Picture perfect: Bruins bond in China, race to Cup Final

BOSTON (AP) — If the Boston Bruins appeared like something of an afterthought at occasions this season, perhaps it was understandable.

They performed within the Atlantic Division shadow of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who raced to the President’s Trophy and have been the No. 1 general seed in the playoffs. Still, Boston stored profitable — only three teams gained extra video games this season — and the Bruins have been among the many prime Stanley Cup championship contenders regardless of prolonged injuries to the likes of Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy and others.

Profitable without so many key gamers only fortified the Bruins’ resolve in the postseason.

“What we shouldn’t be nervous about is, ‘Can we win with out sure guys within the lineup?’” coach Bruce Cassidy stated forward of Recreation 7 at house Wednesday within the Cup ultimate towards St. Louis. “First thing crosses your mind (is) we’ve accomplished it. We’ve gained games with out — go down the listing.”

Being primarily locked into the second seed within the division and a first-round matchup towards rival Toronto before March and enjoying greater than a month of playoff tuneups didn’t stunt the Bruins’ momentum. They got here back from a 3-2 deficit to knock out the Maple Leafs and began an eight-recreation profitable streak towards Columbus that included a sweep of Carolina and a victory over the Blues to start out the final.

It was a mirror image of one of the best of the Bruins from the regular season, once they strung together at the least four consecutive victories 5 separate occasions.

“You noticed us go on little streaks of success, and that’s once we knew that we could possibly be a contender in this league,” defenseman Brandon Carlo stated.

Contender status was cemented long earlier than the Cup last started. Earlier than Recreation three in St. Louis, the guests’ locker room featured outstanding video screens of the newest title-profitable Bruins group from 2011. 5 gamers stay from that staff that beat Vancouver eight years ago.

“Daily it’s a reminder of what we’re enjoying for,” Bergeron stated. “It’s to only keep in mind daily what we’re enjoying for and the way much it means to make it occur.”

Bergeron, Chara, Brad Marchand, middle David Krejci and goaltender Tuukka Rask (who backed up Tim Thomas in 2011 playoffs) and 2015 Blackhawks Cup champion Joakim Nordstrom have gained a title earlier than. For Boston players who haven’t, the video offered immediate visible motivation.

“They maintain our heads on a swivel,” ahead David Pastrnak stated. “It’s undoubtedly something you need to be part of. It’s what you work on your entire life. A picture like that is what you keep in mind probably the most.”

And the moments alongside the best way: Krug crushing Blues forward Robert Thomas with a helmetless hit, Chara taking the ice in a full face defend forty eight hours after taking a puck to the face and Bergeron’s pre-Recreation 6 speech with the Bruins dealing with elimination. Bergeron advised teammates this was about all their childhood goals and to savor the second and not let it…

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