This may or may not upset both fan bases, but it was too noticeable to pass up. The Blues fans will fear I have jinxed their chances (queue the eye roll). The Bruins fans will fear that history is on a path they are all too familiar with (queue the quick nose exhale in disbelief). Either way, there is no doubting that the Boston Bruins have weathered a run very similar to the one they are on this year. The Bruins history might just repeat itself, and we don’t have to go back very far to find out how it ends.
Bruins History Similarities
First things first, the league was a little different six years ago. We didn’t have the realignment yet, so the NHL had six different divisions among two conferences, rather than the four divisions we have now. Also, six years ago, the NHL started the season in a lockout, and rather than beginning play in October, a shortened season didn’t begin until mid-January. Despite these fundamental differences in league structure, we’ll find a couple similarities between the ’12-’13 Bruins and today’s Bruins.
Regarding the way the seasons finished out, in 2013, the Bruins finished with the second best record in their division, third best in the conference, and fifth best overall. This year, Boston finished second in their division again, second in the conference, and third best overall. Not exact, but pretty damn close. In 2013, they collected 64.6% of their possible points. 2019? 65.2% of possible points. So, nothing against things that are shortened, but let’s move on from the regular seasons.
The 2013 Postseason was straight 1-8 seeds from each Conference (how in the world can we get this back?? PLEASE??). The NHL no longer uses the NBA method, and instead we have wild card entries along with division winners. Guess what, doesn’t matter, Bruins and Leafs is a first round given, no matter what the structure looks like. Even more so, a Bruins victory is also pretty much a given. It goes a little deeper, though.
In both postseasons, the Bruins needed Game 7 to dispatch of the Leafs, and they scored 5 goals in each game 7. In 2013, they won 5-4 in OT, with the final game-winning goal coming from Patrice Bergeron. It was the 22nd series goal for the Bruins, and it put the first round to rest. In 2019, Boston beat Toronto 5-1 in Game 7. The final goal was an empty netter with just a single second left on the clock, scored by none other than Patrice Bergeron. Completely unnecessary goal… orrr was it? Perhaps it was to throw history of its course, as that would give the Bruins 23 total series goals.
In 2013, the Boston Bruins finished a grueling series against a rival, only to be met by the New York Rangers who were able to pull off an upset of the Washington Capitals in the first round. In 2019, the Boston Bruins finished a grueling series against a rival, only to be met by the Columbus Blue Jackets who were able to pull off an absurd upset of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. Neither phased the Bruins. Boston dispatched the Rangers in five games in 2013. They finished the Blue Jackets in six games in 2019, in a series that was never really as close as six games makes it sound.
The 2013 Eastern Conference Finals saw the Boston Bruins facing the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team that had lost as many postseason games in the first two rounds combined as Boston lost in the first round alone (3). The 2019 Eastern Conference Finals featured the Boston Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes, a team that had lost as many postseason games in the first two rounds combined as Boston lost in the first round alone (3). Fear not!
Despite not having home ice advantage, Boston swept Pittsburgh rather swiftly, outscoring the Penguins 12-2 over four games. In, 2019, you ask? Still no fear, the Bruins swept the Conference Finals rather easily, outscoring the Hurricanes 17-5 in four games. The Bruins were able to successfully play every series in fewer games than the previous series on their way to the Stanley Cup Final. Both times.
Stanley Cup Final
This is where the “might”, from the title, comes into play. We’re not sure how this Cup Final will finish out, but we can certainly do our best to map it out with what we have. In 2013, it was the Chicago Blackhawks, from the West, facing the Bruins. For all intents and purposes, we can technically consider Chicago was in last place at the beginning of the calendar year (this is the first, last, and ONLY “reach” in this article). Here in 2019, Boston is facing the St. Louis Blues who were absolutely, one hundred percent, confirmed at the bottom of the league at the beginning of the calendar year.
Back to 2013, Boston took a 2-1 series lead over Chicago in game 3, but it would end up being their final victory of the season. Chicago wrapped up the Cup in six games. For a fan like myself, it was six games too many for these two teams, but that’s neither here nor there. Well, here we are in 2019. The Bruins took a 2-1 lead and haven’t won since. Okay, it’s only been one game, but St. Louis WAS able to tie the series 2-2, and this reeks of Bruins history repeating itself. Do with this what you will….
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