Redemption: 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins
“Redemption is the motto for this Boston Bruins team. After blowing a 3-0 series lead to Philadelphia last year in the playoffs, the Bruins are now Stanley Cup Champions for the first time since 1972. The Boston Bruins ended the home series domination, and it was all thanks to Tim Thomas. The Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 4-0. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each scored twice, and Bergeron was credited with the game winning goal.
Tim Thomas was the story for the Bruins heading into the season. Questions surrounded the goaltender coming into the season. How would he bounce back from such a dismal season, where he lost the starting job to Tuukka Rask. Well, he answered those critics by backstopping the Bruins all the way to the Stanley Cup Championship. Thomas was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoff’s most valuable player. Thomas joins Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers as the only two Americans to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. Thomas was the best player for the Bruins in the playoffs making timely saves in crucial games to give his Bruins a chance to win every game. While his style gets criticized at time, the Bruins believed in him and the team rode his play all the way to the Stanley Cup.
The Boston Bruins played better when they are under pressure. The Bruins seem to find new life as each round in the series moved to the later stages. Down 2-0 to Montreal in the first round of the playoffs, and now 2-0 to Vancouver in the Finals, the Bruins brought their game to a new level. Boston became the first team to win three game sevens in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Thanks in part to four shutouts by Tim Thomas. This series changed for Boston in game 3, when Nathan Horton was taken out of the series from a hit by Aaron Rome. Boston was struggling to find an emotional edge and Vancouver had all the momentum. But Boston proved why they are the big bad Bruins. Enter Shawn Thornton, who brought an edge to the rest of series getting under the skins of the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver lost its edge and they ultimately lost the series.
The Boston Bruins played stifling defense throughout the playoffs, and the coaching staff had answers for everything Vancouver through at them. Courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau, the Boston Bruins held the Vancouver Canucks to eight goals in the Stanley Cup Finals, the least amount of goals given up by a team in a series that went seven games in the finals. Much of the talk throughout the playoffs was Boston having bad special teams. Well they put that to rest very quickly. While the Bruins only got three power-play goals in the series, they got three shorthanded goals as well. Special teams were the key to Boston’s success, not to mention they played inspired hockey and wanted to win the Stanley Cup for Nathan Horton.
While the people in Boston prepare to celebrate with a parade, it is time to reflect on the Bruins season. The Bruins are not the prettiest team in the world, but they got the hard work done in the dirty areas of the rink. While they show flash at times, they play grinding hockey. This style of hockey over a seven game series takes toll on the opponent. To win one game seven is hard. Yet, these Bruins did it three times and that shows how tough it is to win the Stanley Cup. Boston’s style of hockey, mental toughness, team play and overall grittiness enabled the team to accomplish the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley cup. While Boston is living the dream, 29 other teams are getting ready for next season. Boston was the hunter they have just become the hunted.”
This entry was posted by JimBiringer on June 16, 2011 at 9:38 am, and is filed under NHL. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.
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