Memory of 2011 motivates Bruce Cassidy 'to be the guy at the helm' for Bruins' next Stanley Cup

Joe Haggerty
NBC Sports Boston

The beginning of this week marked the ninth anniversary of the Bruins winning the 2011 Stanley Cup in Vancouver.

It was a special accomplishment for the Black and Gold, to be sure, winning three Game 7s en route to their first Cup in nearly 40 years, and it's something the Bruins have fallen short of a couple of times since then in two more appearances in the Stanley Cup Final.

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Bruce Cassidy reminisced about the experience of being with the Bruins in Vancouver for that moment while serving as the coach in charge of the Black Aces during that playoff run. Cassidy didn't end up with his name on the Cup while serving as the head coach of the Providence Bruins, but he get his moment with the Cup on the ice at Rogers Arena on that fateful night.

"I got to put the Stanley Cup over my head on the ice. I thought it was an unbelievable feeling. I was clearly a part of the organization, but I wasn't in the trenches with the guys every day," said Bruce Cassidy during a Zoom video call with NBC Sports Boston on Monday morning. "The joy in Zee's when he hoisted that thing and how much he screamed, being around that group you just want to bottle that up and say that's what I want to do.

"That's what was so disappointing about a year and three days ago [against the Blues]. We thought that would be our moment, but we'll get another opportunity hopefully. But that's what I remember about it. Tim Thomas almost ran me over when he was skating around with the Conn Smythe. Just to see how happy all the guys were and the sacrifices [that were made], it's in the back of your mind. The support staff, the scouts, the front office… I don't know how to describe it, but it's always one of those things in your mind that you're going to cherish. But I want more. For selfish reasons, I want to be the guy at the helm when that happens [again]."

It certainly should be Cassidy at the helm when the Bruins win again based on the overwhelming success he's had since taking over as bench boss. Cassidy is once again garnering Jack Adams Trophy consideration this season after guiding the Bruins to 100 points prior to the 2019-20 season going on pause, and putting up a ridiculously good 161-66-34 record (.682 points percentage) in parts of four seasons in Boston.

Clearly it was a cool moment for Cassidy, of course, but it's also fueled his self-described "selfish" desire to lead the Bruins to another one, particularly after falling just short while dropping Game 7 against the St. Louis Blues in painful fashion last season. The hunger for Cassidy and the rest of the Bruins isn't going anywhere.

Instead it's going to be a key component behind the hockey club's drive and urgency once the NHL resumes play at some point this summer with Boston one of the favorites to get back to that Stanley Cup Final stage once again.

Memory of 2011 motivates Bruce Cassidy 'to be the guy at the helm'for Bruins' next Stanley Cup originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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