The city of Boston is fresh off watching the New England Patriots capture their sixth Super Bowl win in franchise history. The Pats’ 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams came less than 100 days after the Red Sox completed their best season in franchise history with a World Series triumph over the Dodgers.
The Bruins and Celtics are currently in the dog days of February. They’ll look to complete a feat that no other city has done before: winning a Lombardi Trophy, Larry O’Brien Trophy (NBA Finals), Commissioner’s Trophy (World Series) and the Stanley Cup in the same season.
This prompted an appropriate response from Bruce Cassidy to your’s truly following Monday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena.
“We’re next,” Cassidy said to a round of laughter from reporters inside the Brighton practice facility.
He got me there for a moment before offering his thoughts on what it would mean for the Bruins to join the parade.
“It’s something to talk about, right?” Cassidy added less than 24 removed from watching his team snap a 14-game skid against the defending champion Washington Capitals.
“They’ve set the stage for us. It’s us and the Celtics next. I think both teams have improved and are trending in the right direction. So hopefully we can get it done. I don’t think we’re as strong as favorites as the Red Sox and the Pats, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t do it. We may be next, so we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
They aren’t a long shot per se, but the odds aren’t in the Bruins’ favor right now. Bovada lists the Black and Gold with 22-1 odds to capture their seventh Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Of course, the odds can change between now and the time the postseason begins on April 10. The Bruins need help at the trade deadline to improve their Cup chances, especially in the middle of the lineup.
There’s one thing every team in the National Hockey League has at the beginning of the year: hope. It springs eternal once the field of 16 sets itself at the end of the regular season.
The Bruins always set high standards for themselves. Seeing what the Red Sox and Patriots did only motivates them more.
“I think every year it’s the same. Like you said, 31 teams have the same goal and you’re pushing for it,” Patrice Bergeron said on the eve of skating in his 1,000th career NHL contest. “I know it sounds cliche, but what the city and what the teams have been able to do around us [is amazing].”
It doesn’t sound cliche around Boston. Winning titles has become a normal occurrence around Boston since the Pats first Super Bowl win over the then St. Louis Rams. Five more Lombardi Trophies followed with four World Series, a Stanley Cup and an NBA championship.
Only a small handful of Bruins remain from that 2011 Stanley Cup team: Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask and David Krejci. They all want to hoist that silver hardware again for their fellow teammates who haven’t done so yet.
And they all want to give Boston another day of Duckboats come June.
“You definitely want more and you want to do it for the fans and the city as well,” Bergeron added. “There’s a few of us that have tasted [the Cup] and we know how hard it is but also how great it is to accomplish it. So you definitely want more, and that’s the message that’s sent around this locker room for sure.”
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