BY KEVIN FLANAGAN
That one hurt. That was a punch to the gut, a boot to the groin, rip your heart out and stomp on it with steel spikes painful.
What happened in the 17.7 seconds of the 3rd period of last night’s game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals beginning with Bryan Bickell’s tying goal with 1:16 remaining in regulation time will go down in the annals of Stanley Cup history as one of the most improbable series clinching victories.
It will also go down as one of the most heartbreaking.
Make no mistake about it the Chicago Blackhawks deserve to be Stanley Cup Champions today. They were the best team during the lockout shortened season and when it counted in the playoffs they found a way to win. There is no shame in losing to this Hawks team.
But this Bruins team deserved better.
This B’s squad in particular is one that is filled with guys that are willing to sacrifice and fight for each other. They have a bond that was forged largely through having climbed the mountain two years ago together and reached the level of a champion. They played with broken bones, separated shoulders, cracked ribs and who knows how many other undisclosed ailments focused on a collective goal.
They played for a city that was rocked by tragedy just months earlier and served as a rallying point for a community that was desperate for something good to hold on to.
When faced with adversity they played strong. Boston Strong.
Although they were battered and bruised they remained unbowed and found a way to scrap their way to a 2-1 lead in a fashion that has come to define them in big moments. But just when it seemed they had evened the series fate turned its lonely eyes to the Chicago Blackhawks.
17.7 seconds broke the Bruins.
In the end the best team won but one can’t help but to feel cheated by not getting to see a 7th game in one of the best Stanley Cup Finals series in recent memory.
They were 1 minute and 16 seconds away from giving us that and maybe more. 17.7 seconds later they were losers.
They deserved a better fate than that.