.
I'm not sure how seriously players take the idea that they need to fill the void of a player they are traded for, but when you look at where the Bruins were when the trade was made (in terrible shape) and where they are now (best in the NHL), Marco Sturm was there. And, lest we all forget, now that Michael Ryder has excelled on the Krecji-Wheeler line, it was Sturm who had Ryder's place on that line before Sturm went down with concussion symptoms this year, and it was with Sturm that those two started to first display the magic that they now bring to every game they play in.
Not to knock Ryder, but Sturm was there first. Then in the game when he came back from that injury, all Sturm did was score on his first shift, before sustaining the injury that has now ended his season.
Additionally, let's not forget game six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last season against Montreal. It was Marco Sturm who won that game with the biggest goal for the Boston Bruins in 20 years. Some of us, like me, are Bruin diehards. Some of us watched the Bruins through thick and thin, but in the city of Boston, there were a lot of good teams to watch over the past 8 years, and many of them stopped watching. That goal was the moment that got them back. That goal, in that game which forced game seven- that was the moment when the Bruins won back their city. That goal was a clarion call that hockey was back in Boston, city of champions, titletown, and Marco Sturm got it for us.
You can get the studio version of that goal all over the internet, but here's a great hand-held shot of it taken by a fan from the upper deck. Listen to that crowd:
It also breaks my heart a little bit that Marco Sturm will be missing perhaps the most anticipated regular season Bruins game since Ray Bourque came home in an Avalanche sweater- the February 10th game when Joe Thornton returns to Boston. Thanks to the imbalanced schedule, Joe Thornton has only played in Boston in a San Jose sweater once before and he was thrown out in the first minute. This is a huge game for the Bruins fans, a huge game for Joe Thornton, and a huge game for the league as the two best teams in the NHL face off in what could be a preview of the Stanley Cup final. You better believe that Marco Sturm had it circled on his calendar.
I'm terribly sorry he won't be on the ice for that game, or pulling on a B's sweater in the playoffs this year as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
So thanks for all your efforts this year, Marco Sturm.
Real Bruins fans remember your contributions, your sacrifices, and yes, that amazing goal in game six. You made Bruins fans believe, and you got the ball rolling.
Thank you for that.
Get well soon.
We'll see you in October.