BOSTON (CBS) – Between David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and others, the Bruins have a young, but experienced core group of players built to win Stanley Cups.
In last year’s Cup final, the deciding game got away from the Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied for two goals in the waning minutes of Game 6 to win their second Stanley Cup in three years — an opportunity lost for the B’s.
Well, another opportunity slipped through the fingers of the Bruins Wednesday night. The supposed best team in hockey was ousted in seven games in the second round of the postseason to a division rival.
Radio play-by-play man Dave Goucher weighed in with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Thursday morning.
“There’s no question about it. It’s an opportunity lost for this group. They’ve got young players here in their primes, from Krejci and Lucic to Bergeron, Marchand and Rask that are all in the primes of their careers right now.
“When you think about how good this team was in the regular season, I remember saying, ‘This is great’ and ‘The Presidents’ Trophy is nice’ but it doesn’t really matter. It really doesn’t. Unfortunately in this series the Bruins never really looked like the Bruins except for Game 5 in my opinion.
“Last night, in that first period, I was astonished how they played — especially for a team with as many pressure packed games as they’ve had the last few years. It was right through the lineup. Their top players, outside of Patrice Bergeron, in this series they had too many of their best guys not be a factor for them.”
The Bruins not only ran into a bad matchup on the ice, but they were facing a Montreal team playing the underdog and “nobody respects us” card. It worked, but Goucher’s not ready to say the Bruins and Claude Julien were unprepared.
Rather, the Canadiens were able to dictate the pace of the series and the B’s never adjusted.
“Give the Canadiens credit. … When you’re trailing by two goals or more in five of the seven games like the Bruins were that’s just not how they play. That’s not good enough to win this time of year,” said Goucher.
Another reason the Bruins lost was the inability of their top players — particularly the first line — to produce.
“In games like they had last night you need the best players to carry the load for you. When I look down at the end of the game and I see Milan Lucic with no shots, and Zdeno Chara with no shots, and David Krejci and Brad Marchand not scoring at all in the playoffs, that’s where a lot of this [blame] kind of falls.
“We waited for that Krejci line to get going and it never happened. We’re still waiting for it,” said Goucher.
All in all what was a tremendous regular season ended in playoff disappointment, and this core group of Bruins players has a long summer ahead of them to reflect — certainly not the way anyone envisioned.
“It really is an opportunity lost. I was convinced that they were a team that would at least get to the Conference Finals. I thought they were certainly among the top four teams in the league. Obviously that didn’t happen,” Goucher said in closing.
Listen below for the full discussion: