A year ago hockey fans were enjoying the Blues/Sharks and Bruins/Hurricanes battle for an invitation for The 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. St. Louis and San Jose had just played a wild and controversial Game 3 that saw the Sharks come out on top. The Bruins, on the other hand, had completed a four game sweep of the Hurricanes in Carolina.
If the NHL season was going on as planned the Conference Finals would be playing out right now. Four teams would be fighting for the right to play for Hockey’s Holy Grail. Instead, NHL fans are left starving for content and wondering if The Stanley Cup will even be awarded this year.
The fan base most antsy about the decision to resume play just might reside in Boston. The Bruins had the most points in the league, and were looking poised for another deep playoff run. But this season coming to a halt is even more gut wrenching when last year is factored in.
The disappointing performance on the last day of the 2019 season left a bitter taste in the mouth of the Bruins’ fans, players, and organization. It was, in a word, embarrassing. After such a great season with many compelling story lines, the team had their worst collective performance at the worst possible time. Watching another franchise raise Lord Stanley in your building is a sickening site.
Many fans pointed their fingers at Tuukka Rask. Others thought the top line should shoulder the blame. Some pointed to the Bruins lack of physicality as the reason for the loss. Whatever the theory, one claim was not debatable: That loss stung.
But the Bruins came out of the gates this year like they had something to prove or they wanted to right a wrong. From the start of the season up until the last game was played, Boston was on a mission.
This season is going through an unprecedented experience, nobody knows what will come of the 2019-2020 NHL campaign. That puts the Bruins and their fans in an incredibly frustrating position.
A year ago they looked poised to capture their seventh Stanley Cup championship. This season they actually looked even better. With uncertainty surrounding the continuation of the season, Boston might be dealt an even harsher fate than last year.
For the sake of the Bruins and their fans hopefully the playoffs will happen this summer. If not the organization will realize the only thing worse than losing a title at home is being robbed of a chance at redemption.
Follow Chad on Twitter @shutupchadjones