Boston Bruins: Championships, Zambonis and Few Powerplay Goals
Their 2011 Stanley Cup win over the Vancouver Canucks started a riot. Literally. The Boston Bruins, seeking their sixth Cup and their first since leisure suits and disco went out of style, headed into Vancouver for game 7 and shut out the home team. This season, they’ll hope to keep the prize in Beantown with a strong cast of characters from their winning squad. Among them: elastic goaltender Tim Thomas (who had the highest NHL save percentage last season), exceedingly tall Zdeno Chara and winger Milan Lucic. An Original Six team, the Bruins have a long history, populated by some of the game’s most towering figures. The likes of Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Cam Neely and Ray Bourque have worn the Boston sweater. In addition to six Cups (the 1928-29 season; 1938-39; 1940-41; 1969-70; 1971-72; and, this most recent in 2010-11) and four consecutive playoff seasons, the Bruins can also take some credit for one of the most recognizable features of the game: the Zamboni. It was at Boston Gardens in 1954 that the ice resurfacing vehicle was first demonstrated, and the Bruins were the first NHL team to purchase one. They’ve also got a famous uniform: the B inside what looks like a bicycle wheel. And although the song was meant to be a love-letter to the teams of Pittsburgh, the Bruins have adopted rapper Wiz Khalifa’s hit “Black & Yellow” as an unofficial faceoff anthem, as the Bruin’s unis share those colors. A tough team with equal parts skill and brawn, the Bruins also showed last season a kind of calm under pressure, winning an NHL record three game 7’s in the campaign, and did so a couple times in comeback fashion. Heading into the 2011-12 season, they’ll look to improve upon their powerplay, which was one of the worst in the league last season – they are the only NHL team in history to win a 7 game Stanley Cup series without scoring a powerplay goal. If they win championships with those kind of numbers, it’ll be scary to think of how good they’ll be with a powerplay.