New England Patriots

Bruins hope to spoil Boston sports fans with another championship

Since 2001, no sports city has been spoiled quite like Boston.

When the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53, it marked Boston’s 12th championship between the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB since 2000. If the Boston Bruins manage to defeat the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC; live stream), they’d push that ridiculous total to 13 titles, and end a “drought” that only started in February.

Let’s zoom in a bit to the dominance Boston has enjoyed since Tom Brady and the Patriots shocked the then-St. Louis Rams and “The Greatest Show on Turf.”

Bruins championship: One (2011)

Boston stunned the Canucks in the most recent Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final, and Vancouver rioted.

The Bruins also made it to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, falling to the Chicago Blackhawks as they rattled off a stunning 17-second spree to win Game 6. Boston players discussed the highs and lows of their two previous Stanley Cup Final experiences as they ready for Wednesday’s Game 7.

While the Bruins missed the playoffs in 2014-15 and 2015-16, this team has been competitive for quite some time, as strong moves like drafting David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy really gave this Bruins team a shot in the arm.

Patriots championships: Six (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016, 2018)

It’s interesting to consider the Patriots’ ascent from Tom Brady shaking his head in disbelief at upsetting the Rams to becoming almost Terminator-level winning machines in more recent years, to the point that the Eagles and Giants were the teams who were shocking the sports world when they beat New England.

Another element of the Patriots’ dominance – and thus Boston sports fans being spoiled – is that they’ve been great for so long that those six championships only tell part of the story. Again, they’ve been upset in those big games too, as they also made the Super Bowl in 2007, 2011, and 2017. So, they’ve appeared in nine Super Bowls since 2001, and have only missed the playoffs twice during that span.

Many adult Boston sports fans have only known a winning Patriots team. Wild.

Red Sox championships: Four (2004, 2007, 2013, 2018)

The Patriots’ unlikely story was something, but any hint of Boston being a tragic sports city was scuttled in 2004, when the Red Sox broke their many curses and went on an improbable World Series run. By the time they won their fourth contemporary championship in October – mere months before the Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl – it almost felt clinical for some sports/baseball fans.

The Red Sox have been a competitive team for a long time, and their championship teams have seen some different iterations, giving Boston fans the joy of having many different heroes.

Celtics championship: One (2008)

The Celtics have had multiple dynasties over the years, and while they didn’t quite reach that level during this resounding run, Boston fans still enjoyed one title.

The Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen (not to mention Rajon Rondo) combined to win a title, taking advantage of a short window of time where those veterans were all still at or near their peaks as NBA players. In teaming up, they were part of a trend of superstar team-ups that continued with LeBron in Miami and, really, just look around the NBA at the latest bits of speculation.

As you can see in the video above this post’s headline, the latest, Kyrie Irving-powered iteration of the Celtics fell short this past postseason. Still, Boston sports fans still had the pleasure of watching an NBA team with legitimate aspirations, while celebrating championships by the Patriots, Red Sox, and possibly the Bruins depending upon how Game 7 goes on Wednesday.

Yeah … that’s ridiculous. It’s tough to imagine a major sports city matching this anytime soon, so as spoiled as Boston sports fans have become, they should do their best to cherish this. Granted, it’s tougher to savor things when you’re at a buffet …

Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final airs on NBC at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday (stream here).

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Smiling Belichick handles Bruins banner-waving duties for Game 2

Boston is a city that’s had plenty to celebrate recently. That was on full display tonight as New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was a flag banner captain in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues.

He was joined by Special Olympian James Coffey.

Belichick certainly looked thrilled to have the job tonight.

He and the Patriots of course won the Super Bowl in February. About four months prior, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Now just roughly three months after the Patriots’ parade, the Bruins are fighting to keep Boston’s championship gravy train running. It’s only the Boston Celtics that have been eliminated over that span. They were ousted in the second round of the NBA playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Boston got off on the right foot in the Stanley Cup Final, earning a 4-2 victory in Game 1. Game 2 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final is currently airing on NBCSN (stream here).

Ryan Dadoun is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @RyanDadoun.

Bruins fans, Dennis Leary lean into Boston championship ‘drought’

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Breaking: Boston sports teams have won a lot of sports championships lately.

It’s actually been a trend for a while, stretching back to the early New England Patriots Super Bowl wins, the Boston Red Sox breaking “The Curse of the Bambino,” Kevin Garnett adding to the Celtics’ trove, and the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup win.

Boston fans don’t have to reach back that far for their latest memories, as the video above reminds anyone who somehow failed to forget.

In October 2018, the Red Sox won the World Series; the Patriots followed that up by winning approximately their bajillionth Belichick – Brady Super Bowl in February. It’s been about 113 days since that Super Bowl, so Boston fans are leaning into that joke, complete with a comment about the Celtics’ letdown during their playoff run.

If you’re already bothered by Boston’s remarkable run of success in multiple sports, this won’t help. Comedian Dennis Leary also gets in on the fun:

Speaking of Leary, this is a great excuse to share this strange Getty Images shot of Leary and Brad Marchand, possibly comparing leather jackets:

Getty Images

For a more understated moment of celebrity Bruins fandom, enjoy Matt Damon being wowed by the sight of the Stanley Cup here.

Game 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final is currently airing on NBC. You can stream the action here.

STANLEY CUP FINAL PREVIEW
Who has the better forwards?
Who has the better defensemen?
Who has the better goaltending?
Who has the better special teams?

X-factors
PHT Power Rankings: Conn Smythe favorites
How the Blues were built
How the Bruins were built
Stanley Cup Final 2019 schedule, TV info

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Like Gronk before him, Patriots’ Edelman spikes puck at Bruins game

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Fresh off the New England Patriots’ millionth (OK, sixth) Super Bowl win, MVP Julian Edelman dropped the ceremonial puck for the Boston Bruins’ game against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Scratch that, he didn’t drop the puck — he spiked it.

Enjoy the video in the clip above the headline, and ponder a few things:

  • Edelman’s rocking an interesting look.

On one hand, the wide receiver rocks a very, very, credible playoff beard. One can only speculate about how much chicken has been lost in it.

On the other hand, a question: does Edelman usually wear sunglasses indoors, or is this a way of obscuring all of the, erm, celebrating over the last couple days? Some pressing questions there.

  • Is Tom Brady too cool to spike a puck?

Remarkably, this actually isn’t the first time a Patriots player celebrated a Super Bowl win by spiking a puck. Professional wrestler/superhuman tight end Rob Gronkowski did it back in 2015, and spiked it into the stands:

  • That Edelman spike video is worth watching just to bask in Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s blinged-out necklace. Just a lot to take in there.
  • As much as this was a celebration of the Patriots’ unending dynasty, it only seems fitting that seemingly ageless Bruins star Patrice Bergeron reached his 1,000th regular-season game in this one.

Boston sports fans: more than a little spoiled.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

So, Rob Gronkowski spiked a Bruins ceremonial puck into the crowd

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Dull moments are rare when it comes to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, so why would the normally bland practice of the ceremonial first puck drop be any different?

He put a very “Gronk” spin on the practice Saturday, as he spiked a puck into the crowd before the Boston Bruins took on the New York Islanders.

Gronk’s gonna Gronk.

Update: Apparently he’s going to chow down on some pizza, too.

The Bruins ended up narrowly winning this one 2-1.