Taking a look back: the five biggest stories from 2013

Patrice Bergeron provided one of the moments and photos of the year. - Jared Wickerham

2013 was a big year for the Bruins, a year of highs and lows, comebacks and blown leads. With 2014 right around the corner, here's a look back at the five biggest Bruins stories of 2013.

5) Iginla! Wait, no-ginla

On the night of March 27th, with the Bruins playing the Canadiens, rumors began swirling that Calgary Flames legend Jarome Iginla would be waiving his no-trade clause to join the Bruins in a blockbuster trade that would make the B's Cup frontrunners. It was a done deal, according to Aaron Ward, and numerous reporters began to follow suit and "confirm" that report. Many Bruins fans went to bed that night thinking it was a done deal, and that Matt Bartkowski, Alexander Khokhlachev, and a first round pick were headed to Calgary in exchange for the future Hall of Famer.

Not so fast.

The confusion was perfectly summed up at the time by one B's fan on Twitter:

Last Tweet before going to bed: "Iginla. Hell yeah."
First Tweet on the morning of the 28th: "Iginla. Guess not."

Yes, in the early hours of Thursday morning, Jay Feaster did what Jay Feaster does: made a bad trade, and sent Iginla to the Penguins for a lesser package (though, in Feaster's defense, Iginla did essentially force the trade).

B's fans were furious, feeling like they'd been left at the altar. Even Peter Chiarelli showed a little frustration, saying the B's "believed [they] had a deal."

All's well that ends well, however, as the B's were able to pick up Jaromir Jagr and paste Iginla and the Penguins on the road to the Stanley Cup Final. There was a period of time during which Iginla was one of the most disliked men in Boston.

But hey, eventually making the right decision and then scoring a dozen goals before the end of the calendar year go a long way towards healing old wounds.

4) Healing a city

The tragic events at the Boston Marathon shook the entire city, but as has been the case in the past, sports helped to rally a shaken populace and move the city towards healing.

The Bruins were scheduled to play a home game on Patriots Day, a game that was scrubbed due to the bombing.

However, two days later the B's hosted the Buffalo Sabres in what was the first large-scale public gathering in Boston since the Marathon. Tension was high, people were on edge, and then...the puck dropped, and things were normal for a while.

People watched end-to-end rushes, not wall-to-wall CNN coverage from the finish line.

Prior to puck drop, the B's played a stirring video tribute, and Rene Rancourt delivered one of the most emotional anthems of his career.

Boston Bruins post-Marathon Anthem and video 4/17/13 (via dafoomie)

The game went on, and the B's blew a late lead, losing in a shootout, but the end result didn't matter much. What mattered was that the city had taken a step towards normalcy. The game provided one of the more touching images of the season, a center-ice stick salute from both teams, and Boston was on the road to recovery.

3) Later, Tyler

The 4th of July fireworks in Boston are a big event every year, but this year the B's threw a bit more powder onto the flames with some fireworks of their own: trading one-time franchise building block Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars.

Seguin, who had himself a rough playoffs, was sent to Texas along with Rich Peverley in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, and Joe Morrow. Once Seguin left town, the classic Boston media character assassination began.

He was lazy. He didn't fit in the system. He partied too much. He needed a bodyguard to keep him in his room. He had a drug problem. He slept with a teammate's wife. Yadda yadda yadda.

Strange, though, that none of these things was reported by these alleged "journalists" when Seguin was a part of the team. Yes, strange indeed.

Eventually, things settled down and hockey went on. Seguin, as predicted, excelled at the start of the season in Dallas, leading to great wailing and grinding of teeth in Boston as Eriksson struggled to adjust to his new team. However, Eriksson settled in, Smith is still tearing it up, and the Bruins are doing just fine.

Will the high school female fanbase ever recover? Only time will tell, but we hear Reilly Smith is pretty dreamy too.

2) Bergeron! Bergeron! Bergeron!

Sometime around 9:15 on May 13, things were looking extremely grim for the Bruins as a franchise. They were trailing 4-1 with around 15 minutes left to go in a home ice Game 7 against Toronto. Claude Julien would surely be fired. Maybe Peter Chiarelli too. A major trade would need to happen to shake up the core of a team that blew a 3-1 series lead then played a stinker in the seventh game at home. Changes were coming.

And then...miracles. A Nathan Horton goal. A Milan Lucic goal. Hey, there's something happening here.

Into this situation stepped Mr. Patrice Bergeron, the longest-tenured Bruin, a guy who had seen two lockouts and a blown 3-0 series lead, and, damn it, he wasn't going to let this happen again.

One goal, sending the Garden into bedlam:

Patrice Bergeron (2) Goal: Game #7 ECQF - Toronto Maple Leafs 4 Boston Bruins 4. May 13th 2013 (via xXxCrosby87Xx)

Then another goal to cap off one of the most improbable comebacks in hockey history, and send Dave Goucher's radio call into Boston lore:

98.5 The Sports Hub's Dave Goucher calls Patrice Bergeron's series-winning OT goal (via BruinsHockeyNowDan .)

"Game 7" will remain a part of Bruins history forever as one of the most memorable moments in franchise history.

1) 17 seconds

Sorry. It had to be done. It was, after all, the biggest Bruins story of the year.

The B's were 90 seconds away from a huge win, 90 seconds away from sending the Stanley Cup Final to a decisive Game 7 back in Chicago.

Calamity. Complete breakdowns. Chaos. A "blink and you missed it" comeback that saw the Blackhawks score twice in 17 seconds to lift the Cup on Garden ice.

Warning: video below. If you haven't watched it since, take a look. It's good for healing, trust me.

2013 Chicago Blackhawks - Two Goals In 17 Seconds To Win The Stanley Cup (via InfamousChicago)

The Bruins had an incredible year in 2013, but the way the 2013 season ended remains the biggest story surrounding this franchise.

Is that a bad thing? Nope. More fuel to make 2014 end differently.

Honorable mention:

  • John Scott vs. Loui Eriksson
  • Shawn Thornton's heel turn
  • The Bruins' utter domination of the Penguins
  • The emergence of Tuukka Rask.
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