Top Five Moments of the Boston Bruins’ 2013 Playoff Run
2013 NHL Playoffs: Remembering the Top Five Moments for the Boston Bruins
Just one week ago today, the Boston Bruins’ unbelievable Stanley Cup run came to a crashing halt. As thoughts of Game 7 were dancing through the heads of fans and players alike and the time ticked so slowly in the third period, the Chicago Blackhawks scored the game-tying and game-winning goals faster than you could blink an eye.
With under one and a half minutes to go in Game 6, the Bruins, having set up a 2-1 lead facing elimination, watched all of their Cup-hoisting dreams deflate as Dave Bolland landed the knockout blow. What was looking like a great sendoff for the Boston faithful, one final night at the TD Garden before Game 7, became the Bruins’ playoff obituary.
Joy and elation turned to shock, confusion and a general sense of “Okay, what just happened?” Like that, the season was over, the Blackhawks were the champs, and the Bruins shuffled back to their locker room to pick up the pieces of a game they fumbled away.
Unfortunately, this emotionally crippling defeat will be what most hockey fans remember best when thinking about the Bruins this postseason. But Boston fans know that what they witnessed during the past two months was nothing short of special.
A city wounded from recent acts of terror was given a playoff run for the ages full of so many incredible memories that will live on for quite some time.
Let’s take a look at the top five moments from the 2013 Boston Bruins' postseason.
5. Boston Bruins Defeat Pittsburgh Penguins in Double Overtime
Two games into the Eastern Conference Finals, the matchup between the Bruins and the vaunted Pittsburgh Penguins was looking incredibly lopsided. What many predicted to be a tough but winnable series for Pittsburgh was turning into anything but. Boston shutout the Penguins in Game 1 and then blew the doors off the arena in Game 2 en route to a 6-1 stomping.
As the series ventured to Boston, everyone was expecting Pittsburgh to finally step up their game and play the way they were supposed to. Indeed, they came to play in Game 3, looking sharper, creating more opportunities and giving the Bruins their fair share of trouble. However, at the end of regulation it only amounted to a 1-1 tie.
One overtime wasn’t enough to settle this one, which set the stage for a dramatic sendoff in double OT. Brad Marchand laid a perfectly placed pass to a streaking Patrice Bergeron who sent it past Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun and sent fans home in a frenzy. Just like that, Pittsburgh was in a 3-0 hole.
Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask stole the show, saving a total of 53 shots. It was a night few will forget, and for Rask, it was a true statement that he was a top-tier NHL goalie.
4. The Legend of Torey Krug
As the Bruins entered their second round series against the New York Rangers, the team was hurting on the blue line. Vets Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden were all dealing with injuries. Boston responded by dressing a few rookies whose past collective playoff games could be counted on one hand. Fans and media alike were wondering if the kids could withstand an experienced Rangers team.
While Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski both played a solid series, it was the 5’9” Torey Krug who became a cult hero in New England.
The former Michigan State Spartan turned from no-name to one of the Bruins' top scorers in a matter of minutes, netting four goals in five games. Not only was he scoring but he was doing so with the finesse of a player who was born to be in the playoffs. His Game 2 goal, in which he picked the puck out of his skates and rifled it past Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist in one quick motion, was a highlight fans were watching on repeat.
Who knows if Krug will continue to flourish or if he was just lightning in a bottle for a quick series. He failed to make as big of an impact after the series with New York. Whatever happens, he will always be remembered for this stunning emergence. When Boston needed a spark, Krug brought a torch.
3. Gregory Campbell Hits Warrior Status in Boston
A member of Boston’s famous Merlot Line, Campbell played a crucial role for the Bruins this postseason. Logging important minutes against top lines, Campbell was counted on to win key face-offs and limit offensive chances. His game-winning goal against the Rangers in Game 5 sent the Bruins to the Eastern Conference Finals.
It was in this series against Pittsburgh that Campbell showed his true toughness and grit in one painstaking minute.
Killing off a Penguins' power play, Campbell dove to block a shot from Evgeni Malkin. The puck drilled him square in the leg, and the anguish suffered was noticeable from any angle in the arena. Severely hobbled, Campbell dragged himself upright and attempted to clear the puck so he could have his leg tended to. In the end, he stayed on the ice for an entire minute before the penalty was killed. Fans saluted him by cheering his name as he left for the locker room and didn’t return.
The next morning, the injury was revealed; Campbell had been hobbling for 60 seconds on a severely broken leg, one that took him out of the playoffs indefinitely. They say there’s no sport with tougher athletes than hockey. Anyone who doubts it can watch this moment and enjoy being proven wrong.
2. The Sweep
Coming into their series with the mighty Penguins, the odds weren’t favoring Boston. Why should they have? Sidney Crosby, Malkin, Jarome Iginla and Kris Letang were just a few of the weapons on their roster, and the team collectively was scoring at an absurd pace.
So when Boston shutout Pittsburgh in Game 1, it was quite a showstopper. Their 6-1 beat-down in Game 2 was even more stunning. By the time the double overtime thriller in Game 3 came to a close, the inevitable was becoming possible. The Bruins weren’t really going to sweep a team this frighteningly talented, were they?
The answer came in Game 4. Adam McQuaid scored five minutes into the third, and from there it was the Rask show. Posting his second shutout in four games, Boston’s goalie stone-walled Pittsburgh and the sweep was complete. The Penguins could only amount two goals in the entire series. Iginla, who chose to be traded to the Penguins over the Bruins, was left to watch a team he spurned celebrate a trip to the Cup Finals.
No one could’ve predicted the Penguins exiting the playoffs so quietly, but I highly doubt Boston cared.
1. The Miracle on Causeway Street
Did you really think it would be anything else?
May 13, 2013 will be a night every Bruins fan remembers for the rest of their lives. It was a history making game that sent Boston surging all the way to the Finals and will forever be the lasting moment of this postseason.
The Bruins were down 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs with just over ten minutes left in their playoff lives. Lose this series, especially in such a lackluster fashion, and a fire-sale was sure to take place. Coach Claude Julien would be axed, and a core that hoisted the Cup two years ago would be blown up.
A Nathan Horton goal cut the deficit to 4-2, but it felt like nothing but making the score respectable. Milan Lucic scored late, and at 4-3 hope was alive but hanging by a thread. And then Patrice Bergeron changed everything. Sending a long wrister past James Reimer, Bergeron tied the game with less than a minute and ignited the arena in the process.
We all know what happened come overtime. A mad scramble in front of the Toronto net sent a bouncing puck to Bergeron’s stick which he promptly threw in net. Like that, a building that once felt like a morgue was now in pure elation. It was, without a doubt, one of the greatest comebacks in hockey history.
In the end, the momentum from that fateful night sent the Bruins all the way to Game 6 of the Finals. As tough as it will be to swallow how this season ended for Boston, fans will never forget the night that kick-started an incredible playoff run.