Last weekend’s Lake Tahoe game was an interesting dichotomy in a pair of NHL teams, the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers, with vastly different approaches.
The Philadelphia Flyers are a young, largely unproven hockey team that oozes talent, but they were also very clearly undermanned going into last weekend’s outdoor game in Nevada. With all that going on, the Flyers also seemed a little overwhelmed by being a part of the NHL’s marquee event given that it was the first time around for so many of their young players.
On the other hand, the Bruins players are grizzled, experienced veterans when it comes to showcase NHL events, the big stage and even the outdoor games that. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci have played in a handful of the outdoor games, Tuukka Rask has managed to win a couple of them as well and even younger veterans like David Pastrnak, Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy, Kevan Miller and Jake DeBrusk have played in multiple outdoor games at this point.
So, the Boston Bruins were ready from an experience standpoint, and they have the poised, ultra-experienced leadership that knows exactly how to approach these big moments. Clearly it begins with the commitment to win required in the big games, but it’s also about framing it within having some good, old-fashioned fun with the moment as well.
Patrice Bergeron was the architect of the hilarious 1990’s tribute idea with the Boston Bruins showing up to the Lake Tahoe rink all decked out in 1990’s wear with cassette tape Walkman players, Bash Brother Mighty Ducks jerseys, giant cell phones and some other pretty colorful outfits.
“They look like they raided my closet,” said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy with a laugh when he was asked postgame about the wardrobe choices by the players. “You don’t get a lot of chances to bond this year, so they took full advantage of it. You work, you win, and you have fun. You kind of try to not mess up the order. I think our guys are really good at that.”
It was a similar idea to the “Peaky Blinders” outfits that the Bruins showed up to Notre Dame wearing for the Winter Classic a couple of seasons ago, and it’s really no coincidence the B’s won both of those outdoor games.
Let’s hear from Bergeron about the inspiration behind the 1990’s idea, which clearly had roots in the sweet, gold reverse retro jerseys they wore for the game: