This could not really be happening. Not to the Bruins team which had mounted the greatest comeback in NHL history in their Game 7 victory over Toronto in the first round.
Not to the Bruins team which had steam-rolled the New York Rangers then humiliated Cup favorite Pittsburgh in the semifinals.
At the very least, the Cup Final was going seven games. Right?
The few Bruins who spoke to the media after the game struggled to find a way to express their emotions.
“Shocked,” said Johnny Boychuk. “Just, just shock. I don’t even know what to tell you. Absolutely speechless. I’m at a loss for words.”
This Bruins team, which had seemed so bullet-proof for so much of the playoffs, seemed to have it locked up when Milan Lucic potted the go-ahead score at 12:11 of the third.
Fans went wild, reporters began planning their story lines and more than a few flights to Chicago were likely searched for on Smartphones.
Because that was the way it was supposed to be. The Bruins and Blackhawks play a winner-take-all bloodbath in one of the most epic Stanley Cup Finals ever.
Rask becomes a hero, forever shedding himself of the Tim Thomas shadow. Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara lock up Nos. 37 and 33 being lifted to the rafters one day.
The Bruins match the Red Sox with two titles, and in just three years, and in 2013-14 set their sights on the Patriots’ three titles in four years.
This wasn’t just a title, this was going to be a dynasty. It was going to be a team that Boston fans talked about in 50, 60 or 70 years.
Those were the story lines. That was how it was supposed to play out. Rask wasn’t supposed to be a dog. Chara wasn’t supposed to be a non-factor in the biggest of games.