By Kevin Flanagan
BSD Senior Staff Writer
In the middle of August of 1994, the Montreal Expos were considered to be the best team in Major League Baseball. Featuring offensive stars such as Moises Alou (.339/22 HR/78 RBI) and 2020 Hall of Fame Inductee Larry Walker (.322/19/86) and 2015 HOF’r Pedro Martinez as the team’s staff ace, the squad representing the Great White North in the dilapidated Olympic Stadium in the city known best for hockey, was on the verge of a potential World Series Championship.
As the lawyers representing both of the equally greedy sides of the owners and players of the MLB (aka the most pampered professional players in modern sports) would have it, the loggerheads on both sides saw fit to end the season before the Expos had the chance at a then-unprecedented title for a team that didn’t have an address located in the lower 48.
Some 16 years later, the Boston Bruins find themselves in a similar situation.
Having posted a league-best 100 points with 12 games still remaining in a regular season that is most definitely in doubt, the team that calls TD Garden home is in grave danger of not playing another meaningful contest until next fall due to the threat that the Coronavirus has presented to the public across the globe.
Due to the hysteria surrounding the yet to be understood virus – something that not only is threatening the future of professional sports in nearly every nation but is on pace to strike a dagger through the heart of the worldwide economy – the NHL brass has seen fit to suspend the conclusion of the 2019-20 indefinitely.
Given the lack of testing or understanding of what has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, there is a very likely chance that the season that has seen the team that calls Causeway Street home may go the way of the ’94 MLB campaign.
That is, into a void that is nary remembered, precisely due to its lack of conclusion.
While some may just chalk this up to the events of the times, this almost certainly may mark the last real chance that the B’s core of Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, and Tuukka Rask have their best opportunity to win a Stanley Cup together.
There is no doubt that some will look upon the Game 7 loss at the Garden last June in the Final against the underdog St. Louis Blues as perhaps the last hurrah of the 2011 Cup-winning core.
Nevertheless, head coach Bruce Cassidy’s squad has shown the resilience and determination this season to make at least one last run at hockey’s silver grail.
What a shame it would be if a previously unknown virus just a couple months before would end up being the reason that this group of committed competitors are robbed of a chance for another Cup run.
Follow on Twitter @KevinMFlanagan. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.