Climb aboard Bruins bandwagon

Alan Greenwood

There is one sure way of knowing that one of the region’s big-league teams is on a playoff run:

Message boards atop the front of some Nashua city buses read “Go (fill in the team of the moment)!”

Currently the unofficial bandwagons are touting the Bruins, who finally know who they will face in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday. A week after the B’s brushed off Carolina, a feat only slightly more taxing than brushing lint off a sleeve, the St. Louis Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks to win the NHL Western Conference.

Cynics – not including the chronic realist rapping out these words – are quick to remind us that the Bruins cobbled together a playoff run at precisely the right time. The Columbus Blue Jackets (a modern-day hockey cousin to the NBA’s old Fort Wayne Pistons) knocked out Tampa in the first round. Carolina took out Washington, leaving the Eastern Conference track to the finals wide open for the best team remaining, and the Bruins did their duty.

For those who jumped on the bandwagon only after the Celtics crashed and burned, the B’s have been an entertaining alternative.

That NBC play-by-play legend Doc Emrick has handled all the Bruins games makes it that much more fun.

So hit the Red Sox pause button on Monday and focus in on the Bruins’ run to a Stanley Cup.

By the time the Bruins finish off the Blues, maybe Jackie Bradley will be within flirting distance of the .200 mark.

TIME TRAVEL: May 23, 1959 – “A last-inning rally fell just short of success yesterday as Alvirne High School lost an 8-7 decision to Conant. Alvirne rallied for five runs in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t overcome the deficit built up by Conant’s big seven-run third inning.

“The Hudson nine once again outhit 10-8 as Jim Zedalis collected three hits in four trips, including a double.

“Alvirne sent nine batters to the plate in the seventh and made four hits, good for five runs.”

NO MORE MAGIC IN LA-LA LAND: It’s always tough for a beloved former player to take over the team’s operations without losing some glitter, so seeing Magic Johnson walk away from the Lakers should not really surprise anyone.

Toss in the fact that LeBron James is the true leader of the basketball operation and the only question for Johnson should be “How did you make it through the entire season?”

Let’s hope new Lakers coach Frank Vogel had His Highness’ seal of approval.

Alan Greenwood can be reached at 594-1248, agreenwood@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_ AlanG.