This was an incredible ride for the Boston Bruins. A ride nobody thought would end in the Stanley Cup Finals. The team deserves a lot of credit for making it this far.
But they choked. Oh, how they choked.
The Chicago Blackhawks are your 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Champions, and they can sincerely thank the Bruins for an absolute failure to close out such an important game. Unlike the last two games, Boston came out like a house on fire for Game 6. Just like the last two games, they still ended up looking sloppy. And those mistakes ended up killing the team, yet again.
Let’s face it, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was absolutely gassed coming into this game. He was miserable in Games 4 and 5, and tonight a mistake that could no longer be labeled “uncharacteristic” lead to a game-tying goal from Jonathan Toews.
But somehow, the Bruins were still in this game. In fact, with less than ten minutes left, they had taken the lead thanks to a Milan Lucic goal. Make no mistake, as ugly as this series ended, Lucic was perhaps Boston’s MVP in the Finals.
And so it was, the Blackhawks pulled their goalie with less than two minutes remaining. Game 7 was within grasp for the Bruins. Then, it happened.
Bryan Bickell scored with 1:18 remaining. But with the game tied, there was still hope for the Bruins that maybe, just maybe, they could pull off another overtime miracle.
They were able to enjoy this feeling for 17 seconds.
Dave Bolland scored with 58 seconds remaining, and that, as they say, was that. The Hawks hoisted the trophy on Boston’s ice while the Bruins were in the locker room wondering what in the name of all that is holy just happened.
Yes, the Bruins were part of one amazing postseason run. So many lasting memories came from the past two months of hockey. And with one absolute fumble, all of those memories became stained.
Boston failed to capitalize enough on what seemed like their limitless scoring chances. They blitzed Chicago right out of the gate, and only had one goal to their names. And when they finally regained momentum, when it appeared they had finally tilted the ice their way, Boston flat out failed.
If it sounds harsh, tough. Two goals in 17 seconds in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals? You can’t take pride in a result like that, no matter how far you made it.
Who knows when the Bruins will ever be in this position again? A long offseason awaits them as they shuffle out of the TD Garden for the last time until October.
All due respect to Chicago. They never gave up when the situation looked as bleak as it gets, and that’s why the Cup is coming back with them.
But for the Bruins, there aren’t many positive things you can take home from a loss like this, on this stage. When the game was on the line, they collapsed like there was no tomorrow. Their unbelievable Cup run came to an end with an unceremonious flop.