By Court Lalonde
With the 2019-2020 NHL season growing closer every day I thought it would fun to review some great moments from last season. The Boston Bruins made it to game seven of the Stanley Cup finals and as you all know lost to the St.Louis Blues. We can all wallow in our sadness and complain as we all like to do sometimes, but I thought remembering the things that brought us joy throughout the 2018-2019 season would be better.
I want to start but saying these are not going to be in order or importance but just in the order as they happened during the season. I will also like to add that we posed the question to our audience and where happy to know that most of you felt the same way.
1. Oct 30th, 2018 Boston vs Carolina – Brad Marchand scores twice including the game winner but Patrice Bergeron gets three assists and one came off end-to-end back check to stop a break away.
2. Jan 1st, 2019 Boston vs Chicago – This was the Boston Bruins first Winter Classic as the visiting team. Many if remember how the Bruins even entered the stadium before the game dressed like they belong on the set of the Peaky Blinders. I look back to this game as the turning point of the season. The score was tied going into the third period Sean Kuraly scores to make it 3-2 and Tuukka Rask shuts the door with 36 saves and the Bruins win 4-2. ” You get two points but it’s more than just an average game. You’re playing in front of, what, 80,000 people on national TV, two historical franchises. Everyone wants to see a good hockey game and we just want to be on top. It worked out well for everybody, specifically for us.” — Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy
3. February 20th and 25, 2019 – These are the two dates where the Bruins acquire Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson. The Bruins traded for Coyle from the Minnesota Wild for Ryan Donato and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. Many people at the time criticized the Bruins for trading away highly touted young forward Ryan Donato. Every time Donato would get a point for the Wild social media would remind us all. Coyle’s play during the playoffs sure erased those comments and turned out to be just what the team needed. He fit right in as the third line center and the line of himself, Heinen, and Johansson were one of their most productive lines. Johansson aquired at the trade deadline and originally was thought to be the answer for the second line but was injured shortly after being traded to the Bruins. When he returned was put on the third line, and they never looked back.
4. March 7th, 2019 Florida vs Boston – The Bruins are are on a 17 game point streak rolling into this game and haven’t lost in regulation since Jan 19th, 2019. They’re down 3-2 with less than a minute remaining in regulation Matt Grzelcyk scores on the power play followed up by a goal by Patrice Bergeron which turns out to be the game-winner 30 seconds later.
5. March 10th, 2019 Boston vs Pittsburgh – The Bruins point streak ends at 19 games. Up until this game the Boston Bruins record since Jan 19th, 2019 was 15-0-4. They lost this game, but the point streak showed the rest of the NHL that this Bruins club was one of the best in the league.
6. April 2nd, 2019 Boston vs Columbus – Brad Marchand became the 10th Bruin player in history to reach 100-point plateau. The Bruins won the game 6-2 and clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
7. April 23rd, 2019 Toronto vs Boston – The Bruins eliminate the Maple Leafs for the second straight year in a game seven. This one isn’t as close as years before and the Bruins win 5-1. Series itself was another one for the ages and solidified their rivalry to be one of the best to watch in the NHL. Nazim Kadri once again let his emotions get the best of him. With blatant disregard to the betterment of his team, he selfishly cross-checked Jake DeBrusk in the head. Kadri this time didn’t just get three games but was suspended for the whole series after only playing in two games. Going into the series, many of the pundits suggested the Leafs biggest strength was the depth down the middle. Unlike last year in the first round, Rask was on the top of his game. He was a difference-maker in the series and made the timely saves when needed. Every line for the Bruins was contributing one way or another in this series.
8. May 6th, 2019 Boston vs Columbus – The Bruins eliminate the Blue Jackets in game six on the back of Tuukka Rask who posts a shutout in the 3-0 win. Both goalies showed up to this series, but the Bruins were able to get to Bobrovsky. Rask, on the other hand, was stellar the whole series and posted a .948 save percentage. The Bruins top line of Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak has some struggles at the beginning of the series. In the final three games, the top line accounted for six goals and 11 points which turned out to be the difference to push the Bruins into the next round.
9. May 16th, 2019 Boston vs Carolina – The Bruins eliminate the cinderella story Hurricanes in a game four and punch a ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Hurricanes captain Played unhinged all series and allowed players like Brad Marchand to get into his head. The Bruins powerplay went 7 for 15 in the series while the Hurricanes went 1 for 14. Tuukka Rask remained red hot and made the timely saves when needed.
10. June 6th, 2019 St.Louis vs Boston – During the second period of game four captain, Zdeno Chara took a Brayden Schenn shot tipped from his stick into his cheek. Chara being the player he is, got up on his own and skated to the Boston bench. Chara returned to the bench during the third period but didn’t take another shift. St.Louis goes on to win that game and tie the series. We have set the stage for game five when Chara returns to the lineup, and the TD Garden crowd give him a standing ovation during introductions. I was at game five and will go down as one of the most significant sporting moments I have ever witness. You could feel the city of Boston cheering for their captain at that moment. The Bruins go on to lose the game after a blown call that some could say cost them the game and the series. The St.Louis Blues go on to beat the Bruins in seven games and win the Stanley Cup.
Hope you enjoyed our top 10 list and if you can think of ones we missed, let us know, we welcome the conversation.