You just knew it was gonna end like this. Another one goal game. Another nail biter. Another horrible ending to a game that would end the season too soon because no one wants hockey to end after one round. Not after what we experienced last season!
But here we are. Left to wonder why the Bruins could only score 15 goals in this seven game season. Why none of the big boys stepped up to the table, got the noses dirty enough to put rebounds past the young solid goaltender for the Washington Capitals. A lot of bystanders in this series and that’s so unlike what this Bruins team has been all about. Where was that snarl? Where was that nastiness that they needed to breakdown the defensive wall that the Capitals had put up and relentlessly did not give in.
It wasn’t about Washington’s offensive prowess because the Bruins defense pretty effectively shut down the like of Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, and Nicklas Backstrom. It came to the likes of Milan Lucic, and Patrice Bergeron, although limited, not scoring a goal in the series. Third line center Rich Peverley had the most goals on the team with three. David Krejci virtually missing in action and cliche it may be, the Bruins best players were not their best players by a long shot.
The big thing for Boston was the fact that in consecutive playoff years, the power play was non-existent. Two goals with the man advantage in 23 opportunities none larger that with just over two minutes left in the third period of game seven on what was really a questionable holding call. This power play was abysmal for two seasons now and obviously has not been addressed. The coach spoke about the fact that they had no one like Marc Savard on it. Well it’s been a known fact that Savard ain’t walking through that locker room door for the past two seasons yet what we’ve seen is what we have gotten and it did not change from playoff year to playoff year.
Shot selection was weak for the most part. Most of the time the Bruins settled for the point shot and more often failed to get it through to the net. Often shots were into the netminders pads or glove. Note to Bruins shooters, get good hard low shots above the 11 inches of padding goalies wear!
Tired, weary, passive, injury, not the will and want of last year. Whatever the reason, this was a different Boston Bruins team than its winning predecessor. Maybe we were looking through black & gold colored glasses thinking that everything would be alright and come together last night. Tim Thomas would again be the brick wall he was, Brad Marchand would be the “L’il Ball of Hate”, Bergy would be Bergy, and we would all get no sleep again until mid June.
Not to be. Now the speculation on changes and trades and free agents begin. Somehow, I’m just not quite ready for that. First round eliminations are just too hard to take. It ended quick & painful and way too soon.