BOSTON — It simply could not end this way.
After all the Bruins had done, all they had accomplished, with a trip to the NHL Final Game 7 seemingly locked up, the scene on the TD Garden ice just could not be a reality.
With just 1:22 remaining in Game 6, holding a one-goal lead with Tuukka Rask — the man many consider the greatest goalie in hockey — in net, Boston fans were going wild as their beloved B’s would play for the Stanley Cup title tomorrow.
So how, just moments later, was Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews skating around the ice at the Garden with the Stanley Cup held over his head?
“Everything went wrong,” said Bruins center David Krejci. “Everything. This one is going to hurt for a long time.”
In the blink of an eye, what looked one week ago to be one of the greatest stories in Boston sports history turned into one of the greatest collapses in the city’s sports lore.
After Chicago had pulled Corey Crawford for an extra skater, Bruins fans and players watched in stunned silence as Bryan Bickell celebrated the tying goal with 1:22 left.
Then, just 17 seconds later, while most were still watching the replay from the Bickell score, Dave Bolland scored the winner to give the Chicago Blackhawks the Stanley Cup title.
Was it Bill Buckner? Maybe not.
But last night will go into the books with the likes of David Tyree and Plaxico Burress in 2007 and Aaron Boone in 2003 for nightmare endings.
“This is like nothing I have experienced in my entire life,” said a stunned Rask. “It’s shocking. You are thinking you have it, then it’s just over.”
As the Blackhawks celebrated on the ice, Bruins players sat at their lockers quietly, eyes wide, heads shaking as if they had just seen a ghost, struggling to wrap their heads around the reality that, in seconds, it was all over.