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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