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National reaction to Cup finale: Toronto Sun teases Bruins

Tuesday’€™s copy of the Toronto Sun was a thank you card to the Blackhawks [1]. Maple Leafs [2] 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 ‘€œThanks!’€ on the cover of the Sun. It was even signed ‘€œLove, Toronto’€ at the bottom.

‘€œThis time, the final 76 seconds ended the Boston Bruins [3] season,’€ wrote Sun columnist Steve Simmons [4]. ‘€œThis time, the miracle ending went against them.’€

National Post columnist Bruce Arthur — a Toronto resident — drew a similar comparison [5] 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.

‘€œIt was familiar, though, if you had been here before,’€ Arthur wrote. ‘€œBoston 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 [6].

‘€œIt 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. ‘€œNever 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 [7] playoff history by scoring twice within 31 seconds in the final 1:22 of regulation to tie the Maple Leafs [2] in Game 7 of the opening round before winning in OT.”

Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote his column [8] 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.

‘€œI see everyone in a Hawks uniform hugging each other in a big ball of wild celebration, and I see the vanquished Boston Bruins [3] absolutely shocked out of their minds, heads down, shoulders sagged in defeat,’€ Morrissey wrote. ‘€œWhat 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 [9] 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.

‘€œIt will be a shorter summer than usual before training camp kicks off the 2013-14 NHL [10] 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 [11] New York Times columnist Jeff Z. Klein. Klein suggests that if the Bruins want to keep Nathan Horton [12], Chiarelli could look at moving Tyler Seguin [13].

‘€œChiarelli 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.