Boston Bruins Demise Understandable
Year in, year out, the Boston Bruins put forth a full effort and performances that many teams would die for.
And this season was no different. Some could say the Bruins were better than ever, as the Bruins boasted the league’s best regular season point total and have been among the Stanley Cup favorites, according to an early morning May 14 update from VegasInsider (which may be subject to change).
Nonetheless, the Boston Bruins fell to the Montreal Canadiens, their long-time bitter rival, in the Eastern Conference semifinals series. Boston’s hopes to make up for a championship defeat last season are no more. The hype surrounding a very legitimate chance of reaching the Cup for the second consecutive year has died down amongst Bruins fans.
In the end, the high and mighty are conquered, and for the Bruins, following such a spectacular 2013-14 campaign, it was easy to say they would capture an NHL title. But given the fact that the Boston Bruins have never recently stood in the lofty “best-team-in hockey” position, assuming the Bruins would have the same fight and determination to win it all, as in previous years, may not be correct.
Last season, the magnificent race to the Stanley Cup displayed a Bruins’ squad that was surely a great group of players, one that achieved a high finish in the East and had a shot at seizing the hardware. Back then, in 2013, the Bruins weren’t coming off a red-hot month of April. They were purely mediocre, boasting close to a .500 record. Streakiness was obvious, except it worked out in their favor (until the Stanley Cup), as they stormed back against the Toronto Maple Leafs and swept the Pittsburgh Penguins, for example.
This year, they played some of their best hockey in the concluding month of the regular season, and clinched the President’s Trophy due to their solid performances across every line of every position. Jarome Iginla, Carl Soderberg, and Patrice Bergeron were on fire, each representing contributions that were invaluable to the Bruins. The Bruins young D-men were maturing. Yes, the Boston Bruins lived on depth in the midst of this time, and most of all, consistency. Maybe a different, more victorious fate awaited the B’s, some began to think.
In the Red Wings series, the Bruins continued their brilliance, but the ‘Wings, reiterating what coach Mike Babcock said, were young and inexperienced. The B’s seasoned postseason men were too much for them, and the Wings clearly didn’t know how to play the Bruins.
On the other hand, Montreal came into the series, knowing they had to lay everything on the line with the Bruins and take risks. Therrien knew that all it takes is a couple of games to unfurl a rhythm of success. And exactly this occurred for the Habs, who absolutely convinced themselves that overcoming the Bruins was possible, playing well to support their winning intentions. The Boston Bruins did not fight back like fans expect them to, noticeable in the 3-1 Game 7 defeat. The B’s slopped through poor ice conditions, aware this contest was nearing an end when two minutes and a two-goal deficit remained.
In the end, putting this round of playoffs into a fair perspective, it’s unrealistic to insist that the Bruins will win the Stanley Cup. There are a lot of good teams in the NHL, and while the Bruins reigned supreme at one point in time, every player has to bring their “A” game every match in the playoffs. Win streaks here and there don’t always get the job done, as losing bouts arrive quick and hard. The Chicago Blackhawks series in ’13 put that idea on display. Unfortunately, the Bruins fell victim to it fairly early this postseason.