I got into a debate with a friend of mine about who had the most exciting postseason, the 2004 Boston Red Sox or the 2011 Boston Bruins. He, and many others who chimed in, said the Bruins. I, and two other people, said the 2004 Red Sox.
People used the World Series as an example of why it wasn't exciting. The Red Sox World Series that year was a sweep, but did feature a very exciting Game 1 that was capped off by a two run home run by Mark Bellhorn in the eighth. But it all goes back to the grandiose American League Championship Series.
The Red Sox coming off a heartbreaking 2003 loss to the vaunted New York Yankees fell behind 0-3 and was three outs away from yet another defeat. Then the planets aligned and the heavens opened and the Red Sox miraculously won four straight to win the American League pennant. People also forget that the ALDS was won on a walk-off home run by David Ortiz.
The 2011 Boston Bruins playoff run was exciting don't get me wrong. The B's falling down 0-2 to the hated Canadiens before coming back to win Game 7 in overtime. The Flyers series was pretty much a stinker save for Game 2 when David Krejci scored a game winner in OT. The seven game defeat of the Tampa Bay Lightning included a 1-0 win in Game 7 and again falling 0-2 to the Vancouver Canucks before winning in seven. Tim Thomas was playing the best hockey of his career and the Bruins riding a wave of emotions after Game 3 when Aaron Rome viciously knocked out Nathan Horton.
Both teams were very similar when it comes to storylines and excitement, but in my opinion the Red Sox run in 2004 just beats out the 2011 Bruins. The Bruins are still fresh in people's minds and are just prisoner of the moment. When you think of the legions of Red Sox fans that have come and gone without seeing them win a World Series title, that right there takes the cake.
I might be a little biased in picking the Red Sox because of my brother. My brother, and pretty much everyone else in my family, is a Yankee fan and I had to endure and suffer through the Yankee dynasty as the Red Sox would just curl up and die when October came. For just one year, I finally had the upper hand and the Red Sox had finally broken through and beat the Yanks, in historic fashion nonetheless. I admit my eyes welled up a little when Keith Foulke tossed that ball to Doug Mientkiewicz for the final out I thought I would never see. My brother was away in college, so I didn't get to talk to him right after, but my mother received a phone call from my brother after the game and left a simple message: "Congratualtions".
I'm a huge Boston Bruins fan don't get me wrong (just ask my family during the playoffs), but that magical 2004 season cannot be beat in my mind. As Boston was finally kings of the baseball world and I could now gloat to my family members after years of suffering.
Thank you, Tito (and Tim Thomas)