One of the NHL's longest championship droughts is going to end soon.
The Boston Bruins, who haven't won the Stanley Cup since 1972, will have the chance to end that streak after outdueling the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night. Nathan Horton's third-period goal and Tim Thomas' flawless goaltending carried the Bruins to the Final for the first time since 1990.
The Bruins will take a breather before they fly to the Pacific Northwest and a date with the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night (link to first look) -- and while Boston fans have been waiting 39 years for a Cup, Vancouver fans never had the opportunity to celebrate a championship since the Canucks entered the NHL in 1970.
One group of long-suffering fans will see its agony end soon.
While fans in the U.S. start the long holiday weekend and all of us get break before the Final gets under way, here's your daily NHL.com Reading List, a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:
Tim Thomas was flawless as both a goaltender and a fortune-teller on Friday night. As Shawn P. Roarke reports, Thomas not only stopped every puck the Tampa Bay Lightning threw his way, he also had a dream foretelling how the winning goal would be scored -- and saw his dream come true.
Ference's persistence pays off
Tampa Bay's 1-3-1 defensive system has made life miserable for opponents this spring. But no system is perfect, and Boston defenseman Andrew Ference talked with the media after the Bruins' Game 7 win about the play that led to the winning goal. Shawn P. Roarke writes that Ference insisted The B's could crack Tampa Bay's defense with a particular play -- and he was right.
One goal too many
Dwayne Roloson was the best player on the ice for Tampa Bay in Game 7, allowing just one goal on 38 shots and making several remarkable saved to keep the Lightning in the game. But as Corey Masisak reports, the one goal he allowed turned out to be one too many on a night when the Lightning came up empty.
A really painful loss for Stamkos
Tampa Bay's Steve Stamkos met the media after the Game 7 loss showing not only the disappointment of coming up just short of a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, but also the effects of taking a slap shot in the visor. Corey Masisak reports on Stamkos' quick return to the game and his feelings afterwards.
History on Bruins' side
The Canucks are coming off the best season in their history. But one thing they didn't do this season was beat the Bruins. As John Kreiser writes, that's not a surprise -- the Canucks have fared worse against the B's than they have against every other team since entering the NHL 41 years ago.
Canucks still remember Bourdon
Alexandre Burrows is as excited as anyone to be heading to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time. His one disappointment, as Dhiren Mahiban reports, is that former Vancouver teammate Luc Bourdon, who died in a motorcycle accident three years ago, won't be there to share it with him.