What a decade this was in New England sports! As we move into the 2020s, join NESN.com in looking back at the decade that was with the best Boston Bruins team of 2010-2019! (And check out the rest of our ?Best of the Decade” content here.
It was June 15, 2011.
Bruins fans won’t forget where they were that night when Boston won its first Stanley Cup in 39 years.
The 2011 squad was a memorable one. It didn’t boast the No. 1 offense, nor the league’s best power play. But the defense nearly was flawless and Tim Thomas was a brick wall between the pipes. And the B’s showcased the type of physical and mental toughness throughout the seven-game Stanley Cup Final Series with the Vancouver Canucks needed to hoist Lord Stanley.
The B’s found themselves in 2-0 hole to the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Canucks to begin the series when Nathan Horton was knocked out of the remainder of the series in Game 3 after a brutal hit from Aaron Rome. But that seemed to shift momentum for Boston.
The Bruins responded by winning back-to-back games, but still found themselves on the brink of elimination in Game 6, leaving them with just one option: win the next two and bring the Cup back to Boston.
They addressed step one by potting four first-period goals to force a decisive Game 7, which came with plenty of emotion even before the puck dropped. Horton poured water from the TD Garden ice onto the rink at Rogers Arena and a 43-year-old Mark Recchi announced he’d retire if the B’s won.
It appeared the water brought some luck, while Recchi was able to end his career in the best way possible as the B?s dominated Game 7. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand scored two goals apiece and Thomas stopped all 37 shots sent his way.
The Bruins, for the first time in 39 years, were the Stanley Cup champions. Thomas hit each post with his stick and dropped to his knees before he was bombarded by his teammates in celebration.
Captain Zdeno Chara hoisted the Cup and knocked his championship hat off, resulting in one of the most memorable pictures in Boston sports history.
We?ll leave you with the final moments: