A lot has been made about the ‘Boston Grand Slam’, which died when the Boston Celtics crashed and burned in an egotistical clash. However, with the Boston Bruins headed to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, the chance for the ‘Boston Triple-Play’ is still alive and well. While the B’s won’t have two whole weeks off like the New England Patriots do when they advance to the Super Bowl, the Bruins will have been off for eleven days when Game 1 of the Final is played on May 27. So, the team going for Boston’s third title in the last year is going to seek advice from a team that knows how to deal with and as they did two of the last three years, conquer the layoff.
“There’s different sports, there’s crossovers that we’ve all sort of identified that we’re gonna tap into,” Bruins GM Don Sweeney told the media Saturday morning. “There’s a local team that’s had time between when they’re going to the Super Bowl. We are gonna look at different resources that have done it and done it well.”
In hockey terms, that layoff can feel like an eternity. In football? It’s a normal occurrence that teams handle multiple times during the course of a season. The Patriots had two weeks between upsetting the Chiefs in Kansas City and this past Super Sunday. They are no strangers to long layoffs, and they’ve figured out ways to stay fresh and successful when having double-digit days off. That’s why Sweeney plans to pick the brain of arguably the best head coach in the history of the NFL and even pro sports, Bill Belichick, even if he isn’t a personal friend.
“Do I personally? No.,” Sweeney replied if he knew Belichick well. “I have a hell of a lot of respect for the man, that’s for sure. But I think we’re gonna reach out to their group and tap into every different – we look at everybody’s assets in that way and hopefully, they’ll be able to share some information with us.”
Not knowing Belichick personally won’t be an issue at all, considering the unity that has formed amongst the team’s big four professional sports teams during this reign of championships and greatness that started back in 2002 when the Patriots won their first championship and the city of Boston’s first since the Celtics won their 16th title in 1986. When you are a professional sports team in Boston, you are part of a family. There aren’t many cities where the teams are so close, hanging out with each other and attending the others’ games when they can. If you attended a Bruins or Celtics game at TD Garden in recent years, you are likely to see Patriots David Andrews, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Kyle Van Noy or even Robert Kraft in attendance. We’ve seen the Bruins take in multiple Celtics and Red Sox games over the years, and Red Sox outfielder and reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts at TD Garden isn’t exactly a rare occurrence either.
It goes beyond the players, however. The coaches in this city have long had a good relationship and leaned on each other for advice on how to handle winning championships and reaching their ultimate goal. Now, the managers are taking their turn picking each other’s brains. Not everything is going to translate from the gridiron to the ice, that’s obvious. Football takes that extra week off for the media frenzy that comes with the Super Bowl, and also allows both teams to have ample time to get healthy and get ready to play. Building a gameplan is far more intense in football because every single play and every single situation has to be built in. Defenses have to have multiple schemes ready to go and the offense has to be ready to do multiple things. Hockey is more on the fly and there will be ample time to adjust during a series.
That’s why Sweeney will combine the notes he gets from Belichick and other outside sources, with those of his, Cassidy’s and their staffs. They will also try to simulate as much as possible. If their constant focus and ability to stay in the moment is any indication, the Bruins will find a way to navigate through any signs of complacency. Regardless, it’s a privilege to be a professional sports team in this city. In an unusual situation and need some advice? Just hop on the phone, and a future hall of fame coach will give you some!