Stanley loves Boston

NHL: Lord Stanley's beautiful, one-of-a-kind Cup belongs to the Boston Bruins, who charged on to win "away" Game 7 and their first cup since 1972! They bucked so many trends along the way: Home team wins in this series and past Canadian team wins following an Olympics in their home city. (That stat's gone for good.) The Bruins had the Canucks' game plan and dominated, even scoring short-handed -- Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron each had two goals. Tim Thomas, the finals MVP, was simply brilliant with 37 saves. One stat was prescient: No team outscored so completely (going into Game 7, the Canucks were down an overall 19-8) has ever gone on to win the series. And the Bruins hand the city of Boston a massive victory: All four major Boston sport teams (Pats '04, Red Sox '04, '07 and Celtics '08) have won championships in the past seven years.

Side note: Furious Vancouver fans, bemoaning the first home Game 7 finals loss of any Canadian team, set fire to cars and couches, and skirmished with police. This crowd sure doesn't stand for the best of Vancouver -- we all know that. But talk about losers. Come on gang, that's show biz. Tough loss, but ... Get. A. Grip.

MLB: More good news for Beantown. Josh Beckett tossed a gem of a one-hitter for Boston over Tampa Bay (3-0), striking out six, walking no Rays and retiring the last 19 batters he faced. In the crowd, presidential wannabe Mitt Romney (trying hard to look the part) agreed to talk baseball. He claimed to be a Sox fan but didn't seem to know that the Rays' Tropicana Field is an indoor stadium. Really, Mitt? Your team has played in that "pahk" more than 100 times since it opened. Don't you "evah" watch the games?

Side note: The McCourts/Dodgers payroll drama took a grim turn earlier this week. According to sources, the Dodgers will have to pay $8.33 million to Manny Ramirez in a deferred payment by June 30. As if that's going to happen. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt had to draw advances against the team's corporate sponsorship deals to meet his June 1 payroll obligations. When will MLB take this team away from the imploding McCourt and his ex-wife Jamie? Tomorrow wouldn't be soon enough.

NFL: It was Day 92 of the lockout. The NFL and players' reps adjourned Wednesday with an expected gag order, though the buzz says they can save the season with an agreement by July. Dunno. Could be a long summer and fall, kids, with the NFL season up in the air and the NBA threatening its own lockout. (Not loving this new trend.) Of course, the lawyer-destroyers haven't yet vetted the NFL discussion, so temper your optimism.

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