Here is a snapshot of the 2007/2008 Boston Bruins: they fight their way to within a few points of the conference leading Senators, only to lose decisively to them for the third time. Then with a pair of key defensemen and sniper veteran Glen Murray out with injuries they go on a six-game losing streak capped off by a 5-0 stinker against the Thrashers. "The wheels have come off," exclaims the NESN broadcast team. Two days later they meet the Thrashers again and give up another two points in another poorly played first period. That's a total of seven unanswered goals against. Game over right? Season over right?
Final score: Bruins 5, Thrashers 2. And in the next game against the rolling and hungry Capitols the B's look to be right back in their old form as if it was nothing more than a little blip along the way.
This sort of comeback from adversity is impressive, and it's not the first time. The B's were rolling early on until Bergeron's concussion. They were shaken at first, emotionally and because the lines had to be reconstructed. But within a few games they had adjusted and they looked like they had before.
Then it was revealed that goaltender Manny Fernandez was injured, along with Shawn Thornton and Aaron Ward. Again, the team hit the skids for a while, and again they bounced back to their earlier form.
That time people said that it was only the play of hot goaltender Tim Thomas that got them through it. A fellow blogger called the B's a, "one man team." Then the worst happened: Tim Thomas went down with an injury himself. The B's relied on young prospect Rask for a few games and it was rough for a while. Then they acquired discarded goaltender Alex Auld from Phoenix and he went on a huge and unlikely hot streak, and somehow the B's bounced back once again.
These things--this overcoming adversity--is the stuff that great teams are made of. It's the stuff, dare I say, that champions are made of. This is the kind of team that would maybe lose a game or even two against Montreal in the playoffs after going up 3 games to one, but they would never lose the series. I'm not saying they will win the Cup. In the end they simply may not be good enough. But I think we can all rest assured that the Bruins will give their absolute best trying, and as a fan I have never asked for more than that.
The 2007-2008 Boston Bruins are more than the sum of their individual talent. The 2007-2008 Boston Bruins have character. The 2007-2008 Boston Bruins have... Claude Julien.
This fan thanks you, Claude.