By Matt Noonan
With 2011 slowly coming to a close, and 2012 right around the corner, it’s officially time to reflect on the past few months, and remember some significant moments that occurred with the Boston Bruins.
Here are five memorable moments from the past year that’ll be inked in Bruins lore.
Celebrating Lord Stanley’s Cup in Boston: To kick-start the NHL season, the Boston Bruins held their final championship celebration on the TD Garden ice in early October by reenacting their post-Game 7 festivities with their loyal and passionate fans.
However, the Bruins weren’t able to play off their loyal supporters excitement, as the Philadelphia Flyers ruined their Stanley Cup homecoming with a 2-1 victory.
Winning the Stanley Cup: There weren’t exactly too many believers who thought the Boston Bruins would defeat the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lighting, but somehow, the grownup bumble bees did it. Yet, against the Vancouver Canucks, the Bruins were forced to rally from a 3-2 series deficit to earn their first championship since 1972.
Defeating the Canucks wasn’t exactly the easiest task, especially since Boston had to overcome Alex Burrows’ biting incident, Aaron Rome’s obnoxious hit against Nathan Horton, which led to a season ending concussion, as well as goaltender Roberto Luongo’s unnecessary words.
Boston ignored Vancouver’s unruly behavior, and used their unruly behavior as motivation to win the series, and the cup.
Nathan Horton’s Game Winning Goal Against Tampa Bay: During the finale of the Eastern Conference Championship, Nathan Horton became the hero, as he chipped in a pass from the far slot from David Krejci to secure the 1-0 victory. The win also marked the first time the Bruins had reached the Stanley Cup Finals since 1990.
Avenging the Philadelphia Flyers: During the 2010 NHL playoffs, the Bruins secured an impressive 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers. However, Philadelphia refused to go quietly, as they staged one the greatest comebacks in NHL history, as they rallied to win the final four games, which sent Boston packing for the summer.
The Flyers then defeated the Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Finals, but then ended their epic championship chase against the Chicago Blackhawks, who defeated Philadelphia in six games.
The Bruins and Flyers reunited in the second round again in 2011, but this time Boston made sure to not surrender a 3-0 lead, as they defeated Philadelphia in the fourth game of the series, and swept them out of the playoffs.
Philadelphia hasn’t won a championship since defeating the Buffalo Sabres in 1975.
Boston rallies to defeat Montreal in the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals: With the series tied, 2-2, Boston and Montreal skated onto the TD Garden ice for their fifth game of the series, which eventually became an instant classic five hours after the puck had been dropped.
Both teams recorded only one goal in a span of 60-minutes, but then needed an additional period-and-half to decide the outcome.
Andrew Ference rifled a shot from outside the far left circle in the Montreal zone, which was rebounded by Horton, and then immediately deposited by the right winger to secure Boston’s third win of the series, as well as the game winner in double overtime.
The victory provided Boston with all sorts of momentum that helped the Black and Gold eventually defeat their archrival in the seventh game.