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After earning their first Division championship since ’04, this past post-season looked very promising for the B’s. Boston had arguably the best goaltender in Tim Thomas, who averaged 1.85 GA throughout the regular season, and one of the most feared defenseman in Zdeno Chara.
After a clean sweep of the long-time rival Montreal Canadiens, there was a mentality that this might be the year for the Bruins to hoist the cup for the first time in almost 40 years. Boston had the best record in the East, just swept the Habs and had home ice advantage throughout the rest of the playoffs.
Then came the sixth seeded Canes, who, to much of Bostonians’ dismay, did not play like a sixth seed. With all the chances the B’s had, the Canes just ended up outplaying Boston to win in seven games.
Although some might consider this season a disappointment, the future still looks bright for the young and talented B’s. This early playoff exit can be chalked up to an experience builder and hopefully leaves a bad taste in their mouths, leaving them to crave that Cup even more next season.
Despite the set back, the Bruins took home some hardware at the NHL awards ceremony in Las Vegas. Congrats to Tim Thomas (Vezina Trophy- Outstanding goaltender and Jennings Trophy- goaltenders with fewest GAA), Manny Fernandez (Jennings Trophy), Zdeno Chara (James Norris Memorial Trophy- outstanding defenseman) and Claude Julien (Jack Adams Award- outstanding coach) for taking home awards.
Next season, the Bruins will hope to build upon these personal accomplishments to secure the ultimate prize. They will be back healthier, and with another year of experience under their belt. GM Peter Chiarelli and Krejci both signed contract extensions. Krejci, Andrew Ference and Phil Kessel all had successful surgeries and it looks like a contract extension is in the works for Coach Julien.
Upon signing his extension, Chiarelli discussed how these Bruins lacked some sacrifice and experience, therefore the expectations for next year will be more demanding and the Bruins will have to improve on these youth-related deficiencies. As we have witnessed this past year, the young Penguins learned from their mistakes in the previous season to capture Lord Stanley’s Cup, and we can only hope our beloved Bruins will follow the same path.