BOSTON – Causeway Street was mostly quiet not long after Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.
Perhaps it was a fanbase that was burned out from a long holiday weekend, but there wasn’t much in the way of raucous celebration from Boston Bruins fans after their team beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 at TD Garden to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Short of a handful of fans lingering outside of the NBC Sports outdoor set, and it was seemingly business as usual.
Act like you’ve been there before, right?
The team seems to be doing the same.
While there’s something of a “just happy to be here” vibe around the St. Louis Blues—after all, they’re making their first return to the Stanley Cup Final since a 1970 defeat at the hands of, you guessed it, the Bruins, marked by the famous Bobby Orr Cup-clinching goal immortalized in statue form just outside the arena—it’s Boston that’s making its third appearance in the Cup Final over the last nine years.
Truth be told, that’s a little off the pace for what’s now expected in this city.
Light-hearted billboards are scattered throughout Beantown lamenting a “championship drought,” of over three months since the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, which snapped a similar wait for the area after the Boston Red Sox captured the most recent World Series.
Now, it’s the Bruins turn.
“You can imagine it feels pretty good,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said on Sunday.
“This is a tough city, you got to keep up with the Joneses in this city and you realize that the expectations, the pressure as a player, you certainly welcome that. As a manager, sometimes it's challenging. You're trying to balance things and you just want to win, but the needle moves a little slower at times. But then you get real good players that are invested, you get a good coach that's invested with his staff, and you cross your fingers that you have pieces and that they come together and we're fortunate. And obviously the city itself, they love winning teams and they will support you if you play a certain way, and I think our team has done that.”
Perhaps it’s too early to start reserving the duck boats for the parade, but it might be wise to start making a few calls. After the Blues got off to an early 2-0 lead, perhaps thanks in part to a 10-day idle period for the Bruins after they swept the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final, Boston rattled off four answered goals and outshot St. Louis 30-12 over the final two periods to dominate the remainder of the game.
The comeback win restored something of a quiet confidence the team has seemed to have all postseason long, a feeling that fuels a fanbase to wait until what seems like another inevitable championship to truly get the party started.
“Our team’s been resilient all year if you watch our group,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said.
“Not necessarily from comebacks, but just different guys in the lineup and different guys producing. We’re generally going to go up and down the lineup and get guys who are going to play hard and they’re not going to quit, that’s for sure. They’re going to respond, and tonight was a good example.”