While no one is denying that the safety measure and precautions being taken during this uncertain time are necessary, it is also necessary to hope. That is exactly what the Boston Bruins are doing right now after their season ended abruptly following a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on March 10.
The Bruins are hoping not only that they will play hockey again, but also that they will get their fair chance at a Cup run for this talented and deep roster. It has yet to be determined whether the NHL will resume its season and if it does multiple scenarios have been discussed.
The Bruins core of Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, and Brad Marchand has been around for a while, and are not getting any younger. All were on the Bruins’ Cup-winning team in 2011 and the teams that went to the Cup Final in 2013 and 2019. It was clear the devastation in the eyes of the Bruins last year following their second loss in their last two Stanley Cup Final appearances.
With Chara now 42 years old, Bergeron 34, Krejci 33, and Marchand now 31, it was hard to believe they would get another chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup with this group. However, the Bruins’ strong regular season this year gave hope towards one more run.
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Now they play the waiting game hoping they get a chance this year and otherwise facing the obstacle of getting back to the Stanley Cup Final with each member of their core another year older. Fatigue played a role in last year’s loss for the Bruins and as their player’s age, this will become more and more of a problem, not to mention it is not known how many more years Chara will play. There have even been rumors of 33-year-old Tuukka Rask’s retirement in the coming years.
However, with all this being said, it is important to note that if the NHL does not resume its season, we could be missing out on this group’s last chance to get back to the Stanley Cup Final without even knowing it. That would be a sad and disappointing ending for a core group that has one championship under their belt and have had another within their grasp on two occasions without finishing the job.
A Dazzling Regular Season
When the Bruins ended their season on March 10, they led the entire NHL with 100 points and owned a solid 44-14-12 record. While some injuries had hampered the Bruins, it was their play past regulation that had truly been their struggle. They were tied for second in the league with 12 losses in overtime and the shootout, and looked borderline ugly in those games.
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While they had their ups and downs, the Bruins looked to be one of the favorites to go back to the Stanley Cup Final this season along with the division rival Tampa Bay Lightning. Rask led the league in goals-against average (GAA) with a 2.12 and looked like a solid Vezina Trophy candidate. Meanwhile the “perfection line” was having one of their best years yet; David Pastrnak was tied for the league lead in goals with Alex Ovechkin, while Bergeron and Marchand were each having career years.
With no postseason, this incredible Bruins team would most likely be forgotten amongst others that did not win the big one. A team with a lot of fire, passion, and motivation to get back to the Cup Final after last season would go by the wayside. This would be an incredibly disappointing end to what was a fantastic season for the Bruins.
Hoping For Hockey
While the NHL decides what is best moving forward, all we can do is hope. While it would be a shame to have a season go to waste, it is important to do what is best for the health of the world.
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However, if hockey is to return, the Bruins will be a favorite to make it back to the Stanley Cup Final. It will be intriguing to see how the break has affected them amongst other teams; although it would seem to be an advantage for a team that seemed overworked come the later games in last year’s Cup Final.