“This one was harder than in 2010,” said Bolland, whose game-winning goal bounced just out of the reach of defenseman Johnny Boychuk and hit the post before the scored it. “They battled us really, really tough. We just got the bounces we needed in the end.”
Boston’s had a tough go in sports championships of late, with the Patriots losing their last two Super Bowls and the Celtics dropping an NBA Finals to Los Angeles a few years ago. Getting so close and finishing second invites misery and frustration because you never know when you’ll get another crack it at, and you hate to leave championship rings on the table.
Nevertheless, you have to appreciate what it means to get there — to knock at that door of immortality. Six months ago, it appeared the NHL season would be lost to another lockout; The Winter Classic was canceled and prospects of the Stanley Cup being awarded seemed grim.
To have it awarded in Boston, in 90 degree heat in June, is still a triumph for the game.
“I don’t think there’s too many guys that will have regrets over the summer,” Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference said of how hard Boston played. “We went at Chicago with everything we had. They earned it, for sure.”
Boston was in good shape early last night, attacking the Chicago net ferociously early on and taking the lead when Chris Kelly scored at 7:19 of the first. The Bruins failed to take a multi-goal advantage, and ended up 0-for-4 on the power play, and ultimately it cost them.
The Bruins lost three games in a row in these Finals, going from being ahead 2-1 in the series to falling in six games. It was only the second time they’d lost three straight in this shortened season.