June 15, 2011
Seven years ago today, the Boston Bruins ended their 39-year Stanley Cup drought with their Game 7 victory over the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks.
Honestly, I can say that this was a day that I never saw coming, at least to that point.
Having witnessed the teams and seasons that came before the 2010-11 squad, I was used to covering and watching the B’s seasons end in disappointment. From the days of the Black and Gold playing in front of sparse crowds at the TD Garden (formerly known as the FleetCenter) to heartbreaking losses in three straight years of Game 7’s, it looked like the days of the “Big Bad Bruins” would not return to Causeway Street anytime soon.
But that 2010-11 season was something special. It was a Bruins team that bonded from day one and believed that good things would happen. A team that the year before suffered one of their more heartbreaking postseason exits after blowing a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. A team that finally said, enough is enough.
Around this time, Bruins Daily (formerly known as The Hub of Hockey) started to gain attraction around Boston. The founder, Mark Marino, brought me aboard in the fall of 2010 to provide postgame video from my days at Inside Hockey. Little did any of us know, we’d be covering a Stanley Cup champion.
As the season progressed, I took a more expanded role with the site delivering news, analysis and other insights from the press box to the locker room. The more I wrote, the more I repeated on how the 2010-11 Bruins grew closer through their battles of adversity and triumph. I could go on and document even more, but witnessing the confident actions of the players, the coaching staff and the upper management first hand is something I still remember.
When the final horn sounded, there was one more story to write about the Bruins having the heart of a champion. As Zdeno Chara took the Cup from Gary Bettman, I can remember trying to put the story into words, especially since I was recovering from a sinus infection.
In the end, it was well worth seeing the glee of the faces in front of my TV. Tim Thomas never looked happier. Mark Recchi capped off his career in style. Milan Lucic smiled as he lifted Lord’s Stanley Cup in a city he was born in. Nathan Horton put on his equipment to join his teammates to celebrate. Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask, Dennis Seidenberg, David Krejci, Claude Julien, Peter Chiarelli and the rest of the team joined in the celebration as the Black and Gold finally exorcised their demons.
June 15, 2011 is a night where many Bruins fans knew exactly where they were to watch the end of a 39-year Stanley Cup drought. The question is, will there be another one in the near future. Given the plethora of young talent and stable of solid veterans on the current club, that next Cup might come sooner rather than later.