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April 14, 2011

Devils president: Yes, the Bruins can!

Lou Lamoriello, the New Jersey Devils president of 24 years, laughed at a few facts tossed his way yesterday.

The records show that for nearly two decades there is basically a rule when about 20 woefully unshaven guys are skating around the ice holding the Stanley Cup.

That is, beyond the other prerequisites — a hot goalie, hard-nosed play and a defense-first mentality — the last team standing almost always has that one go-to, goal-a-game, make-something-out-of-nothing guy.

Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby, Joe Sakic, Martin St. Louis, Teemu Selanne, Eric Staal and Mark Messier are a few of those guys.

One team, though, bucked that trend and actually won three Stanley Cups (1995, 2000 and 2003) without the "quintessential" Hart Trophy (MVP) candidate.

Lamoriello's Devils.

Why does all of this matter? Because your Boston Bruins have something in common with those Devils teams. They don't have a go-to goal-a-game guy.

And one of the most respected people in hockey likes what he sees wearing black and gold.

"I know people look at those kinds of numbers, but I never have," said Lamoriello in a phone interview yesterday. "The playoffs aren't about what your players did during the year. The question is: Do you have people with the ability to raise their game? We had that. We had a lot of players who raised their games in the playoffs.

"When I look at this Bruins team. I believe they do, too."

When they won the Cup in 2003, the Devils didn't have any semblance of a goal-a-game player. In fact, their top three scorers were Patrick Elias with 57 points (67th overall in the NHL) followed by Jamie Langenbrunner and Scott Gomez (tied at 74th overall with 55 measly points).

Guess who is eerily similar? Your current Bruins.

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