The answer to the question above is likely yes, though I can’t say I am 100% sure of that, a bear does poop in the woods. However, the Charmin commercials suggest that they are inherently inefficient with toilet paper until taught otherwise. Not unlike those bears and their toilet paper, the Boston Bruins were inefficient with their opportunities in the Stanley Cup Final. Which, when sticking to the toilet paper reference, one would think that the Bruins would be very efficient as per Jeremy Jacobs’ penny pinching reputation, the B’s would be lucky to have 2 ply toilet paper in the Garden facilities.
The Bruins turned this final into theirs to lose, and that they did. Not to dismiss the Hawks success, they are a damn good team and overcame adversity to turn themselves into deserving champions. Early on in this series though, the big bad Bruins missed their chance. Whichever way you want to look at it, either Boston set themselves up or Chicago giving the Bruins a chance to run away, it was an opportunity wasted for Boston.
Going back to Game 1, which was a fantastic and entertaining hockey game, the triple overtime spectacular turned into a montage of Boston’s missed chances. Despite outshooting and outchancing Chi-town, they just couldn’t close it out, and when you can’t close it out, you get the seemingly impossible deflection goals such as Andrew Shaw’s. All in all, for Boston, game 1 was missed opportunity number 1.
The Bruins bounced back in game 2, overcoming a tough start and forcing overtime, paving the way for some Dan Paille heroism. One could argue that Boston got lucky in this one due to Chicago’s dominant start, however I will give Boston more credit to this game than Chicago in game 1 as posts and missed/muffed shots cost Boston game 1, and a Finnish wall named Tuuka Rask is was held Chicago back in game 2.
Moving on to game 3, plain and simple, Boston laid down one of the most convincing 2-0 victories you will see in the playoffs. So through 3 games, the Bruins lead the series 2-1 and had they executed in game 1, it would have been a 3-0 series. Leading 2 games to 1 is nice, but 3 games to none, with game 4 at home is a hell of a lot nicer. In game 4, things opened up… big time. This crapshoot could have gone either way but Chicago did have the slight edge, they were playing with desperation and it was theirs to lose, however, they didn’t. After this, the series was never the same.
The Hawks overcame the obstacle of Chara and Rask, and all of a sudden the series was angled their way. Had the series been 3-1 at this point, the B’s would still be looking all right. Now with lost momentum for Boston and the apparent mortality of Chara and Rask, this was a new series and it belonged to Chicago. As soon as one could attempt to predict the rest of this series, game 5 had already gone in Chicago’s favor. Enter missed opportunity number 3.
Bean Town was buzzing, the reports were that Boston was also quite humid. The thing with humidity and ice, is that they don’t particularly get along, the folks in Florida can attest to this. Poor ice conditions lead to bouncing pucks and hinders the transition game, a big part of Chicago’s game, and Boston had a chance to lay their big bad game on the Hawks. In the first period of this game, it was clear Boston had the advantage, and then… What happened Bruins? The game changed and Chicago came storming back. Missed opportunity number 3.
Boston was able to keep it together and found themselves with a late lead and many thought game 7 was inevitable. However, in what will surely be infamous fashion, the Hawks took the lead in a matter of seconds. Before you could even say the names Bickell and Bolland (sounds like a buddy cop TV show), the 2 had scored and Chicago grabbed the lead. Missed opportunity number 3, and such as in baseball when you miss 3 times, it’s three strikes you’re out, and the Bruins were. So quickly things went from heading back to Chicago for game 7 to the Hawks heading back to Chicago with the cup.
Chicago holds the cup as representation of their perseverance and ability to overcome their hurdles. Boston is cupless because of their inability to do so. It will be a long season for Boston as, simply put, as my old coach used to say, “they had them by the balls and forgot to squeeze.” Instead, the Hawks get to parade their unsqueezed, champion balls.