In terms of the regular season, the 2017-18 Bruins will be remembered as the team that arrived a year earlier than anybody would have expected.

But now that they really have arrived – as in 112 regular-season points – the expectations have changed.

And so when the Bruins finally, finally, finally finished off the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night at the Garden, roaring back with four third-period goals and claiming a 7-4 Game 7 victory, Bruins fans weren’t just cheering. Turn up the Garden volume a bit and you could hear sighs of relief.

Many of ’em.

The Bruins wiped the Leafs off the Garden ice in Games 1 and 2. And then everything changed, as the Leafs came back to tie the series. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, often in the crosshairs of the hometown mob, was pulled from a game. On Wednesday, Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy’s decision not to dress Ryan Donato for Game 7 led to an entire day of point/counterpoint anywhere in Boston where hockey is the talk.

For now, everyone can calm down. The Bruins live. Their next foe is the Tampa Bay Lightning, which means another chance to see the Bruins’ exciting cast of early-twentysomethings under the bright lights of the Stanley Cup tourney.

“We’re not here without the core group,” said Cassidy, “but we’ve supplemented them with some good young players.”

To put things in perspective, consider the resumes of the Maple Leafs’ Patrick Marleau and Jake DeBrusk, the Bruins’ hero onWednesday night. Each player scored two goals. That’s where the comparisons end. Marleau is 38; DeBrusk is 21. When Marleau played his first NHL game – on Oct.1, 1997 for the San Jose Sharks – DeBrusk was just over a year old.

To pick another Bruin, Charlie McAvoy, he wasn’t even born when Marleau played his first game. (On the day McAvoy was born, on Dec. 21, 1997, Marleau was playing for the Sharks that night in Anaheim. That’s nuts.)

But you get the point . . . these are not your father’s Bruins. These aren’t even your big brother’s Bruins. These are the Millennial Bruins, and winger DeBrusk is making noise about being the next Boston sports hotshot.

On a night when some of the veterans failed and or flailed – there was a two-for-the-price-of-one Bruins’ struggling when Brad Marchand was taken down as Kasperi Kapanen moved in on Rask and badly deked the goaltender for a shorthanded goal – it was the kiddos who gave you hope for the future.

Except that we’re now talking the near-future, not some far away future.

DeBrusk’s second goal, the one that gave the Bruins a 5-4 lead and effectively snuffed out the Maple Leafs, was as vivid an example of the March of Youth as you’ll ever see. It might have looked like nothing more than pure speed and hustle at first glance, given the way the kid rocketed up the ice to the left of Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen, but the way he moved the puck to his forehand at the end and then sent it into the net had nothing to do with youth. That was raw talent.

“And he scored going to the dirty area,” said Cassidy of DeBrusk. “Those weren’t freebies . . . real greasy . . . I was happy for him.”

But while a kid named DeBrusk made everyone happy, a veteran named Rask sent everyone home with nagging worries. For Rask was the fine point to the big win:

Tuukka gave up four goals.

Everyone’s going out of their minds about Rask. Everyone. WEEI’s Lou Merloni made an appearance on a Toronto radio station the other day and expressed some concern about Rask going into Game 7, after which NESN play-by-play man Jack Edwards later appeared on the same Toronto station and dismissed Lou as a former baseball bench warmer who never goes to hockey games.

Yikes, it’s getting hot in here, eh?

But if there was trepidation in the Garden going into the third period – and there was, mostly because of Rask – there was pure delirium when DeBrusk put the Bruins ahead.

Cassidy chose his words carefully speaking about Rask after the game, saying, “We play for one another, we have all year. You want your goalie to be at his best, that’s stating the obvious . . . I don’t think there was a doubt if we got tied or took the lead then Tuukk would be fine down the stretch.”

But it’s what happens before “down the stretch” that should concern Bruins fans.

We can all calm down for a few days. Maybe Lou Merloni and Jack Edwards can go out and have a couple of pops.

And then it’s back to work, beginning Saturday afternoon, Game 1, in Tampa.

Let the gnashing of teeth continue.

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