For many teams each season, there is a certain point where the mood changes and the team go on a stretch that they felt would never stop. For the Boston Bruins, that was the Winter Classic.
Team bonding can create a special feeling between players that leads to success and maybe even greatness. As the Boston Bruins teamed the Peaky Blinders themed attire ahead of the Winter Classic, it showed that this team was finally on the same page following a shaky start to the season.
While sitting at 20-14-4 before the Classic, it showed that the Bruins had something in them, but clearly were not playing to the full ability so many fans had hoped for. That bond that was created on that trip in prep for the Winter Classic gave this team the extra push they needed to become great together.
Following their dominant win over the Chicago Blackhawks, they went a dominant 29-10-5 for the remainder of the season to finish at a 49-24-9 mark that was third best in the entire NHL. They showed dominance due to playing like a team despite injuries to key players like David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy, among others.
Before the Winter Classic, many would have said that Jaroslav Halak was the best goaltender on the team following his fantastic first half.
Despite those feelings, coach Bruce Cassidy still gave Tuukka Rask the start between the pipes on New Years Day. You have to imagine the confidence that Cassidy gave Rask by letting him know he is still his guy is something simple fans may overlook. But Rask getting the vote of confidence is what allowed him to be one of the best netminders the rest of the season and by far the best in the playoffs for the Boston Bruins.
The ability to mesh together as a team and see the Vezina version of Tuukka Rask also allowed the Boston Bruins to go on a 19 game point streak which showed the world that they were a team to be afraid of.
Many fans probably assume that would be their peak of the season and they would struggle in the playoffs, but the familiarity and chemistry between one another helped get them to the Cup. Now the goal is to just finish the journey.
Playing as a team and bonding as a team can give someone a huge advantage, which is why they sit in the Stanley Cup Final come Monday. The two hottest teams in January rode the waves they needed to make it to the last games of the season, and now the Boston Bruins hope that together they can achieve their dreams as Stanley Cup Champions.
Following January 1st, this team proved they were the real deal fans believed in and the bonding they did together simply by dressing alike to mirror the show Peaky Blinders has truly helped them get to the Final.