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2011's Most Memorable Dates

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins -- Surely nothing could eclipse the excitement of the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup title in June, but the whole of 2011 was a wild year for the Black & Gold, filled with ups and downs, and memories that will make the year truly unforgettable.

Here’s a look at our picks for the top 10 dates from 2011...

10. June 24 – It was a big off-ice day for the Boston Bruins, as they added six players to the system in the NHL Entry Draft. Most notable was defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who the Bruins selected with the ninth overall pick (another selection owing to the B’s trade with Toronto for Phil Kessel). Other picks included Alex Khokhlachev (C/W; 40th overall), Anthony Camara (LW; 81st), Brian Ferlin (RW; 121st ), Rob O’Gara (D/ 151st), Lars Volden (G; 181)

9. July 1-5 – The Bruins said goodbye to winger Michael Ryder as he signed with the Dallas Stars, but they signed forward Benoit Pouliot and defenseman Joe Corvo for the 2011-12 season. With a combined 26 points, the two new B's are fitting in fine with the Bruins, while adding depth to the club.

8. Oct. 6 – The Bruins weren’t able to pick up a win on opening night as they fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1, but some serious Black & Gold was added to the TD Garden rafters as the Stanley Cup Banner was raised during a rousing pre-game ceremony. Just two days preious, the B’s received their rings, and the ceremonies marked the end of the Stanley Cup summer and the start of the 2011-12 season.

7. June 18 – It was the day that over a million and a half fans, the most at any Boston sports parade, gathered to rejoice the B's historic Stanley Cup run as the team rode the duck boats from the TD Garden to Copley Square. The rolling rally, which lasted over two hours, was a fitting salute for the city as the Bruins ended a 39-year Stanley Cup championship drought.

6. Feb. 13 – The Bruins lost their second straight game against the Detroit Red Wings, after falling to the Western Conference powerhouse just two nights before. General Manager Peter Chiarelli decided it was time to make some moves and acquired Tomas Kaberle, Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley, who each brought serious contributions to Boston's Cup run.

5. May 27 – Another series, and another Game 7 for the Bruins. After falling to Tampa Bay two nights before with a chance to wrap up the series, the B’s pulled away with a 1-0 win over the Lightening. Horton, whose two-game winners pulled the Bruins through the seven-game Montreal series, scored the lone goal in the third period to help the Black & Gold take Round 3 and get a shot at the Stanley Cup.

4. May 6 – There aren’t many things that could erase the Bruins 2009-10 postseason loss to the Philadelphia Flyers from fans’ minds. But last season, the B’s jumped out to another 3-0 lead and righted the ship when they beat the Flyers 5-1 to ensure Philly wouldn’t eliminate them again. Fresh off the series win over the Canadiens, the Bruins cruised past the Flyers and into the Eastern Conference finals.

3. Oct. 29 – This date marked the Bruins’ second-straight loss to the rival Montreal Canadiens, and was the last time the Bruins would take a regulation loss until Dec. 6. The Bruins went on a 10-game winning streak in the month of November, and lost just one game, in a shootout to Detroit that month. Since the loss to the Habs, the Bruins have won 21 of the next 25 games (21-3-1).

2. April 27 – It doesn’t get more intense than overtime in Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens. But whe B’s took a 4-3 win, the third OT win of Round 1, as Nathan Horton scored his second game-winner in three games. The win was huge for the Bruins, keeping their playoff hopes alive and fueling the Stanley Cup run with an stirring victory over their arch rivals from Quebec.

1. June 15 – It was the night Horton mixed in a little bit of the TD Garden ice with Vancouver’s, and the night the Bruins mixed their names into the record books. The B’s won the Stanley Cup with a decisive 4-0 victory in Game 7 of the thrilling series. Tim Thomas was perfect in goal, as the Vezina Trophy-winner saved 37 shots as he earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP as the Bruins won their sixth Stanley Cup and their first since the 1971-72 season.

Let us know your favorite moment of 2011. Tweet your thoughts to @NHLBruins!

---Anthony Gulizia & John Bishop
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