By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
And on the third series clincher, God rested. But his work is not done just yet. He’ll get back to it in due time. But first he’ll put his No. 37 sweater back on.
Is it too biased to suggest that Patrice Bergeron is literally God? It’s intentional hyperbole for sure. Little corny. But the reality is that Bergeron is as revered as any player in the NHL. He has pretty much already punched his ticket to the Hockey Hall of Fame, regardless of what he and the Boston Bruins do in the Stanley Cup Final. It’s easy to forget amid his continued brilliance that he’s going on 34 years old and just played his 129th career playoff game.
So fortunately, for Bergeron and other veterans across the roster, the B’s made quick work of the Carolina Hurricanes. Depending on how the Western Conference Final shakes out between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues, they’ll have as much as 10 days of rest before they don the spoked B and get back to battle. It’s likely going to be at least a week.
The extended rest will spark a thousand takes and think pieces like this one. Some will land on the other side of the argument. Could rest lead to rust?
It is fair to wonder how the B’s will look when the puck drops next time at TD Garden. There’s a chance they look like the last team that swept a series … the Hurricanes, who looked fine for the first two periods of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final before the floodgates opened for Boston. They could also look like the Columbus Blue Jackets, who the Bruins ran over in the first period of Game 1 of the second round. If not for Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, the B’s would have really made them pay for taking too long to get their legs under them.
But that’s about the worst you can expect for this Bruins team. Maybe it takes a period for them to sharpen up. But they have an absolute rock in goal right now. There’s no way they’re getting complacent at this point. They know what it’s going to take to conquer the size, speed and skill of either the Sharks or Blues. So after chasing the speedy Leafs around for seven games, then grinding away for six more against Columbus, a little recharge can only do the Bruins some good.
It’s not like you wanted the Bruins to gift the Hurricanes a “gentlemen’s sweep” just to avoid excessive rest. Did you?
Now’s not the time to take this Bruins run for granted. Bergeron certainly isn’t.
“As you get older you appreciate it even more, and you realize how hard it is to get to this point and to advance,” Bergeron said after Game 4. “You’ve got to be thankful and obviously you want to stay in the moment, and that’s the biggest thing right now. We’re going to appreciate this tonight, but then it’s back to work and there’s a lot of work in front of us.”
But first, the rest. They earned it. And if any team can overcome the potential trappings of a long layoff, it’s this one.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.