BOSTON – It seems impossible that it's already been a year since the Bruins ended a 39-year Stanley Cup drought. But there it is on the calendar: June 15, 2012.
Just 365 days ago, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each scored twice and Tim Thomas stopped everything he saw to put the B's over the Vancouver Canucks, 4-0, in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
|One year ago... |
But even though it's only been 4-days since the Bruins relinquished the title "Stanley Cup Champions" to the Los Angeles Kings, at least two of the men who put Boston back on top of the hockey world are already contrasting the memory of their own victory with the images out of Hollywood to reignite the fire that helped them win the Cup last spring.
"Unfortunately, I've done far too much watching in my career," said center Gregory Campbell of seeing the Kings celebrate their Stanley Cup victory earlier this week. "And that's why last year – not only winning it…but just being a part of the playoffs and that's where every player wants to play, and it's the absolute most fun time to play.
"So, it's difficult."
"Personally, I didn't watch much of the playoffs once we were eliminated," added fellow center Chris Kelly. "I find it a little difficult to watch.
"Like Gregory said, it's the part of the season that everybody wants to be a part of and I watched LA raise the cup the other night and it almost makes you kind of get that sick feeling."
Kelly spoke for all of his teammates and most of New England when he complained of that "sick feeling." However, both men captured the sentiments of everyone in Black & Gold even as they celebrated their new contracts with Boston.
Simply put: The Bruins don't intend to let Stanley stay on the West Coast.
"The other thing that hits home too is seeing another team lift the Stanley Cup," said Campbell. "It's like we considered it ours for a year and we worked so hard to get it.
"And now that it's not ours anymore, I think it really hits home and kind of allows us to get that hunger back and hopefully strive for it again this year."
"It stings a little bit knowing that that was us a year ago and how great that felt, and you want that taste back," explained Kelly. "So, it is nice to have the extended offseason to kind of mentally prepare and heal whatever bumps and bruises you have, but I think at the end of the day if you're playing into June, you and your team have done something right.
"I think that's the reason why Gregory and I signed back in Boston, is for that opportunity to consistently play in the month of June."
That's the reason that GM Peter Chiarelli, in an effort to return the Cup to Boston, has worked to keep the core of the B's 2011 Stanley Cup championship team intact.
"It's a good spot here. It's a good sports town, and these guys saw it firsthand," said Chiarelli. "These guys are athletes that want to win.
"We won a year ago," continued the GM. "It seems like 10 years ago lately, but this team is a very good team and there are good players coming. "
And Bruins fans hope that those players can keep providing good memories, too.