The Boston Bruins had the top spot in the Eastern Conference in the palm of their hand but were unable to finish the job that they started 81 games ago.
The fact that I am complaining about Sunday’s loss shows just how great this Boston Bruins team has been this season. If before the season started you told me that the Bruins would end up with the second seed in the Eastern Conference I would have been ecstatic. Now it seems like a minor disappointment.
The Bruins played like a team that was playing their final game of the season. They were tired and seemed unable to get anything going for the first 40 minutes. At one point the Bruins were only down a goal, but their efforts were too late and they would go on to lose 4-2 to the Florida Panthers.
First things first
Rene Rancourt has sung his last regular season National anthem. The Garden legend will be retiring at the end of the season. The Bruins honored Rancourt before the game, and he dropped the ceremonial puck.
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Rancourt was the anthem singer for the Bruins for 42 years. It was always a treat to see Rene sing the anthem and then give his trademark fist pumps. One of his greatest moments may have come when he wasn’t even singing. His rendition of the National anthem in the Bruins first game after the Marathon Bombings left all who witnessed filled with emotion.
It will take a while to get used to Rancourt’s booming voice being absent at Boston Bruins games.
Pasta keeps eating
David Pastrnak has had a great season for the Bruins. He was a goal-scoring machine, and in the Bruins last game of the season, he was able to deliver.
Pastrnak scored his 35th goal of the season in a familiar spot. Just like on Saturday, “Pasta” was able to rifle home a shot from near the faceoff circle. Patrice Bergeron made a great pass, and the rest was history.
The Bruins first line dominated this entire season. the line put up 99 points, that is insane. Pastrnak will be heading into the playoffs on fire, hopefully, the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t able to extinguish the flames.
The real season begins
Now it is time for the best things in all of sports… playoff hockey. The hits are harder, and the games mean that much more. The energy in the arenas could probably power an entire country. The Bruins will be facing off against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs are filled with young talent, with offensive threats like Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner. They won’t just roll over to the Bruins.
The Bruins are going to have to play a complete 60 minutes. There can be no bad starts. Tuukka Rask will have to be a human brick wall. This is a lot to ask from such a young team, but in the NHL playoffs, anything is possible.
Now we have to wait until Thursday which feels like an eternity. The Bruins will be able to rest up before they begin their journey towards a Stanley Cup. Game 1 can’t come soon enough.