It had been almost 40 years since Boston Bruins had last hoisted the Stanley Cup. The club had fallen short in two subsequent visits to the Stanley Cup Final (1988 and 1990) both times being defeated by the powerful Edmonton Oilers, but the Bruins were poised for a different result in 2011.
The Bruins got off to a rocky start in the 2011 playoffs, losing two straight games at home to their long-time rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, but battled back to eventually win the series by the slimmest of margins in overtime of the seventh game.
The second round of the playoffs would pit the Bruins against the Philadelphia Flyers in a series that would prove to be perhaps the most surprising of the 2011 playoffs. The third ranked Bruins were too much for the second ranked Flyers to handle and Philadelphia was eliminated in four straight games.
The Eastern Conference Final had the Bruins up against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Lightning would give the Bruins all they could handle. In a back and forth series where neither team seemed able to take control, it was the Bruins who eked out a 1-0 victory in the seventh and deciding game.
The Stanley Cup Final was a battle between the Bruins, a franchise that had not won the Stanley Cup since 1972 and the Vancouver Canucks, a franchise that had never hoisted the most famous trophy in all of sports. The first four games of the series were split, with home team emerging victorious each time. Game five would be played in Vancouver and was a solid display of defensive hockey, with the Canucks edging out the Bruins by a narrow 1-0 score. The Bruins would keep the trend going in game six, winning in decisive fashion and forcing a seventh and deciding game.
The seventh game of the Stanley Cup Final is what every player who ever laces up a pair of skates dreams about. Backstopped by the goaltending of Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas and powered by two goals apiece from Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, the Bruins stunned the Vancouver crowd and would achieve hockey immortality, winning the 2011 Stanley Cup championship.