I feel like I’ve said this many times this season, but: funny how quickly the vibes can shift in a week, eh?
Last Monday, the Bruins were coming off of a Game 4 win, heading home with a chance to end the series in Game 5; this Monday, their season is over.
There are plenty of adjectives being thrown around regarding the first-round exit: shocking, disastrous, confusing, inexplicable, amazing, epic, etc.
One that comes to mind to me is the title of this post: deserved.
I’m not sure how anyone, even those with the most black-and-gold-colored glasses around, can look at the result of this series and argue that the Bruins deserved a better result.
The Panthers were more consistent, more opportunistic, more energized...just better.
That’s certainly not to say “well, nothing the Bruins could have done — tip your cap and move on.”
No, the Bruins deserve mountains of blame, from the head coach to the captain to pretty much every guy down to the end of the roster.
We heard all year about how this was a special group, a team on a mission, but the reality is that this team had three chances to put an opponent away and failed every single time.
Yes, most of the problems in this series were of their own making, but at some point, you have to give credit to Florida for causing those problems too.
In some ways, you almost hope the Panthers go on to make some noise now, validating your take of “maybe they were a lot better than people gave them credit for.”
Now, we head into a long, difficult offseason, faced with a ton of questions.
Based on his on-ice actions after the game ended, Patrice Bergeron looks done. David Krejci is likely gone too, leaving the Bruins down two centers with little cap space to fill the gaps.
To his credit, GM Don Sweeney swung for the fences, only to have the players let him down in the end, and now, here we are.
We’ll likely let this ride with Morning Skates for the next little while (maybe aside from whatever comes out of Breakup Day), before starting with the normal offseason stuff.
Here’s to hoping that we’re still around when next regular season rolls around.
Thanks for following along this season, and special thanks to all of the writers and contributors here for their efforts.