We’ve seen this before… the Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, and then swept their opponents in the Eastern Conference Finals, on their way to a Stanley Cup appearance.
That was 2013, the last time the Boston Bruins played for the Stanley Cup.
Six years later, they’ve repeated history so far, but will hope for a different ending.
Capping off a 4 game sweep of the Carolina “Bunch of Jerks” Hurricanes, the Bruins now await the winner of the Western Conference Finals between the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks.
The Bruins dominated the Canes, aided by Tuukka Rask returning to his 2013 form between the pipes. Rask has been insane for the Bruins this series, posting a .956 Save Percentage, 1.25 Goals A Game, and only allowing 5 goals on route to the Stanley Cup Finals. As the Bruins learned in 2013, they need Tuukka to be on his game. So far, he’s shown no signs of slowing down.
Coming into Game 4, the Bruins top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak had 6 points in the first three games. Deciding that simply wouldn’t do, the first line notched 8 points, accounting for all four of the Bruins goals.
Hats off the Carolina Hurricanes, who returned to the playoffs after nearly a decade. And even more so, hats off to the Carolina fans. Many supporters would have ditched their team in the final failing moments, but you didn’t. Instead, you got on your feet, raised your voices and lifted up a team that refused to let you down.
With the Celtics out of the NBA Playoffs, the Bruins are the last chance for a 2019 DuckBoat Parade in Beantown, depending on whether or not the Red Sox can pull out of their nosedive. This also means that Boston came 75% of completing the Big Four Championship Sweep, winning a World Series, Super Bowl, NBA and NHL Championship all within the same year.
Some days it’s hard playing in Titletown. The stress, the pressure, the tradition, the legends, it can feel like the odds are stacked against you. But that’s what Boston feeds off of. That’s what the Bruins were up against this Stanley Cup Playoffs.
And so far… they’ve left everything on the ice.
Hopefully, next round, they’ll leave as Champions.