Stanley Cup Final: Andrew Shaw, Petr Klima and devastating 3-OT losses

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For Bruins fans, losing Game 1 of the Cup final after blowing a pair of two-goal leads looks all too familiar. (AP)

By Allan Muir

Common sense tells you that it was one game. Just one game.

And since it still requires four wins to hoist the Stanley Cup, that makes it a little early for anyone to start planning a parade … or a postmortem.

But when Andrew Shaw ended the opener of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night with a triple-overtime dagger, it wasn’t really just one win for the Chicago Blackhawks. And it was so much worse than one loss for the Boston Bruins.

It’s not just that the B’s failed to grab a game that was there for the taking. It’s how they let it all slip away. The result could end their championship dreams before they ever take root.

GAME 1: Recap | Boxscore | Highlights | Photos | Complete schedule

Blowing a 3-1, third-period lead on the road in a Cup final game? That’s bad.

But losing a heartbreaker in triple-OT? That’s devastating. And history shows that teams don’t usually come back from gaping, soul-sucking wounds like that.

KWAK: Losing Game 1 heaertbreaker will have lasting impact on Bruins

Take a look at the 10 longest overtime games in NHL history. Notice a pattern? The winners of those games captured the series nine times out of 10.

Coincidence? Sure, just like it’s a coincidence that George Clooney does well with the ladies.

It doesn’t matter how professional you are, how focused you are, games like these crawl under your skin and start to itch. You start picking away at the memories, fixating on little moments where you could have done something differently. Where you should have shot instead of passing. How you should have played a bounce differently, taken a different route or gotten a change sooner. You think about all the little bounces that went one way that could have changed the game if they’d only gone another.

And those thoughts eat away at you.

If the Bruins had lost this one 5-0, they could have written it off as a rough night and started from scratch tomorrow after having dropped a game that most people expected them to lose. Not now. The sting of this one is going to linger.

Cam Neely can tell you all about how that feels. The Bruins’ president was a star on a deep, experienced Boston team that ran up against the post-dynastic Edmonton Oilers in the 1990 Cup final. The B’s struggled early in the opener, falling behind 2-0 in the first period before a pair of third-period goals by Ray Bourque sent the game into overtime.

CAZENEUVE: Momentum, emotion of Chicago’s Game 1 win makes it seem more significant

The momentum was Boston’s as extra time started, but it dissipated quickly. Chances evaporated, including a Neely bid that was knocked aside just before it trickled over the goal line, and the game was mired by soft ice and a brief power outage at the old Boston Garden.

When play resumed, the teams battled on into a third overtime, making it the longest game in Cup final history … and then Petr Klima became the Bucky Freaking Dent of hockey.

Klima, whose one-way effort kept him nailed to the Oilers’ bench most of the night, earned his place in history by finishing off a sluggish three-on-two break with a shot that barely squeaked past Boston goaltender Andy Moog.

It was a crushing loss. Neely later said that the Bruins never quite got past it emotionally, but he didn’t need to spell it out. The team’s wounded play said it all.

The Bruins fell meekly to Edmonton in five games.

Boston’s fans will point to the never-say-die comeback in Game 7 of the Toronto series as proof that this year’s squad isn’t inclined to go so quietly into the night. They might be right. It’s possible that this group might be a lot tougher mentally than that 1990 team, and that they might have already put this behind them.

It’s possible, yes. But it’s just as likely that the Bruins are done.

  • Published On Jun 13, 2013

    I do not agree with the historical "proof".  For starters, of the 10 games mentioned, 4 of them are WWII and earlier era.  Another 2 were series winners.  That leave us with  4 (OT) and series losers.  3 of these teams lost the OT game on home ice did - as did the 1990 Bruins.  

    The 2 cases (Flyers-Penguins and Penguins-Caps) in which it could be considered that the OT loser "wilted", both were 7 seeds against a 1 or 2 (back when it mattered) who had won first 2 games on the road, only to lose games 3 and 4 at home (both 3OT) games were game 4s.   

    The actual comparisons to the 1990 Bruins just don't hold up.

    In the Cap era there have been 5 3OT games that did not end the series.  The team that won these games went on to win just  2 out the 5 series.  


    How many of those top 10 were games 4,5,6 or even 7?  A loss like this in game 1 is a lot different then a loss in game 7, which no team (unless they have god playing or can take advantage of a fissue in the time continuum a la star trek) can recover from.  A bad column to leave off the table.


    ok have to expand a bit now that I've looked.

    3 of the 10 were the final game of the series.

    2 occurred in 2 or 3 game series.

    Of the remaining 5, 3 were in the 1st or 2nd game, all went 6 or 7, and 2 of the 3 OT winners won the series.  This probably matches how winners of game 1 or 2 typically do in a series.

    The last 2 were in the middle of the series.

    I don't think History tells us a thing here.


    @SRT4nier Agreed. As a Chicago fan, I know that the Bruins are FAR from done. Sure, its an uphill climb, but anyone facing Chicago this year will tell you, its always an uphill climb. Had this happened to Vancouver, I would say they are in deep trouble. To Boston? Its 1-0, and a chance at redemption comes up Saturday.


    Would you be saying the same if Chicago lost? There are two days off before the next game, which gives time for wounds to heal. They have 17 players from 2011 Cup team and I believe 9 from the 2010 Flyers collapse. That factored with the Leafs game 7, I don't place so much doubt that they can not recover from this game mentally. This team has seen plenty of adversity and has strong veteran leadership. If this occurred during game 3, maybe you have a point, but after game 1 with two days of rest, you probably should have saved the effort for latter in the series. 

    You had the Bruins in 7 and because of one game you are writing them off... that was quick. 


    @SRT4nier@SRT4nier actually most athletes will tell you after a tough loss, they'd rather get back out and play as soon as possible to avoid any lingering effects.  So having two days actually makes it a bit tougher, more time to think about it.

    With that being said though, I think Boston's strength is their mental toughness.  I don't see them packing it in, in fact I can see them rallying around this game.

    I stick with my original thought that this series is going 7 games, whoever wins.  I think it will be one of the most memorable series of all time and the start has not disappointed.