There is no way around it, the Boston Bruins are in an emotional hell right now. More likely than not, a large portion of fans are right there with them just hours after the club dropped a 4-1 decision on home ice in Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. For the second time this decade, an opponent has come to TD Garden and lifted the Cup. It hurt in 2013, and for Boston’s core it hurt even more on Wednesday night.
The 2018-19 Boston Bruins had a special feel to them. Not only did this team dominate at times in both the regular season and playoffs, but they appeared extremely close. A close knit group that shined through with humor and personality, these Bruins were a very likable bunch. That makes Wednesday night that much more difficult to deal with.
On another level, the realization that Wednesday was likely Captain Zdeno Chara’s last true shot at a Stanley Cup stings for Bruins fans. The emotion in the locker room on Wednesday night proved just how hard this Boston team took the loss. 60 minutes away from their dream, they fell just short.
Leadership Group Speaks
Chara, emotions high after Game 7, spoke to the media postgame and was quite frank when asked why this year’s Boston team seemed so special. “I think it was the personalities we had, the leadership we had. I thought we came together” began Chara. The 2019 playoffs were just culmination of years building a culture, however.
“Not just this year, but the last few years as a team that really bought-in as one, played for each other, played together. We battled together and we shared some ups and downs.”
Patrice Bergeron, arguably the most prominent leader outside of Chara, agreed. “Just how close we are as a team. You know, there was no quit all year, and we battled, fought our way back against Toronto and Columbus also down 2-1 and kept going and kept pushing … I’m proud of the guys.”
Marchand Shows Emotion
Maybe the most emotional on Wednesday night was Brad Marchand. A secondary scorer who was more of a pest than anything in 2011 and even in 2013, Marchand has morphed into a leader and arguably the best offensive player for the Bruins. His red eyes and difficulty getting through questions said it all. This one hurt the Bruins star forward.
When asked about his team, Marchand didn’t hold back. “Love these guys. We had a hell of a year, and we came very close. I love every guy on this team. I’m very proud of everyone that worked their ass off all year to get to this point, and you know, we’re a hell of a group. We came together.”
Without doubt, the most fitting quote of the night came from Marchand. A Bruins team that started the season nine months ago in China, battled through an 82 game grind and fought all the way to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. It was a long and winding road that, unfortunately for them, ended just short of the ultimate goal. When you go through that kind of journey, relationships that last a lifetime get built.
In the words of Marchand, last night hurts. It hurts even more than in 2013. Why? “We’re like a family.”