For Bruins fans, this Stanley Cup is Kessel vs. Thornton

The Boston Bruins did not make the playoffs this year. They came close. But they did not end up making it in. Not to worry though. Just because they are not in, it does not mean there are not players Bruins fans are and should be familiar with in the Stanley Cup Finals this season.

It might be the San Jose Sharks taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins. But no, for Bruins fans, it has to be Joe Thornton versus Phil Kessel (and Mike Sullivan).

Both Thornton and Kessel have been key pieces of their team’s attack this season. But that is pretty self-explanatory.  Kessel had 59 points this past regular season (26 goals and 33 assists) while Thornton had 82 (19 goals and 63 assists).

For those watching the finals who have seen Thornton up close one thing is clear: damn, he got old. Not really. He’s 36. But his Grizzly Adams beard with some gray spots makes him look old. Not to mention he last played for the Bruins during the 2005-2006 NHL season. And then he was traded to the Sharks where he has been since. To put it this way, Mike Sullivan was the Bruins head coach back then. Now, that once young stallion from Marshfield is the Penguins head coach.

Kessel is only 28 now. But it seems so weird thinking the two young talents the Bruins got for him — Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton, are both playing for other teams. Back-to-back first rounders, who ended up being serviceable NHLers. And after them, the B’s drafted Malcolm Subban. And well, he really hasn’t done much yet.

So far, this series is split at one game apiece and game three of it will be tomorrow, Saturday night, at 8 p.m. EST.  The Red Sox are on at 4:05 p.m. tomorrow, so that should work most Boston sports fans.

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