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May 24, 2013 | 2:35pm ET
History will not repeat itself for Boston
By Shawn Hutcheon, TheFourthPeriod.com

BOSTON, MA -- Boston: The birthplace of America. The American Revolution began just outside of the city itself on the Lexington green.

"Don't shoot 'til you see the whites of their eyes!"

Ring a bell? No, not that bell. That one is in Philadelphia.

Everywhere you look in Beantown, the reminders are there: Paul Revere's house; the site of the Boston Tea Party and America's oldest commissioned battleship; the USS Constitution. Three of the countless places tourists flock to in order to see and feel the history of a fledgling country that grew into a world superpower.

Bostonians tend to take these venues for granted. They are great places to take friends and/or relatives, but other than that, most inhabitants don't give them a second thought.

For some reason, history is not a subject people find interesting unless they are talking about their professional sports teams.

Red Sox fans know exactly where they were and what they were wearing when the team won the 2004 World Series. And why not? It was the first championship baseball fans had seen in the New England city in 89 years. Patriots fans still hold the 2001 club in reverence for its first Super Bowl win, and the town's hearts were aflutter for the 2008 Celtics, who won the franchise's 17th NBA title with a victory over the arch rival Los Angeles Lakers.

Bruins fans, however, tend to be a unique breed. Ask them about the club's 2011 Stanley Cup championship and you will see smiles accompanied with gleaming eyes but a conversation about that Cup win almost always turns into one where the "great collapse of 2010" becomes the topic.

Quick history lesson here: In the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Black and Gold skated to a three games to none lead over the Philadelphia Flyers only to see the Flyers put a four game win streak together eliminating Boston from the playoffs. The following season, the clubs met again with the Bruins sweeping Philadelphia with four consecutive victories of their own before going on to win the Stanley Cup. Boston's hockey team had vindicated itself, right? Wrong.

Fast forward to the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, after four games in the conference quarterfinals versus Toronto, the Bruins had a three games to one lead. What should have been a confident Bruins Nation was actually one full of skepticism and history lessons were heard throughout New England. There was very little confidence in the Black and Gold. Most fans expected Boston to lose the series. As we know, the series went the full seven games with the Bruins doing what had never been done before in a Game 7, coming back from a three goal deficit in the last ten minutes to send the tilt into overtime before completing the "miracle" comeback with a 5-4 win, eliminating the Maple Leafs.

The Bruins entered the next series versus the New York Rangers full of confidence and raced out to a three games to none lead. Going into the fourth contest, the lessons, skepticism and downright pessimism, arose again. Statements such as, "Tuukka (Rask) blew it against Philadelphia, he will do it again" and "Remember 2010? It could happen again" were heard throughout the region.

Boston's skaters had the opportunity to end the negativity, at least until the next series, when they stepped onto the frozen surface in New York's Madison Square Garden for Game 4, but it was not to be as the Bruins dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Rangers.

New York's win has sent the series back to Boston for Game 5 and with it the noise grew louder.

Panic set in over one of America's most important cities. "Here we go again. They are going to blow it just like they did three years ago" -- was the theme on social media, television and radio immediately after the game.

That attitude brings big ratings for radio and television talk shows, and naturally they have jumped on that bandwagon and will ride it for as long as they can. Misery loves company, but it is time to let it go.

This is not the same Bruins team that lost the series to the Flyers three years ago. Only 10 members from that club are on today's roster. For 13 other players, it is truly history. Like the Revolutionary War for the rest of us, those thirteen have only heard of the "great collapse." They did not live it. They did not contribute to it and those who were wearing the Spoked B on their chests have paid for their sins. A Stanley Cup championship was one heck of a penance.

The 2013 edition of the Boston Bruins has a resiliency that they exhibited in the series against Toronto and although many may not believe in them, they believe in themselves and in each other.

They have heard the voices and seen the ghosts and they will not allow themselves to become a piece of Boston history that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Let it go, Boston. Just let it go.

Shawn Hutcheon is the Boston Correspondent for The Fourth Period.


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