NHL Playoffs 2011: What the Boston Bruins Proved by Not Letting History Repeat

Adam DavisCorrespondent IMay 9, 2011

BOSTON, MA - MAY 06:  Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins celebrates after Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 6, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-1 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Let’s turn back the clock to last year when the Bruins were sitting pretty with a 3-0 series lead over the Flyers in the second round.

Then, the unthinkable happened.

Boston gave up the series lead, and were even leading by three goals in Game 7, but blew that one too. This year, heading into Game 4, Boston was once again up three games but weren’t willing to allow history to repeat itself. This time it was personal.

Well not exactly, but they were pretty serious about it.

So on Friday night, at home, the Bruins took full advantage of their opportunity, tallied five goals, and knocked swept the Flyers right out of the playoffs. The game was won and excitement ensued, but there was more than just a Conference Finals berth as a reward.

The Bruins had officially exorcised their demons, so to speak. They didn’t let history, the critics, or anything else stand in their way and showed the world, that they’re serious this time around, serious about making it to the finals—something that hasn’t happened in over 20 years.

Beating the Flyers gave the Bruins the momentum they’ll need against a young, quick, Lightning team with plenty of momentum itself.

Beating the Flyers (badly) proved to the Bruins that they can fight with the heavyweights in the league and come out standing. They have much more experience than Tampa does, and in my opinion, they are far more talented.

As much as I hate the Bruins, I don’t see them losing, or at least going down without a fight. However, winning another four games is one thing. Winning another eight is a completely different story.

The Flyers were a solid team, but they were not Stanley Cup favorites this season. Boston will have to take on one of the Western teams who are some of the best in the biz. They lost to Detroit in both meetings this year, and were shutout by San Jose. They beat the Canucks, so there is still hope, but who knows what could happen in the playoffs.

I’m impressed with Boston so far in this postseason, and they should be too. There is still a long road ahead, but when you put the past behind you, it all seems a bit easier.