By Jackie Hart, Sports Editor
On Sunday afternoon, the Bruins season ended and their dreams of the Cup dashed away on an overtime goal by Ottawa Senators forward Clarke MacArthur. Whether you were a fan watching at the Garden, or just at home, Bruins fans had the same reaction: silence. There’s just something about seeing the puck find the back of the net in sudden death overtime, realizing they’re not going to call off the goal, and processing the fact that it’s over.
At least for now.
It’s been a tough few years for Bruins fans, not even making playoff appearances the past couple seasons. Then, a coaching change mid-season shook up the atmosphere players and fans had been so accustomed too. But finally, we were back in it. We were back and hungry for victory. Missing some of our top defensemen in Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and Brandon Carlo, we were walking in with quite the chip on our shoulders. But in Stanley Cup hockey, there’s no excuses. Not in 2009 when Mark Recchi battled kidney stones against Carolina, or in 2013 when Patrice Bergeron suffered through a game six heartbreaker against the Blackhawks with cracked ribs, torn cartilage and a punctured lung. So on April 12, we set off against the Senator, hungry to bring the Cup home.
It was a nerve-racking, entertaining and heartbreaking series. With nearly all the games being won in overtime, fans of both teams were sweating it out until it finally one was victorious. In the end, only one can advance and this time, it was not in the cards for the Bruins. Exhausted and beat up, the Bruins ended their season on their home ice in front a packed crowd at the Garden. However, on the same day they started the series with the Senators, Bergeron published an article about how good it felt to be back in the playoffs and the excitement that came with it. He talked about when the coaching change came, they knew it wasn’t a reflection of Claude Julien. Rather, it exposed how the boys on the ice needed to step up their game. Which they did, and it brought them to the playoffs once again.
He also talked about how losing a 3-0 series lead on Philadelphia in 2010 propelled them to victory in 2011. And he’s right. If there’s one thing the Bruins have proved to us, it’s that they are more than capable and more than ready to bounce back. They know how to pick themselves up and get out there again. So on the outside, this loss hurts bad. But on the inside, it’s just a sign that there’s something good coming out of Boston soon. With the likes of 19 year old Charlie McAvoy, and other youngsters like Frank Vatrano and Sean Kuraly, the future is looming with success. The road to victory is never straight and smooth, but rather winding and bumpy, passing through New York, Montreal and other treacherous places. These are the guys to do it though. This time next year, the Bruins won’t let their fans down, and they’ll put up a hell of a fight trying to bring home number seven. Just you watch. And remember: Don’t Poke The Bear.