Bruins

This Date in Bruins History: Oilers trounce B's in Stanley Cup Final

This Date in Bruins History: Oilers trounce B's in Stanley Cup Final

May 22 is not a good day in the history of the Boston Bruins.

In fairness to the Bruins, the only two games played in their history on this date were Stanley Cup Final matchups in 1988 and 1990. Reaching the championship round is an excellent accomplishment. The bad news is both games saw the Edmonton Oilers trounce the B's.

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Let's start with Game 3 of the 1988 Cup Final at the old Boston Garden. The Bruins actually opened the scoring with a goal from Randy Burridge 2:46 into the first period. Unfortunately for Boston, Edmonton scored the next four goals and cruised to a 6-3 victory. 

Game 4 was held two days later but wasn't able to be finished because of a power failure at Boston Garden. The series shifted back to Edmonton, where the Oilers capped off a sweep of the Bruins to win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.

The other Cup Final loss for the Bruins on this date came in Game 4 of the 1990 Cup Final at the old Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton. The Bruins earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory in Game 3 and were aiming to tie the series before it went back to Boston. The Oilers had other plans, though, and pummeled the B's with a 5-1 victory to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Oilers forwards Glenn Anderson and Craig Simpson both scored twice.

Edmonton finished off the series in Game 5 in Boston to claim their fifth title in seven seasons.

The Bruins had two really good teams in 1988 and 1990, they just got caught in the middle of one of the NHL's greatest dynasties.

Zdeno Chara joins Patrice Bergeron in admirable action this week while attending Boston protest

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File photo

Zdeno Chara joins Patrice Bergeron in admirable action this week while attending Boston protest

The Boston Bruins leadership group has shown they are about more than simple lip service and social media posts when it comes to what’s been going on in this country over the last few weeks.

Patrice Bergeron made a $50,000 donation to a pair of worthy causes this week in the Boston branch of the NAACP and Centre Multiethnique de Quebec while releasing a lengthy, passionate statement through the Bruins.

B's captain Zdeno Chara was spotted in all his 6-foot-9 glory walking in Boston on Friday afternoon during one of the protests through the city streets while sporting a Bruins mask in the crowd.

None of this is a surprise as both the 43-year-old Chara and the 33-year-old Bergeron have fostered a welcoming, friendly environment in the Bruins dressing over the years. The Bruins veterans don’t even really use the word “rookie” because Chara has always believed that it creates unnecessary separation between younger and older teammates that shouldn’t exist in a team setting.

Bergeron is partially credited with helping pull a black teammate named Gemel Smith out of a mental funk that he was mired in during his time with the Bruins. Bergeron urged Smith to talk to somebody professionally when he sensed that something wasn’t quite right with his new teammate and it helped Smith turn things around personally and professionally when he was with the Tampa Bay Lightning this season.

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Smith ended up playing just three games with the Bruins last season after being picked up on waivers, but even in that brief time Bergeron had managed to reach out and make a connection with the player that made a lasting impact. That’s exactly the kind of healthy, welcoming dressing room that’s made the Bruins a success over the years.

There isn’t a long history of black players with the Bruins in recent years as Smith, Jarome Iginla and Malcolm Subban are the only black NHLers to suit up with Boston over the last decade. So there haven't been a great deal of opportunities for Bergeron, Chara and the rest of the B’s leadership core to show just much they embrace the diversity and equal treatment for all that so many around the NHL are voicing in the days since George Floyd was horrifically killed by Minneapolis police officers.

But give full credit to both Bergeron and Chara for stepping up this week, representing the Bruins in a manner they would be proud of and showing that it’s about actions as much as -- if not more than -- words when it comes to promoting equal treatment for all, and a better tomorrow for people of all races and backgrounds.

Breaking down the winners and losers of NHL 24-team season return format

Breaking down the winners and losers of NHL 24-team season return format

The NHL has their 24-team postseason format and they’ve even drilled down on some of the specifics this week.

We still don’t know exactly when the Stanley Cup postseason can start or when NHL training camps would be going full speed ahead. Also, all of the matchups beyond the “qualifying round” are still very much in the air.

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Clearly there is still plenty we don’t know about the Stanley Cup Playoffs once the NHL presses the play button in the next few months.

But we do know enough about the proposed postseason to know who will benefit, and who will be getting the short end of the stick. So that’s enough to put together the always popular winners and losers list when it comes to the new NHL postseason format. 

Click here for the gallery.