Too-long Bruins thoughts for those who care (seriously, really long):
1) It's going to be easy to point to the trade deadline and say the Bruins should have done more, but I still don't see how they could have addressed their biggest problem (defensive depth) at the deadline for a worthwhile exchange. If anything, the worst move was the one they actually made - Meszaros probably wasn't worth the draft pick they gave up for him. The first line disappearing wasn't a "weakness" because you couldn't have really predicted that happening. Vanek would have been nice, but they still would have had their weakness on D.
2) I'm not going to read any newspapers or listen to radio for a while but I'm sure there are going to be people blaming Tuukka Rask even though the Bruins scored 1 goal in 120 minutes with two chances to close out Montreal, since that's a nice, easy thing to do.
3) This isn't the reason why they lost, but it's time to say goodbye to the "Merlot line" other than Paille. They were a strength compared to other teams' fourth lines in 2011 but a huge liability in playoff losses in 2012 and 2014 and unlike wine aren't getting better with age. When the coach can't play you at all for basically two straight games because he doesn't think you can score a goal, you probably shouldn't be playing, And when they did play, they got worked pretty consistently, including getting lit up for the first Montreal goal yesterday. Let Thornton walk, find Campbell a nice home via trade, and slot Kelly in at fourth line center.
4) Marchand was nowhere to be found in this series. I'm not saying he deserves to be raked over the coals by the media, but I find it weird how some guys avoid the "he drinks and parties too much, he has no heart, he doesn't care about the game" BS while others become targets of that sort of thing. *shrug*
5) The Bruins won't (and shouldn't) make any major changes going into next year, they have a good team. But they definitely do need an injection of youth and speed at forward, and I hope they give both Spooner and Fraser an adequate chance to learn how to play at the NHL level even if they make mistakes. The regular season is basically meaningless as long as you're pretty confident you'll be at least top 2 in the division.
6) I would say Weise bellyaching postgame about Lucic is more typical Montreal obnoxiousness even in victory, but yknow, they were so good at throwing the Bruins off their game with mind games this year, I guess it's never too early to start on next year.
7) For whatever reason, it seems like karma has a way of biting people in hockey more than in any other sport I watch, and I feel like the Bruins have had a negative balance in the karma bank since Thornton's little booboo against the Penguins just days after waxing poetically about "the code" in the press. Lucic's spearing incidents and Thornton's clown move with the water bottle were more examples of things that are beneath the kind of mentality they brought to the 2011 Cup run.
8) Under the same coach, and with the same captain/core, the Bruins have had amazing comebacks and horrible collapses. It's easy to proclaim things about heart or playoff ability based on what they do in a playoff series but when you're really good and, as a result, play in big games a lot, well... sometimes you win those games, sometimes you don't. Just like with the Patriots. It's entirely unfair to say something like they can't handle the pressure of big games, because they've done it many times before. Maybe they didn't handle it well yesterday, but that's a separate issue.
9) Go Rangers.