At the beginning of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Boston Bruins were looking for some revenge from the playoffs in the previous season.
In 2010, the Black and Gold held a 3-0 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, only to lose the last four games and be eliminated earlier than they expected to be sent packing.
Boy did the Bruins more than makeup for the playoff failure one season earlier.
Ten years ago today, June 15, 2011, the Bruins completed an incredible playoff run by beating the Vancouver Canucks, 4-0, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena to end a 39-year drought between championships.
After losing the first two games of the series on the road, the Bruins got back into the series with an 8-1 drubbing in Game 3 in Boston. After evening the series at 2-2 with a 4-0 Game 4 victory, the Canucks moved one win closer to lifting the Cup with a 1-0 win at home on a third-period goal from Maxim Lapierre in Game 5.
Three nights later in Boston, the Bruins made sure that Vancouver would not win the title in Beantown as four first-period goals in the first 9:45 of the game forced a Game 7 two nights later in British Columbia during a 5-2 Bruins win.
In Game 7, Tim Thomas stood on his head and got some assistance from his teammates to help the Bruins win 4-0. Thomas stopped all 37 shots by the Canucks, including 29 over the final two periods for the shutout. He ended up winning the Conn Smythe Trophy for the 2011 postseason.
Offensively, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each scored two goals to complete one of the more unforgettable postseason runs.
During the 2011 playoff run, the Bruins won three Game 7’s, two at home. They beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, before sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers in the Semifinals. In the Conference Finals, they needed seven games to dispatch the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Since 2011, the Bruins have made it back to the Stanley Cup Final twice, losing both times. In 2013, the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Black and Gold in six games, then the St. Louis Blues won Game 7 at the TD Garden in 2019 to capture the championship. It’s hard to believe, but it was 10 years ago today when the Bruins hoisted the Cup in Vancouver as the best team that season in the NHL.