Celtics provide some perspective on the Bruins

Celtics provide some perspective on the Bruins
June 18, 2013, 10:45 am
Share This Post

The craziest thing about the Bruins’ performance in last night’s Game 3 victory is that there was nothing crazy about it. Sure, if you could warp back to the third period in Game 7 against the Toronto, this reality may have sounded insanely far-fetched, but today, this is what we’ve come to expect: The Bruins are the best team in hockey. Tuukka Rask is AT LEAST Tim Thomas. They’re two victories away from raising the Cup for the second time three years, and are entirely deserving of the opportunity at hand.

Although it’s somewhat unrelated, it’s hard to ignore the fact that this is all happening at the same time the Celtics are falling apart. I say this because, three years ago, the Celtics found themselves in the same position that the Bruins are right now. Playing for their second title in three seasons, with a chance to lay a Chara/KG-sized stamp on their legacy as a team and as individuals. (The C’s were actually down 2-1 after three games in that series. But more importantly, they were up 3-2 after five games.)

Obviously, the Celtics let that one slip away, and as we start to put a bow on this soon-to-be dead era, you can’t help but consider how different things might be if not for that missed opportunity. How would we remember this team if they’d won two titles instead of just one? If they’d beaten the Lakers both times, instead of splitting the pair? How much more devastating would that defeat — as devastating as it was to begin with — have been had we known that the Celtics would never make it back to the Finals. And might not get another chance for a long, long time.

Depending on how things play out these next few years, we might soon find ourselves in a similar situation with the Patriots. Looking back at those two Super Bowl losses and how close Brady and Belichick came to taking this era into an entirely different stratosphere; asking the questions: How is it possible that they never got No. 4? Who knew that 2004 would be the apex?

More than anything, it just gives us a much greater appreciation for what the Bruins are doing right now. It’s a reminder that we can’t and shouldn’t take any of this for granted. Not the experience of watching these guys compete and succeed on the game’s biggest stage, uniting and inspiring the entire city along the way. And certainly not the fact that the Bruins now have four chances to win two games and become only the third franchise in the last 20 years to raise two Cups over a three-year period.

Because ultimately, you never know when it might end. When age, random injuries, and the complexity of human relationships can bring everything to a halt. Like with the Celtics, we know that it will happen at some point with the Bruins. No one can stay on top forever. All you can hope for is that a team makes the most of their opportunities when they are on top, and there’s no doubt that the Bruins have earned the opportunity that lies before them right now: Two wins that will define their legacy vs. four games that will leave it littered with what-ifs.