Well ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry to say that our beloved Boston Bruins are being sent home early this season and their cup defense is over before it really started. The Washington Capitals have eliminated the black and gold from contention for the Stanley Cup. Game 7′s are always a nerve racking experience for the players as everything is all out on the line and in this series the Caps were the better team. Credit is due to Washington’s young Braden Holtby because he absolutely carried his team to this series victory. His tremendous poise, skill, and determination are admirable leaving one to thin about the tremendous career in front of him.
The game itself started with furious action as both teams traded chances. Washington’s Matt Hendricks got the scoring started midway through the first to give the Caps the early lead. The Bruins would then go on to tie it on a gutsy effort from Tyler Seguin who dove for a rebound as two Capitals fell on top of him. As the third period started both teams were giving it everything they had to take the lead. You could cut the tension in the TD Garden with a knife. Both goaltenders stood tall however, and sent the game to overtime; a place it seemed it was destined to be. Early in to the overtime period Mike Knuble intercepted a Benoit Pouliot turnover and shot it on Tim Thomas. The shot produced a rebound for Joel Ward to collect and send the Capitals the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Bruins are the second straight cup champion to be eliminated in the first round of their cup defense. The Chicago Blackhawks shared a similar fate last season when they were eliminated by the Western Conference Champion Vancouver Canucks in the first round. What really needs to be understood here, is that it is damned hard to repeat in this league. Teams get stronger, faster, and more talented every year. The Bruins had a very long off-season and it showed throughout the season as they looked sluggish frequently at times. Not to take anything away from Washington, but the Bruins looked like an exhausted team in this series and probably didn’t have the energy and desire they should have after such a hectic year. Despite the difficulties and hangovers of winning the Stanley Cup last season, the Bruins still had an excellent season which is a testament to the players, management, and coaching.
Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand, Chris Kelly, Benoit Pouliot, and Zdeno Chara all had career years despite the difficulty of the season. Patrice Bergeron is up for his first Selke Trophy which awards the best all around player in all aspects of the game as a forward. Big Z has been nominated for his third Norris Trophy as leagues best defenseman. These are just a few of the many great things to happen with this season of Boston Bruins hockey. Let’s not forget the return of a hopefully healthy Nathan Horton next season and most importantly in my opinion, the arrival of Dougie Hamilton whom I believe to have the potential to be the Bruins next great defenseman. Losing always hurts especially when it is the first round and nothing can change that. Don’t be too upset about it though, because the Bruins have such and incredible young core and future that it is not an outside thought for this team to be one of the league’s elite for the next decade. I can’t wait for next year so as always go Bruins and thank you for the great year.
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