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National reaction to Cup finale: Toronto Sun teases Bruins

06.25.13 at 1:21 pm ET
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Tuesday’s copy of the Toronto Sun was a thank you card to the Blackhawks. Maple Leafs fans got a chance to watch the Bruins collapse in the final minutes of a crucial playoff game just like their team did in the first round to Boston, and it was celebrated with a bolded “Thanks!” on the cover of the Sun. It was even signed “Love, Toronto” at the bottom.

“This time, the final 76 seconds ended the Boston Bruins season,” wrote Sun columnist Steve Simmons. “This time, the miracle ending went against them.”

National Post columnist Bruce Arthur — a Toronto resident — drew a similar comparison to the end of the Maple Leafs-Bruins series in his column. However, his was not so much of a celebration of the reversal of the situation like the Sun cover, but more of a sense of awe that that type of miraculous finish could happen twice in the same building.

“It was familiar, though, if you had been here before,” Arthur wrote. “Boston got here with two goals in the final 1:22, 31 seconds apart with their goalie pulled, to escape Game 7 against Toronto in the first round. They came within a bouncing puck of ending that game in regulation, too. This time, the other guys pulled the goalie, scored the goals, won the game on a puck that managed — on a hot and humid night where the ice was dripping and melting and becoming the pockmarked surface of a moon — not to bounce. How it happened again, in the same building, a sideways mirror image, is impossible to say, except to say it’s hockey.”

The comparison to the Bruins victory over Toronto was not limited to Canadian publications. Larry Brooks, a columnist for the New York Post, drew the same comparison.

“It was Emile Francis, the old Cat, who once observed that hockey is a slippery game for after all, it is played on ice,” Brooks wrote. “Never was the sport more slippery than it was last night for the Bruins, who six weeks earlier had pulled off the most remarkable escape trick in NHL playoff history by scoring twice within 31 seconds in the final 1:22 of regulation to tie the Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the opening round before winning in OT.”

Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote his column on the joy of the Blackhawks final two goal-scorers, Brian Bickell and Dave Bolland. His piece described the scene on the ice after the game was done and the Blackhawks were celebrating.

“I see everyone in a Hawks uniform hugging each other in a big ball of wild celebration, and I see the vanquished Boston Bruins absolutely shocked out of their minds, heads down, shoulders sagged in defeat,” Morrissey wrote. “What had been a 2-1 lead fled the premises in the span of 17 seconds and gave way to a 3-2 Blackhawks victory. I can still hear the strange silence of a large stadium in shock and the faint whoops of Hawks players.”

That feeling of shock also was pointed out by Yahoo! Sports writer Sean Leahy, who noted that the Bruins will be playing again soon enough thanks to how long they lasted in the playoffs. The 2013-14 season begins in late September.

“It will be a shorter summer than usual before training camp kicks off the 2013-14 NHL season, but there won’t be a day that passes that the players don’t think about how Game 6 ended,” Leahy wrote.

That summer will consist of some interesting decisions for Peter Chiarelli, as pointed out by New York Times columnist Jeff Z. Klein. Klein suggests that if the Bruins want to keep Nathan Horton, Chiarelli could look at moving Tyler Seguin.

“Chiarelli has tended to be a stand-pat general manager — he has called his approach ‘a fine line’ between ‘unfettered loyalty to the players and building a good team’ — but this summer, the falling salary cap will test his approach,” Klein wrote.

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