For the fourth time in their history, the Bruins went up to Montreal for Game 7 of a playoff series. And for the fourth time, they'll come home eliminated. But unlike the '79 Bruins, who blew a heart-breaking Game 7 lead, or the '71 squad that was one of the favorites to win the Cup; the 2007-08 Bruins may come home in defeat, but they won't come home as losers.
This team wasn't supposed to make the playoffs. Then when Bergeron went down, things looked even worse. A bunch of kids called up from Providence, and a seemingly random assortment of veterans scraped from the proverbial trash heap of the NHL coalesced to form a pretty good team.
And then they drew Montreal in the first round, a team they had fallen to about a dozen times in a row. But out of nowhere, they made games close, then broke through and won a game, then dominated a game. They came up short in the end, and Montreal came up big, but at least they earned an opportunity to come up short in the end, to go out in a blazing failure, instead of some quiet sweep, or another year without post-season play.
We're spoiled in Boston, with the Pats, Celtics, and Red Sox. But the local hockey team got more out of their talent than any of the other three teams. They gave us a show, and perhaps a sneak preview into what might be just around the corner.
Guys like Lucic, Krejci, Thomas, Sobotka, Thornton, and Kessel will be back in a few months. And they'll be contenders. And Montreal's fruity reign of soccer style hockey - complete with diving, flamboyant celebrations, fans who are only tough guys when in large groups, and Steve Begin getting his knees dirty for $12...will soon be over.
Be patient Boston, The Big Bad Bruins will be back.