It took 39 years, but the Boston Bruins can now call the Stanley Cup theirs.
Behind a stellar defense, anchored by goalie Tim Thomas, and clutch goals, the Bruins were able to pull off the upset over the Vancouver Canucks and win the Cup in 7 games. You can say it’s an upset because nobody outside of Beantown really gave the Bruins a chance.
But the B’s surprised people throughout the playoffs. They are the first team in NHL history to win a Game 7 three times in the same postseason. Plus, the fact Claude Julien’s squad closed out the Eastern Conference finals and Stanley Cup finals with shutouts simply add to the folklore.
Nobody was more clutch than Thomas, who many feel redefined the goalie position. The Conn Smythe winner made 37 saves in Game 7 for the second shutout of the finals. Thomas stopped 238 of the Canucks’ 246 shots in the finals for a .967 save percentage. That’s even better than his .940 mark and 1.98 goals-against average for the entire postseason. Needless to say, the Bruins celebration centered around Thomas, who carried them throughout the playoffs.
You can’t go without mentioning the performances of Patrice Bergeron and rookie Brad Marchand. They provided all the offense Thomas needed by scoring two goals apiece in Game 7 on the Canuck’s home ice. This also helped send Mark Recchi, who is expected to retire, off with one more Cup. Everyone on the Bruins team did what they were expected to do, they delivered when called upon.
An interesting side note: After claiming the Cup, Boston teams have won 3 Super Bowls, 2 World Series, a NBA title and a Stanley Cup since 2001. Beantown can easily be renamed Titletown.
For now, the moment belongs to the Bruins. The Cup is heading back to the Hub of Hockey.
Written by C. James