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Causeway Street kids a year later

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A year ago at this time no one -- and I do mean absolutely nobody here or elsewhere ranging from the looniest, diehard, devotees to the most ruthlessly dispassionate numbers' crunchers -- was picking the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup.

That had much to do with the historical baggage the franchise had been long and famously lugging around the frozen ponds of North America. They'd not won in four decades nor come reasonably close in two. An even more pressing burden was the lingering humiliation of the previous year's abject playoff meltdown against the Flyers. The mood in the alleged "Hub of Hockey" was flat. The humble coach was being measured for sack cloth with banishment widely seen as certain when the inevitable flop materialized.

The rest, as the saying goes, is History!

A year later, the perception is vastly different although with a fortnight left and seven games to play in the regular season (as this is written) there's sufficient reason to believe it ought not be. The Bruins are not as strong as they were a year ago, nor as well positioned or prepared for the grueling playoff ordeal just ahead. Two weeks can modify that slant but not greatly alter it.

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