How Bruins Compare Round 1 Exit To 2019 Game 7 Stanley Cup Final Loss

'Lots of mixed emotions'


May 3, 2023

The Bruins have suffered some heartbreaking losses over the last decade and only added to that with their first-round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs at the hands of the Florida Panthers.

Boston shattered NHL records all season and held a 3-1 lead before it slipped away on home ice in Game 7.

Bruins fans have seen ugly losses at TD Garden — particularly in Game 7 — but how the 2022-23 regular season came to an end, it only seemed fitting that the Stanley Cup would be raised by Patrice Bergeron before handing it over to his teammates.

But it didn’t end that way, much like it didn’t end in triumph in 2019 when the Bruins fell in Game 7 to the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Final on home ice. Bergeron, David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk were part of the 2019 team that watched their opponent celebrate being champions at TD Garden.

Every loss stings — some more than others — but Boston’s first-round exit in 2023 is up there with 2019.

“It’s very disappointing and frustrating and definitely on the same line and it’s disappointing for sure,” Bergeron, who isn’t sure what his future holds, told reporters Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena, per a team-provided transcript.

For Krejci, who returned this season after a year-long absence due to playing in the Czech Republic, the loss comes with “mixed emotions.” The longtime center revealed it’s Bruins or retirement, but Krejci also knows this could have been his lost shot at a Stanley Cup.

“Lots of mixed emotions,” Krejci told reporters. “Yeah, you get one of the feelings is we had a good team and this one’s going to hurt. I have lost some tough years before, but this one I would put probably right next to 2019. This one’s going to hurt. Then you have another thing, that could’ve been my last game. There’s just lots of emotions. I don’t even like to talk about it, because we have talked about it with lots of guys in the last couple days. It gets emotional and just not ready right now. It’s only 4 p.m.”

Krejci and Bergeron were together in 2011 when the Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in nearly 40 years. The duo has had chances to replicate that moment, but could never quite finish the job. It’s unclear if they’ll get another swing at it in 2023-24, which only further adds to the emotions of being eliminated so early.

DeBrusk had a bit of a different mindset.

“It’s different. But I think you have to go down there in the dark ages to feel that one out again,” DeBrusk told reporters. “It’s one of those things where I wouldn’t compare them. I think every year is different. Obviously, we didn’t get it done.”

Every playoff-eliminating loss hits different for everyone and they probably all hurt in a different type of way, but it was another reminder that you can have the perfect path paved out for you, or you can dominate the entire league for 82 games, but none of that matters when it comes to the playoffs.

The Bruins now have a busy offseason ahead of them that’s filled with questions about what the roster will look like when the puck drops on the 2023-24 season in the fall.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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