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Down three goals. 14 minutes left in the third period and the Bruins were on the brink of elimination, down three goals. Claud Julien’s job was in jeopardy, the core that brought Boston it’s first Stanley Cup in 39 years was in danger of being blown up, and TD Garden was in complete shock as Phil Kessel was about to send his old team home early. Until…
Until Milan Lucic willed his team to a roaring comeback. Looch doesn’t get enough credit for sparking the improbable comeback. That was one of his best periods as a Bruin as he held a heavy hand in all 3 goals late in the period. His setup to Nathan Horton with 10 minutes left in the 3rd was a classic Bruins shift, with a classic power move before finding Horton across the crease. He later banged home a rebound out front and was on the ice for the tying goal.
Patrice Bergeron cemented his place in Bruins history with both the tying and game winning goal that came later in overtime. The centerman of the first perfection line (people forget how good that 63-37-19 line was. They were right up there with the Pastrnak line we see now) launched the Bruins to a second Stanley Cup run in three years and put on one of the gutsiest performances of all time, playing in the Finals with a broken nose, a separated shoulder, cracked ribs, and a punctured lung. What an animal.
I remember this game like it happened yestersay. My dad was on a business trip and I was home from college, watching the game in my living room while my mom and sisters were doing whatever they were doing upstairs. I was calling for Julien’s head on Twitter (great call) and I was beside myself, The Bruins lead the series 3 games to 1 and were poised to make another deep playoff run, yet here they were less than 15 minutes from elimination to an inferior Toronto team. Then, the comeback started. On the tying goal I screamed so loud and jumped no less than 36 feet in the air. My mom ran downstairs thinking someone had broken into the house or something. She immediately ran back upstairs once she learned what had happened (shoutout to mom. She’s very aware of the superstitions sports hold and it has lead Boston to many championships as she makes sure to keep the status quo in where she sits during big games, even if that means staying upstairs and reading a book while listening to my reactions as a play by play for how things are going).
I don’t think I slept that night. Between spin zoning my reactionary tweets from earlier in the night and drinking Leafs fan’s tears, the adrenaline running through my veins simply would not allow rest. It’s amazing to look back at how impactful that game was. A week later Torey Krug became an overnight sensation. Carl Soderberg entered the fold as the injuries piled up. Tyler Seguin was shipped out of town for acting like a 21 year old kid handed $5 million dollars (I’ll never let that go). Tuukka Rask proved that his run in 2010 was not simply catching lightening in a bottle, as he lead his team 2 wins shy of another championship in a Vezina winning year. If the Bruins are eliminated that night, the stories of Seguin, Rask, and Krug may be much, much different.