Bruins

Still some bitter memories of 2013 Stanley Cup for Bruins as they meet Blackhawks in Winter Classic

Still some bitter memories of 2013 Stanley Cup for Bruins as they meet Blackhawks in Winter Classic

SOUTH BEND, Indiana – Some Bruins players didn’t think about it at all, and the ones that did certainly weren’t bringing good memories to the table.

So, it’s probably not all that surprising that most of the remaining Bruins players from the 2013 team that made it to the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks weren’t exactly flooded with memories of that six-game series despite the Hawks lining up as their big-game opponent for the Winter Classic on New Year's Day at Notre Dame Stadium.

Zdeno Chara and David Krejci said that seeing the Blackhawks logo didn’t conjure up anything from nearly six years ago, but for Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, thinking about the way the 2013 Cup Final ended still dredges up some bitterness.

Clearly, the two goals allowed to the Blackhawks in 19 seconds to blow Game 6 at the Garden, and therein lose a chance to play a Game 7 in Chicago, even if it was going to be without the injured Bergeron, is still a bit of a bitter pill.  

“Obviously it’s always going to sting given the way we lost to them. That’s the toughest part. We were in Game 6 and we thought we were going to get to Game 7, and then they kind of just took it from us. That’s the toughest part. But that’s a long time ago,” said Marchand. “Now, we’re just looking forward to that next opportunity.”  

For the Bruins, Bergeron, Chara, Marchand, Krejci, Tuukka Rask and Torey Krug are the last remaining players from that 2013 Cup Final team, and for the Blackhawks, it’s Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Keith Seabrook, Corey Crawford and Brandon Saad. Clearly, the Hawks feel quite a bit removed from that 2013 Stanley Cup perch given some of the difficulties that Chicago has had the past few seasons after their dynastic run.

Perhaps most painful of all the memories, though, is what the Blackhawks and the 2013 Cup Final brings back for Bergeron after he played Game 6 with a punctured lung. There have been games between Boston and Chicago since and other injuries that Bergeron has fought through the past six years, but that was one of the toughest stretches for No. 37 in a career partially built on his incredible toughness and perseverance.

“It always kind of [reminds you] and there are always some big battles between our two teams. Obviously, there was none bigger than that series, for me anyways. It doesn’t necessarily bring back great memories, so you don’t think too much about it,” said Bergeron. “But that being said, it’s a great team and, like us, a hockey team with a lot of history.

“[The Blackhawks] are a team that’s been very successful over the past decade. So, it’s always a great matchup and I’m looking forward to it.”

The Bruins and Blackhawks in the Winter Classic at Notre Dame should be a great matchup just as it was for the 2013 Cup Final. The B’s are just hoping for a little bit of a different result this time around when a classic Original Six rivalry is renewed, this time outdoors. 

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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the B's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche

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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the B's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche

Here are my talking points from the Bruins’ first regulation loss at home in 2019-20:

GOLD STAR: It isn’t going to happen very often, but Ian Cole turned out to be the single biggest contributor in a team-wide win for the Avalanche. It was Cole that smoked a slap shot past the glove hand of Jaroslav Halak to give Colorado a 2-1 lead in the second period, and he made certain his first goal of the season was an important one. Cole also blocked five shots in 17:17 of ice time and was part of a gritty, determined effort to protect the lead once the Avs got up 3-1 in the third. He mixed in a couple of hits and a couple of takeaways as well, and made some big plays in what was pretty much a perfect game overall for Colorado.

HIGHLIGHTS: Bruins take first home regulation loss vs. Avs, 4-1

BLACK EYE: There’s more than a few, but how about Danton Heinen just not making the plays that he needs to make when he’s in the lineup? Forget about the zero shots on net in 16:45 of ice time, with a number of them either getting blocked or missing the net. That’s nothing new when it comes to a player that’s barely averaging a shot on net for game. But he also turned the puck over behind the Boston net in a sequence that led to Cole’s game-winner as the Bruins began to run around in the defensive zone. It was that particular play that led Bruce Cassidy to lament that the attention to details was lacking for his players at this point in the season. If Heinen isn’t making the little plays, is a minus player and isn’t bringing any offense, then he isn’t worth having in the lineup.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins went into the first intermission tied at 1-1 after only putting four shots on net, and should have had the kind of wakeup call that they needed to turn the intensity up a little bit. Instead they went through a second period where they again only put up four shots on net while falling behind by two goals headed into the final 20 minutes. The Avalanche only leveled five shots on net as well, but they scored on a pair of them and pounced all over Boston’s mistakes while playing a surprisingly disciplined, two-way game despite their explosive offensive players. This time around, the Bruins didn’t have any way to come back in the third period against a quality Colorado team that wasn’t going to fold for them.

#HaggBag: Any worries about the B's? Let's hear 'em

HONORABLE MENTION: One of the few players to put up an honest-to-goodness effort in the loss was the hard-hitting fourth liner, Chris Wagner. It was Wagner that redirected a John Moore point shot in the first period for his third goal of the season that gave the Bruins an initial lead in the game. Wagner led the Bruins with five registered hits, scored on the only shot on net he had in the game and won 5-of-10 face-offs that he took in his 12:39 of ice time. The shame was that there weren’t enough other players that rose to the level of urgency and compete that Wagner was showing throughout the game for the Black and Gold.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 – The home point streak (12-0-5) is over for the Bruins as the Avs handed them their first regulation loss on home ice this year, and their first since Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues almost six months ago.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “There’s just a lot of details that are working us against us now. We’ve just got to wake up and start playing to our abilities in those situations. And live with the result. It doesn’t mean we’re going to win, but I think we’re leaving plays on the table because our lack of urgency or understanding that teams are coming after us.” –Bruce Cassidy, lamenting the lack of urgency in the B’s game as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Avalanche.

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Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

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Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

FINAL SCORE: Avalanche 4, Bruins 1

IN BRIEF: The Bruins tied it early with a Chris Wagner tip-in off a John Moore shot from the point, but from there the Avs dictated play to hand Boston its first home loss in regulation at TD Garden in the 2019-20 season. It was a Pyrrhic victory for the Avs, though, who lost Calder Trophy favorite and former UMass star Cale Makar to injury.

BOX SCORE

BRUINS RECORD: 20-4-6 (46 points, 1st in Atlantic Division)

HIGHLIGHTS

WAGNER TIPS HOME MOORE’S SHOT FROM POINT

AVS LOSE MAKAR

UP NEXT:

At Ottawa, Monday, 7:30 p.m., NESN

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