NHL

As the Bruins and Celtics go, something very rare could happen in June

So we have to ask… can both play here in the final in June?

Imagine. The NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals unfold simultaneously in the Hockey/Hoop Hub of the Universe. A Bull Band Bacchanal. The Larry O’Brien trophy and Lord Stanley’s chalice sit side by side in the bowels of TD Garden. Former champions Johnny Bucyk and Robert Parish – Chief and Chief – go hand in hand on Causeway Street. Bobby Orr as the Banner Captain one night, Larry Bird presenting Bill Russell with the NBA Finals MVP trophy the next.

No city has ever won both winter sports titles in the same spring, but a duckboat doubleheader is possible for Boston in June.

The Bruins have 80 points through 47 games and are on track to finish with the best record in NHL history. They are 22-1-3 at home. They still have three players who won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and were in Game 7 of the Finals just four years ago. Anything can happen in playoff hockey, but the Spoked-B’s will enter the tournament looking to make the finals.

The Celtics were in the NBA Finals last year and had a 2-1 series lead against the Warriors. Now they are 35-14, winners of nine of their last 11. Jayson Tatum is an MVP candidate and president of basketball operations. Brad Stevens has bolstered the bench for rookie coach Joe Mazzulla. They managed to beat the Warriors in overtime last week. They are Vegas favorites to win the franchise’s 18th championship.

If the Celtics and Bruins make it to the Finals, it will mark the 10th time a city has had a crack at both banners in the same spring. It would be the fourth shutout for Boston, the first since May 1974, when the Celtics beat the Bucks in seven a week before the Flyers clinched the Cup against Orr’s Bruins.

The Bruins last participated in the Stanley Cup through Boston in 2011.Boston Globe/Boston Globe

Boston was the first city with a shot at this rare double, and it came just after Russell arrived in the winter of 1956-57. The Celtics had never won a title, but rookies Russell and Tommy Heinsohn put them over the top in seven games against the St. Louis Hawks. The Celtics won on April 13 in double overtime, just three days before the Canadiens finished off the Bruins in a fifth and decisive Stanley Cup Final at the Forum.

Boston was back in the championship rounds a year later, but the Celtics lost to the Hawks in six after Russell went out with a sprained ankle. The Bruins lost to the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge in Game 6 at Causeway Street eight days later.

Those were heady days for New England fans: back-to-back finals with the same two cities in two sports.

New York advanced to the doubleheader at the new Madison Square Garden in 1972, but the Knicks lost to the Lakers and the Rangers lost to the Bruins (remember that one?) in six games.

Philadelphia (1980), Chicago (1992), New Jersey (2003) and the Bay Area (2016) all had one shot at the double, but none succeeded. Two of them were double Finals losers, and the ’92 Blackhawks were swept by the Penguins a few weeks before Michael Jordan’s Bulls beat Portland for the NBA title.

New York in 1994 and Boston in 1974 gave it a good shot. The ’94 Rangers won the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 54 years, beating the Canucks in a seventh game at the Garden on June 14. Eight days later, the Knicks lost Game 7 to the Rockets.

Boston came almost as close in ’74.

The Stanley Cup finalists Bruins and Flyers were tied, 1-1, after two games when Dave Cowens singled up the middle against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for a Game 7 final in Milwaukee at 2:30 PM ET on Sunday, May 12, 1974.

An hour and a half later, while the Celtics and Bucks were beating each other in their winner-take-all contest, the Bruins faced the Flyers in the Spectrum.

The Celtics launched Duck Boats in 2008.Ryan, David L. Globe staff

Imagine what it was like in Greater Boston homes that afternoon. You had the Celtics and Bucks in Game 7 on Channel 7. And you had the Bruins-Flyers Game 3 on Channel 4, starting around the time the Celtics and Bucks tipped for the second half.

John Havlicek … Bobby Orr … Kareem Abdul-Jabbar … Phil Esposito … Oscar Robertson … Bobby Clarke … Dave Cowens … Dave Schultz … Jo Jo White … Wayne Cashman.

The Celtics won the championship that afternoon and celebrated in their small Mecca locker room while the Bruins skated to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Broad Street Bullies. The B’s were eliminated a week later.

It must have been a blur.

And this year we could have three glorious weeks with Jayson Tatum … Patrice Bergeron … Stephen Curry … Cale Makar … Jaylen Brown … Brad Marchand … Draymond Green … Nathan MacKinnon … Klay Thompson … David Krejci.

Clear your calendar. See you in June.


Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at daniel.shaughnessy@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_shaughnessy.

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