So, where do the Boston Bruins go from here?
They’re in a weird spot. The Bruins perennially are one of the better teams in the NHL, but have advanced past the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs just once in the last eight seasons. They have some intriguing talent and, in the case of Charlie McAvoy, elite young talent, but also have an aging core.
Bruins manager Don Sweeney on Tuesday addressed some of the franchise’s pressing issues. Shortly afterward, team president Cam Neely offered an honest assessment on the current state of the Bruins.
Here are some of Neely’s more noteworthy remarks:
“We’ve had a pretty good stretch here where we’ve gotten to the finals a couple other times. Just haven’t been able to close the door. We’ve got to take a hard look at our roster this summer. It ticks off one year older and that?s something we’re looking at. What do we need to do for this next wave here? It’s something we have to work towards this offseason.”
“Well, fortunately, (team ownership) certainly wanted us to do better than we’ve done. And this year, I think the expectations were certainly a team that could get out of the second round at the very least. So, some disappointment there, there’s no question. They’re giving us all the resources that we need to put championship teams together. They also do recognize that everybody else for the most part is doing the same thing and it’s a challenge. Playoff hockey is more competitive than it used to be. There’s a lot more competitive balance than there used to be. They were excited about our team. They were excited about what we did at the deadline and obviously disappointed not getting out of the second round.”
“I don’t think we can look at the roster now when you lose in the second round and say you can compete for a Stanley Cup. I mean, players that are on that roster that are coming back certainly need to improve. Need to get more out of the third and fourth line. Need of the second line, we didn’t get enough of in that last series. I think we have to look at improving our roster to improve our chances to win a Cup.”
Boston has a lot of work to do if it wants to keep its championship window open.
What the future holds remains to be seen. At the very least, fans can take comfort in the fact that the Bruins are not content with being second-round fodder.