The 2010-11 Boston Bruins are one of the most beloved teams in Boston sports history, and for good reason. Led by Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas, Boston rode a bruising, entertaining style of hockey all the way to a Stanley Cup championship.
But how do those Bruins rank among other recent Cup champions?
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski on Tuesday published “Stanley Cup Madness,” a March Madness-inspired bracket featuring the last 16 Cup champions. Fans can visit the bracket and vote who they believe would win each of eight theoretical matchups.
The Bruins drew the fifth seed and a date with the 2007 Anaheim Ducks, seeded 12th.
Here’s the full bracket:
1. Detroit Red Wings (2002) vs 16. Carolina Hurricanes (2006)
2. Chicago Blackhawks (2010) vs 15. Chicago Blackhawks (2013)
3. Pittsburgh Penguins (2009) vs. 14. Tampa Bay Lightning (2004)
4. Detroit Red Wings (2008) vs. 13. New Jersey Devils (2003)
5. Boston Bruins (2011) vs. 12. Anaheim Ducks (2007)
6. Chicago Blackhawks (2015) vs. 11. Pittsburgh Penguins (2017)
7. Pittsburgh Penguins (2016) vs. 10. Los Angeles Kings (2012)
8. Washington Capitals (2018) vs. 9. Los Angeles Kings (2014)
Here’s Wyshynski’s case for the 2010-11 Bruins:
“It’s amazing to think that the Bruins were an overtime goal away from being ousted in the first round, in the 3-vs.-6 series against the Canadiens. It’s more than amazing to think that the same guy who won the game, Nathan Horton, had the winner against the Lightning in another Game 7. Then Horton was severely injured in Game 3 of the Final by Aaron Rome of the Canucks, the whole series was thrown into chaos, and Vancouver was on fire after the Bruins won yet another Game 7 for the Cup.
” … The catalyst for this championship was the team’s holy trinity of defense: Goalie Tim Thomas, who won the Conn Smythe with a .940 save percentage; defenseman Zdeno Chara, who averaged 27:39 per game in the postseason; and Patrice Bergeron, the team’s 25-year-old two-way center who would win the first of four Selke Trophies the following season. Add in David Krejci’s 23 points in the playoffs, Brad Marchand’s 11 goals and timely contributions from Mark Recchi and Michael Ryder, along with Milan Lucic’s fists, and this was quite a team.”
Let the debating begin.
As of Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, the Bruins had garnered 63 percent of the 14,090 votes on their matchup with the Ducks.