|John Bishop is the beat writer for BostonBruins.com. He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker. |
Yesterday, the 2006-07 Bruins hockey season ended officially as the Manchester Monarchs defeated the Providence version of the Bruins, 2-1, in the American Hockey League's Atlantic Division Finals.
In the aftermath of their elimination from Calder Cup contention, reaction to the P-Bruins season, particularly the playoffs, has been very positive.
"The bottom line is that our guys played their hearts out," said P-B's head coach Scott Gordon.
Very, very true.
To a man, the Providence Bruins left everything out on the Dunkin' Donuts Center ice, and persevered beyond any reasonable expectation.
"Ultimately, one team is going to be the champion and everyone else is going to be in the position we're in right now," said Providence captain Jay Leach. "Obviously, we want to win, that's our bottom line.
"But, if there is one thing that these guys can take from this experience, it is (remembering) the character we had in that room.
"And the chemistry. You don't get that a lot," he said of the P-B's locker room.
Anyone who encountered this version of the Baby B's could see that there was an awful lot of character in this bunch of characters -- especially when they lost so many key members of the squad to injury down the stretch.
Said Joe MacDonald of the Providence Journal
:The P-Bruins had a team loaded with young but inexperienced talent. There were continuous lineup changes during the season. Still, they made it to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs… Unlike in years past, the 2006-07 version of the P-Bruins faced a ton of adversity. With that said, if Providence had the services of the players who began the season here, maybe the end result would have been different. But the guys who finished the season deserve a lot of credit.
Doug Flynn, BostonHerald.com's
Bruins Insider wrote:Despite the loss, Providence put together quite a run considering the injuries the Bruins were facing, especially on defense. Providence played most of the postseason without its top four blueliners, as Jonathan Sigalet and Matt Lashoff didn’t play a game and Mark Stuart and Nathan Dempsey each played just three.
It was quite a run and after the game, none of the P-Bruins were ready to let the season go.
"It was a good ride," said forward Nate Thompson. "We went through a lot of adversity this year -- probably more than any team in the league.
"The guys did a great job…and left it all out there (on the ice)…I am proud of (this team)."
I am sure most B's fans are proud of the Providence Bruins, as well.