So close, yet so far. That is the best way
to describe the Boston Bruins’ shortened 2012-13 season. The Bruins were, once again, part of the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in three years. But this time, the Bruins had to watch as the Chicago Blackhawks skated away with the big prize. For a team that plays as hard as the Bruins, it is always difficult for them to watch another team win the Stanley Cup. This season, the Bruins may get the chance to redeem themselves from last year’s shortcoming.
This team is one year older and one year wiser. If there is one thing that the Bruins have learned ever since Claude Julien arrived to take over the head coaching duties it is that a team can always learn something new. The Bruins learned a lot last season and now they want to put their new knowledge to work this season and be the team skating away with the Cup.
The Bruins shed some players in free agency, but each player that left was a player that the Bruins were better off without. Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron lead a cast of characters that have played together for years and know how to win together. It takes a particular kind of player to be a Boston Bruin and the team thrives on the consistency of its roster. Role players such as Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille have found their stride with the team and are now an intricate part of the Bruins’ machine.
Love him or hate him, head coach Claude Julien is the glue that holds his team together. His players respect him because he always has their backs. The Bruins are not known for their sportsmanship, but Julien has never hung his guys out to dry in the media or with the Boston front office. He is the kind of a head coach that his players love to go to war with and he is the leader of men that can guide a team to a championship. Whenever the Bruins find themselves in a tough situation, they know that they can rely on their coach to have their backs and keep the pressure off the team.
Tim Thomas was an acrobatic and unpredictable goaltender. His combative nature is what made him the ideal goalie for the Bruins. When Tuukka Rask first entered the NHL, he was an immature little boy that would throw temper tantrums on the ice and mentally knock himself out of games. After being the starter in Boston for two seasons, Rask has learned to channel his energy into his game and he has also learned to handle the pace of the NHL game a lot better. The team in front of him plays hard, and Rask has learned that he has to be able to battle as well if he wants to guide his team to a championship.