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The Bruins Have Been Eliminated… Now What?

The Boston Bruins have been eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning after a double-overtime loss. It is certainly disappointing but it’s great to not lose in a cup final. Am I right?

The Core Speaks

The Bruins’ core spoke to the media after an upsetting loss. Emotions were high so it’s hard to gauge these comments. Take it leave it, I suppose.

After reading these, you realize how much the Bruins’ game seven loss really meant to the team. It just sucks. The Bruins are a special team but sadly they haven’t been able to make it come together as they did in 2011.

As for Captain Zdeno Chara’s future, I don’t believe he will retire. I think that he will more than likely re-sign after everyone else signs. Of course, people aren’t going to like that. There’s a chance he takes whatever is left for money- or league minimum because he knows that he won’t be playing a full season.

Why Did They Lose

Besides the obvious, “not scoring enough goals.” I think it’s only fair that we take a deeper dive into the Bruins and Lightning match up.

Goaltending:

Boston was without their starter, Tuukka Rask.  Which meant that Jaroslav Halak would be between the pipes. This isn’t be knocking Halak’s talent but he is not cut out to be a starter. His regular-season stats were strong enough to put most of us at ease.

2019-20 season: 
31 Games Played
29 Wins
18 Losses
6 OT

GAA: 2.39
SV%: .919

Nothing about that really jumps out as a concern. He’s not a Vezina finalist by any means but he could hold his ground.

Andrei Vasilevskiy is not human. I think every coach wishes they could clone him and have him as their goalie. That would certainly be an interesting time…

2019-20 Season:
52 Games Played
35 Wins
14 Losses
3 OT

GAA: 2.56
SV%:  .917

The Tampa Bay Lightning had a starter in net. The Bruins did not. Halak is not someone who can handle the playoff load management and the pressure. Hence why he makes an excellent backup. However, you cannot fault this elimination on goaltending alone.

Defense

The Bruins defense is what I’d like to call swiss cheese. They were there times when they were solid but there were also some holes… A lot of them. Charlie McAvoy was outstanding. He runs away with the best defenseman of the series. Chara was not there. He was not on the ice when a leader should be and I think that he was slowing the team down. John Moore should show up to the next Disney Prince casting. He would make a better prince than a hockey player. It’s exhausting. Don Sweeney will probably work on moving him this offseason.

Offense

Yes, we can all let out a groan and roll our eyes. I wish that I could see all of your tweets and reactions in regards to the lack of production. The first line was not there the way they could’ve been. David Pastrnak was more than likely still dealing with a lingering injury. There’s no way he was playing at 100%. However, he was hindering the team’s performance. Brad Marchand scored the same goal three times during the series. I sat there and just rolled my eyes. It was almost like an accident. Whatever works, I guess. Patrice Bergeron… Oh, how I love thee.  Bergeron is notorious for his postseason injuries. Whether he’s playing through a punctured lung or torn groin, you can count on him. I don’t even want to think this but there will be a day where Patrice Bergeron is no longer a Bruin. He’s “getting up there” in terms of a hockey player. He isn’t done yet. Don’t you dare write him off.

The production overall was sad. Players who usually step up for the playoffs were nowhere to be found. I think the post should win MVP for Tampa if I’m honest.

Ondrej Kase was acquired at the trade deadline and it was seen as a win because the Bruins unloaded David Backes and only retained 25% of the contract. Huge W there. Kase struggled. He simply could not finish. It was hard to not feel bad for the guy but at the same time, he makes millions of dollars to shoot the puck between the net.

Nick Ritchie did nothing for the team. Why Bruce Cassidy had him on the ice at all. He doesn’t provide much of anything besides time on the penalty kill.

Final Words

Overall, it was disappointing. I don’t know how else to put it. Don Sweeney has a busy offseason ahead of him. I’m sure he’s been on his phone all day today testing the waters. I’m looking forward to keeping you updated through the offseason!

-Jess Belmosto @jessicabelmosto

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