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The 2010s | A Decade to Remember

A Stanley Cup title, three Cup Final appearances, and countless memories made during an unforgettable 10-year stretch

by Eric Russo @erusso22 /

BOSTON - The Bruins' franchise has been going strong for nearly a century. As one of the most historic organizations in the National Hockey League - and sports, for that matter - there have been plenty of unforgettable stretches throughout its existence.

The last 10 years, however, have been among the very best. With a Stanley Cup title, three Cup Final appearances, 446 regular-season wins, and countless other moments to remember, it was a decade to be proud of for the Black & Gold.

"Very special…it's special in itself to be part of such a unique organization, an Original Six franchise," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. "I take huge pride in being a Bruin and playing a certain way and trying to implement a culture that's been here for many, many years before all of us.

"We tried to do our best to bring back the winning attitude to the Bruins organization and we accomplished that in 2011. That would, obviously, be the peak of the memories or the history of the last decade. But we also have to recognize that it was not a fluke that we've been in the Finals two more times after that.

"It's pretty hard to make it to the Finals and to be able to say that the team has been so close two more times, I think we also can be proud of that and many other accomplishments of certain individual players. I think it's pretty tremendous."

We think you probably know No. 1, but here's a look back at the top 10 Bruins moments and storylines of the 2010s:

10. Taking It Outdoors | Jan. 1, 2010

The decade began with the first ever hockey game at Fenway Park. The Bruins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 Winter Classic and picked up their first win of the 2010s on Marco Sturm's overtime winner off a centering feed from Patrice Bergeron. Boston went on to play in two more Winter Classics during the decade, against the Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in 2016 and the Blackhawks at Notre Dame Stadium in 2019.

"That was such an amazing venue, first and foremost," said Bergeron. "But also, it was the third Winter Classic, so it was still really early. Lots of hype around it. It felt like a playoff game, honestly, when we won that game. It was electric. Winning in overtime made it even that much more special...just an amazing expeirence for us."

9. The Shift | June 5, 2013

One of the defining moments of the 2013 season was the sacrifice shown by Gregory Campbell during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins - a game won by the Bruins on Bergeron's tally in double overtime.

With the game tied midway through the second period, Campbell dived to block a shot with his right leg during a penalty kill. Clearly in serious pain, Campbell stayed on the ice for the remaining 47 seconds of the kill, before finally getting to the bench in the midst of a standing ovation and chants of "Campbell! Campbell!" from the TD Garden crowd.

Campbell was diagnosed with a broken right fibula and missed the remainder of the postseason. He received another raucous cheer during Game 4 when he was shown on Garden HDX from the press box.

"That was a pretty incredible moment," said Brad Marchand. "You never want to see a guy get hurt; it was tough to see Soupy go down like that. But it just showed what everyone was willing to play for at that time. We just all played for each other and he was willing to sacrifice his body and go through all that pain for our team to win. That's why we were good. We were lucky to have guys like him."

8. A Legend at the Top | June 16, 2010

There is no other spot on the list for this one. After spending three seasons as a vice president, Bruins legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Cam Neely - whose No. 8 hangs in the Garden rafters - took over as Boston's president ahead of the magical 2010-11 campaign. His leadership and presence had an immediate effect on the organization's culture, as Neely guided the Bruins back to prominence.

"Cam is so passionate about winning," said Marchand. "He's a legend of the game and especially in Boston. I think it just showed that they wanted to turn the organization around…having him on board just really set the tempo for turning things around and we were gonna be a good team for a long time. And that's exactly what happened."

7. A New Voice Debuts | Feb. 7, 2017

Following a highly successful 10-year run, Claude Julien was dismissed a head coach of the Bruins, with assistant Bruce Cassidy tabbed to take over the reins. Cassidy, who was the head man in Providence for the previous eight seasons, led Boston to an 18-8-1 record over the season's final two months, clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in two seasons.

Cassidy, who was officially named the 28th head coach in Bruins history on April 26, 2017, has gone on to do a masterful job of mending Boston's championship core with its bevy of young talent, leading to three playoff appearance in three seasons, including last spring's trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Overall, Cassidy is 140-59-31 in 228 regular-season games, good for a .676 point percentage.

"He's done a great job," said Bergeron. "He's been very good at making that connection between the young guys and the older group. We tried to work with him as well. He hasn't tried to change everything overnight with the system, which made the transition that much easier for all of us. He just added his version of it and added things gradually. He's done an amazing job."

6a. and 6b. The Franchise Faces | 2010-19

Mr. Perfect

It is hard to narrow down all the great moments that Bergeron has delivered over the decade. As the face of the franchise, along with Zdeno Chara, Boston's No. 1 center was a shining example of a Boston Bruin both on and off the ice.

Along with his massive performance in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2013 and his two-goal output in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against Vancouver in 2011, Bergeron also won four Selke Trophies as the NHL's top defensive forward, tying Bob Gainey for the NHL record with his fourth on June 21, 2017. He also placed in the top five six other times, including two runner-up finishes during the decade.

During the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against Chicago, Bergeron played through torn rib cartilage, a broken rib, a separated shoulder, and a punctured lung in Game 6, leading to a three-day hospital stay following the loss.

Bergeron, a two-time All-Star, also played in his 1,000th NHL game on Feb. 5, 2019, notching two goals to lead the Bruins to a 3-1 victory over the Islanders.

He also moved into the top 10 in every major Bruins statistical category (1,059 games, 3rd; 338 goals, 6th; 510 assists, 6th; 848 points, 6th).

"It's been a great ride," said Bergeron. "What I'll carry with me forever is the friendships and the fact that we're able to do something that we love and that we grew up dreaming of. To me, that's what I'm thanful for. I have a lot of gratitude toward all that, but especially the people that I've met along the way. That's how I look at it.

"It's been an amazing 10 years...this decade has flown by. Three kids now, so there's a lot of things I'm thankful for. That's what I'm looking at more than those accomplishments."

The Buildings Roar

There are not any more perfect examples of the respect and admiration that Chara has earned during his 14-year tenure as Boston's captain than the two standing ovations he's received in recent months.

Just two days after suffering a broken jaw in St. Louis, Big Zee suited up for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 6, 2019, donning a specialized face shield. During pregame introductions, Chara received a raucous standing ovation from the TD Garden crowd that lasted some 40 seconds. It was, without a doubt, one of the loudest moments in the 24-year history of the Garden.

Perhaps even more telling was the reverence Chara received earlier this season, while playing in his 1,500th career game in Montreal on Nov. 5, 2019. During a break in the action, the Bell Centre crowd rose to its feet to deliver their long-time foe a deserved ovation for becoming just the 21st player and sixth defensemen in NHL history to reach that milestone.

For the decade, Chara finished in the top 10 of the Norris Trophy voting five times, including two third-place finishes and a runner-up. He also led all NHL defensemen in combined plus-minus for the decade at plus-208.

"It's a huge, tremendous honor," said Chara. "I'm so humbled to get recognition. I can't thank the fans enough, who have supported me over the years. Without their support, this wouldn't be possible. I will always remember those moments and cherish them.

"I'm sure if I ever look back to those best memories, those are going to be some of those few that I will remember for the rest of my life."

5. The Hub Rejoices | June 18, 2011 and Oct. 6, 2011

Three days after the B's Game 7 win in Vancouver, over one million fans crammed onto the streets of Boston to fete the Stanley Cup champions with one of the largest celebratory rolling rallies in the city's history. The players packed the Duck Boats for an unforgettable, picture perfect Saturday afternoon.

"It was insane," said Bergeron. "That's something I'll never forget. That whole day was special. The first duck boat that came out of the Garden parking lot was Zee with Mr. Jacobs and Timmy [Thomas]...Zee lifted that Cup with the confetti and I was like, 'Oh, my God. This is crazy.' With the fans going nuts, and it carried on the whole way. It's not like it was just around the Garden. It was legit around the whole city."

Just under four months later, the Bruins opened up the 2011-12 season with one last celebration as they hoisted the 2011 Stanley Cup championship banner into its permanent home in the TD Garden rafters. After skating around the Garden ice with the Cup, the team was joined by members of the 1972 Stanley Cup champions to help raise the banner.

4. Coming Up Clutch - Twice | April 27 and May 27, 2011

Boston's magical 2011 season does not happen without some monumental goals from winger Nathan Horton. Acquired from Florida before the 2010-11 campaign, Horton emerged as an all-time Bruins hero with two series-clinching goals during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After potting the double-overtime winner in Game 5 of Boston's first-round series against Montreal, Horton delivered once more with the OT clincher in Game 7. Horton came through again in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against Tampa - one of the best games in Bruins history - when he tapped home a David Krejci feed with 7:33 remaining for the game's lone goal.

"The first one, especially - we had such a rivalry with Montreal," said Marchand. "It was such a hard series, down 2-0. The way we came back, just the whole thing, it was back and forth…it was crazy. It was really nice to beat them. It's always fun to win, but against Montreal, it makes it that much better. My first NHL overtime experience in the playoffs, it was pretty incredible.

"Then [against Tampa], he came up big again to go to the Finals. Those were two pretty incredible moments to be a part of."

3. A Comeback for the Ages | May 13, 2013

In one of the most remarkable comebacks in sports history, the Bruins overcame a three-goal deficit with just under 11 minutes to play to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the teams' 2013 first-round series. Horton cut into the 4-1 Toronto lead with 10:42 to go, before Milan Lucic brought the Bruins within one with 1:22 left in regulation and Tuukka Rask on the bench for an extra attacker.

Bergeron went on to tie the game with a wrister from just inside the blue line with 50 seconds remaining, as the Garden erupted into delirium. In overtime, Bergeron finished things off with the winner at 6:05 of the extra session.

Boston and Toronto went on to play two more memorable first-round series during the decade, with the Bruins taking both series (2018 and 2019) in Game 7.

"It was crazy, it felt almost like two games," said Bergeron. "The one part where everyting is kind of falling apart and the Garden was pretty quiet. And then when we started coming back, the atmosphere, the energy on the bench, everything changed and switched. It was something special to be a part of."

2. A City United | April 17, 2013

Just two days after being devastated by the Boston Marathon bombings, the city came together with a remarkable show of unity prior to the B's matchup against the Buffalo Sabres, the region's first major event following the attack. After singing the first few lines of the national anthem, Garden legend Rene Rancourt left the rest to the fans, leading to a moment that lives on as a prime example of the meaning of Boston Strong.

"It showed how people stay strong, the togetherness and support," said Chara. "The first responders, all these people who were involved, either tangibly or intangibly - it showed such unity and showed how we can do such amazing things together as a people and civilization.

"It goes above and beyond what's imagined is possible. I was extremely proud to be part of it, proud to be a Bostonian, proud to be a Bruin, and I'm sure a lot of people felt the same way during those tough times."

1. The Ultimate Prize | June 15, 2011

We could have filled this list exclusively with moments from the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they all encompass the unequivocal top moment of the 2010s. After a Conn Smythe Trophy-clinching performance by Thomas and two goals apiece from Bergeron and Marchand, the Bruins secured a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 to claim Boston's sixth Stanley Cup and first since 1972.

David Krejci ended the run as the playoffs leading scorer with 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) in 25 games. And the win also marked Hall of Famer Mark Recchi's final NHL game.

As the final seconds ticked down and the Black & Gold spilled off the bench at Rogers Arena, a weight nearly four decades in the making was released from New England's shoulders.

"A lot has passed, a lot of great memories have come along in those years," said Bergeron. "Winning that Stanley Cup is definitely at the top of the list...there are a lot of great, great things. Probably the most fun I've had in my whole career was this past decade, for sure - even though it's probably most of my career. Lots of amazing memories and learning experiences."

But we're not leaving it there. The decade was too good to stop at the top 10, so here are some of the other memorable moments that just missed the cut:

March 18, 2010 | In a highly anticipated showdown, Shawn Thornton takes on Penguins villain Matt Cooke, who 10 days earlier delivered a blindside hit on Marc Savard that left the Bruins' center with a severe concussion.

April 21 and May 1, 2010 | The B's first two postseason overtime goals of the decade were just 10 days apart - and they were ones to remember. Short-term Bruin Miroslav Satan gives Boston a 3-1 series lead over Buffalo in the first round with a double-overtime tally, before Savard - in his first game back from the concussion - notches the winner in Game 1 of the second round against Philadelphia.

Feb. 9, 2011 | In an old-fashioned Bruins-Habs bloodbath at the Garden, as the rivals combine for 117 penalty minutes during a thrilling 8-6 Boston victory. There are a number of tussles, including Thomas vs. Carey Price.

April 23 and May 23, 2011 | There were, perhaps, no better saves during the 2011 Cup run than Michael Ryder's glove stop during the first period of a pivotal Game 5 against Montreal in the first round and Thomas' lunging stick save on Steve Downie in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against Tampa.

May 6, 2011 | A year after surrendering a 3-0 series lead, the Bruins get some revenge on the Philadelphia Flyers with a four-game sweep in the second round.

June 6 and June 8, 2011 | Like the two saves mentioned above, there were, perhaps, no better hits than the two Thomas delivered in Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final - just ask Vancouver forwards Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows.

June 22, 2011 and June 24, 2014 | After his Conn Smythe win, Thomas picks up his second Vezina Trophy in three seasons. Three years later, Tuukka Rask wins his first career Vezina Trophy and third for a Bruins goaltender in six seasons.

Jan. 6, 2015 | Charlie Jacobs is named CEO of the Bruins and Delaware North's Boston Holdings. In addition to his duties with the hockey club, he went on to oversee the renovation of TD Garden and the construction of The Hub on Causeway.

May 20, 2015 | Don Sweeney, at the time ranked third in Bruins history in games played, is named the franchise's eighth general manager.

Feb. 13, 2016 | Claude Julien becomes the franchise's all-time wins leader for a head coach with his 388th victory, a 5-4 triumph over Florida.

Sept. 8, 2016 | After practicing at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass., for over 30 years, the Bruins debut their new, state-of-the-art training facility, Warrior Ice Arena, in Brighton.

April 21, 2017 | In Boston's first postseason series with Cassidy at the helm, the B's take an important step forward with a gutsy double-overtime victory over the Senators to force a Game 6 in the teams' first-round series. Sean Kuraly pots his first two career goals, including the OT winner.

Nov. 13, 2017 and Nov. 12, 2018 | Jeremy Jacobs, the owner of the Bruins since 1975, is inducted as a builder into the Hockey Hall of Fame. A year later, Willie O'Ree, who made his Bruins debut on Jan. 18, 1958 as the NHL's first black player, is also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Jan. 5, 2017 | One day after the passing of The Ultimate Bruin, Milt Schmidt is remembered in a pregame ceremony that is highlighted by a moment of celebration for No. 15.

Nov. 29, 2018 | Another Bruins legend is honored as former captain Rick Middleton, the franchise's third-leading goal scorer, has his No. 16 raised to the rafters.

Jan. 1, 2019 | Kuraly secures the winner with 9:41 to play in Boston's 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium.

Feb. 3, 2019 | With a 24-save shutout in a 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals, Rask becomes the Bruins all-time wins leader for a goalie with his 253rd victory.

May 27, 2019 | Torey Krug brings the house down with a monstrous hit - sans helmet, locks flowing - on Blues forward Robert Thomas during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

June 19, 2019 | Just over four years after being named GM, Sweeney earns GM of the Year honors after the B's run to the Cup Final, thanks in large part to his trade deadline acquisitions of Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson.

June 7, 2013 and May 16, 2019 | The Bruins sweep the Pittsburgh Penguins to reach the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, their second appearance in three seasons. Boston goes on to sweep the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2019 ECF to reach their third Cup Final in nine years.

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