What Went Wrong: The Boston Bruins
I don’t hate upsets. They’re a beautiful and wonderful thing in moderation. The reason the best ones are so compelling in progress is because they never happen and we want to be there for them when they do. That’s what made the Los Angeles Kings’ run to the finals last year so compelling; we were witnessing history. But when they start to take over, you begin to wonder what the point of the regular season is. That’s why it’s comforting to me that the best team at the beginning, middle, and end of the season, and at most points in between, was the team that won the Stanley Cup last night.
That is, in a nutshell what went wrong for the Boston Bruins…they simply weren’t the best team. While the Bruins enjoyed a slight advantage in net, and the defenses were perhaps a wash, the likes of Krejci, Bergeron, Lucic, Marchand, and Horton are simply going to be outmatched by the likes of Toews, Kane, Sharp, Hossa, and Bickell most days of the week. (And they largely were with the latter group winning goals 38-36 (8-8 on goals, 10-9 on assists in the finals) and Rel. Corsi 7.34-5.36 against better teams this playoffs.)
It didn’t help that Jaromir Jagr is quite clearly no longer the player he once was (no goals) and that Tyler Seguin was largely a non-factor (1g, 7a). Brad Marchand disappointed too with 4 goals and 9 assists after having 11 goals and 8 assists in the Bruins’ previous cup campaign. Plus everyone was hurt, with Bergeron’s ailments set to become the stuff of xenophobic Canadian legend. I bring this up, not to detract from the Blackhawks’ victory (as they were hurting plenty), but to highlight just how lucky the Bruins have been in previous years in getting key players to stay healthy. That didn’t happen this year, and neither did a Stanley Cup.
In the end we’re left to laugh that the guy that Bruins fans wanted so desperately to run out of town at the beginning of the year, David Krejci, was once again their top points producer.