After winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli found himself as just another spectator when the Los Angeles Kings were battling the New Jersey Devils in the 2012 Stanley Cup finals.
“It was obviously a unique feeling because we won it last year, but I wouldn’t characterize it as empty,” Chiarelli said. “It was different. It was almost like some of the feelings of joy that I had lifting [the Cup] came up again.
“That’s what I felt…the remembrances. I was watching it with my wife and my kids, and that’s what they were talking about while we watched it on television. It was a different feeling. When you talk about the players feeling [empty] watching it and wanting to get back there, I can certainly understand that.”
The Kings ended up defeating the Devils in six games in a series that felt very different than the Bruins-Canucks battle a year ago. Chiarelli thinks the 2011 series had more drama.
“There was always something happening, and there didn’t seem to be too much drama between those two teams,” Chiarelli said, referring to the Devils and Kings. “I noticed that, but wondered if it was just because I was a part of [last year’s] series.
“With our team and the Canucks it was two opposing styles and there might have been a little bit of that. It was kind of an oil/water clash and I think there were a lot more things happening on the ice.”
Perhaps, but both series had compelling stories to tell. The Boston Bruins were a team that won their series by the skin of their teeth and frequently had to dig themselves out of holes. To an extent, theirs was a tale of redemption after blowing a 3-0 series lead just one year prior.
The Los Angeles Kings were a team that defied the odds and did so in spectacular fashion. They were an eighth seed that butchered the competition and only lost four games over the course of the playoffs.
Both teams were worthy of their Stanley Cup wins and they both should be legitimate Cup contenders in 2012-13.