A first-round exit in the Stanley Cup playoffs put an enormous dark cloud over the entirety of the season for the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins dropping out after a crushing Game 7 defeat in overtime to the Florida Panthers on home ice overshadowed all they had accomplished the previous six months when they put together a dominant regular season and rewrote the NHL record book.
Looking back on the season will be tough for the Bruins due to the juxtaposition of their highly successful regular season and their postseason failure.
“Obviously, the regular season is very special with what we were able to build together,” Bruins star winger Brad Marchand said following the 4-3 loss. “At the end of the day, we play the regular season to get a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs, to play for a Cup. And that’s the goal every year is to play for a Cup, not to dominate the regular season. Special what we built and what were able to do together, but fell short of our goal.”
David Pastrnak surely feels like it was a missed opportunity for the Bruins, too, and expects the pain of this defeat to linger well into the offseason and perhaps beyond that.
Patrice Bergeron, who revealed he played through a herniated disc in his back in the playoffs, took a similar approach to Marchand when assessing the season as a whole. And as much as the Bruins achieved, they left the ice for the final time Sunday night unsatisfied and wanting more.
“I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished with this group,” Bergeron said. “I’ve said that many times. It’s a special group on many levels. … Obviously, it’s far from the outcome that we wanted.”