- As a die-hard Bruins fan, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of watching your team win
- Boston Bruins won their sixth championship six years ago
- It was an unforgettable moment for all involved
As a die-hard Bruins fan, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of watching your team lift up the Stanley Cup. Twelve years ago, those fans were lucky enough to experience exactly that, as the Boston Bruins won their sixth championship in franchise history with an exciting and hard-fought 4–3 series victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
It was an unforgettable moment for all involved – players, coaches, and most importantly the loyal fans, who know the feeling of heartbreak all too well, especially in the years since. The TD Garden side made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in both 2013 and 2019, however, they would come out on the losing side on both occasions. A decade ago, it was the Chicago Blackhawks who downed the Massachusetts-based outfit.
Six years later, it was the turn of the St. Louis Blues, who gave the Bruins their 14th defeat in the postseason finals, more than any other team. This season, however, times seem to be changing. Jim Montgomery’s side has the best record of any team in the league this season and has picked up a whopping 45 wins from the 58 games played so far this term. As such, the Stanley Cup odds on Bodog have made out the Bruins to be the favourites for glory this season.
In honour of what is shaping up to be a memorable campaign, we are taking a look back at one of the best victories any sports fan can ask for., the Bruins’ 2011 NHL success. So put on your black and gold jerseys as we pay tribute to one of the greatest days in Boston Bruin’s history.
39 Years Of Hurt
The 2011 season was one of the most memorable ones in franchise history, but there can be no denying that the campaign was long overdue. In the almost four decades prior, The Bruins knew nothing but heartache, and no less than five Stanley Cup finals defeats.
The first of the five losses came in 1974 when the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Bruins in six games. This marked the beginning of what would become an all-too-familiar trend for Bruins fans as they watched their beloved team suffer defeat after defeat in the Stanley Cup Finals. While it was certainly disappointing, it also set up a rivalry between these two teams that would last for decades.
Three years later, it was the turn of the Montreal Canadiens to defeat the Bruins in four games to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup title. The Canadiens were led by legendary goaltender Ken Dryden who recorded a shutout in the second game to clinch victory for his team. It was a devastating blow for Boston fans, and the Canadiens would inflict more pain the following year, defeating the Bruins in six for their third consecutive championship.
They would have to wait a decade for their next finals appearance, at which point they would run into Wayne Gretzky in his pomp. The Edmonton Oilers captain and superstar was appearing in his final ever games with his beloved team, and he would win the MVP award in the Series as his side romped to a 4-0 victory. The fifth and final loss of this era came about two years later as Edmonton once again defeated Boston 4-2 despite not having Gretzky on the roster.
2011’s Road to Glory
During the regular season, the Bruins finished first in their division with 103 points—the second-highest total in franchise history. They were led by center Patrice Bergeron and goalie Tim Thomas who both posted career years and went on to win major awards at the end of the season.
In the post-season, they played some of their best hockey yet. Highlights included dispatching the fierce rival Montreal Canadiens, in seven games during round one, a series that remains one of the most memorable in recent NHL history. They would then go on to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games to win the Eastern Conference Finals, a Lightning team that would go on to reach the Stanley Cup finals four times over the next decade.
The final Series against the Vancouver Canucks, and it was just as thrilling. The Canadian team raced into a two-game lead, however back-to-back thumpings at the TD Garden in games three and four tied the series at 2-2. Vancouver took Game 5 at home thanks to a late goal from Maxim Lapierre.
Game 6 saw Boston race into a 4-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to goals from Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Andrew Ference, and Michael Ryder. The Canucks would attempt to fight back in the second, however, the game was all but wrapped up when David Krejci made it 5-1 in the second. The match eventually finished 5-2 and meant that the series went to a seventh-game decider for the second time in three seasons.
Game seven took place in Vancouver and the bookies duly made the hosts the favorites. However, Patrice Bergeron made sure that there would be no repeat of the late 1970s when Boston lost to Canadian opposition. He scored barely five minutes into the first period to give his team an early lead which they never relinquished. Further goals would follow from the aforementioned Bergeron as well as a brace from Brad Marchand to give the Bruins a convincing 4-0 victory on the night and a 4-3 series victory.