Boston Bruins championship window has officially closed

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Bruins once again looked miserable in Game 2 against the Carolina Hurricanes as the two teams square off in their first-round series. And it’s beginning to become increasingly obvious that the Bruins championship window has been slammed shut.

The series is by no means over, but the odds are stacked against Boston right now. They most likely are going to have to win Games 3 and 4 considering they are on home ice at TD Garden to ever have a shot. But based on how Games 1 and 2 went, is there really anything that makes you think this team is capable of that?

While nobody really wanted to admit it at the time, that title window probably was closed immediately after the team lost the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals to the St. Louis Blues. Ever since then, the Bruins have lost a ton of talent and depth without truly replacing most of it. It wasn’t really surprising to see them get bounced in the second round of the playoffs the past two seasons.

This time around, they may not even make it to the second round. The Hurricanes, who have been ousted by the Bruins in the playoffs twice over the past three years, have finally put together enough depth and top end talent to take down Boston. And in the process, they appear to officially be putting an end to the B’s current title window.

Why the Boston Bruins title window is closed

The Bruins front office, led by Don Sweeney, has spent the past three seasons doing everything they could to make up for their loss to the Blues in 2019. They have made some nice additions, such as Taylor Hall and Hampus Lindholm, but the amount of talent that’s gone the other way has been tough to overcome.

Guys like Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Torey Krug, and Tuukka Rask have all moved on, and the front office has struggled to replace them, and many others, along the way. Combine that with poor drafting, and the B’s have struggled to keep pace with the rest of the NHL. They were good enough to make playoffs during the last two seasons, but they quickly bowed out once the competition got stiffer.

This season has been a different story. Boston never really looked like a true Stanley Cup contender, and they only managed to get into the playoffs through a Wild Card spot. That has led to a first round matchup against the Hurricanes, who have dominated the Bruins throughout the entire season.

The first two games have shown just how massive of a talent gap there is between the Bruins and the top teams in the league. Where do you want to start? Between the posts, Carolina is down to their third string goalie, Pyotr Kochetkov. Both him and the Canes second-stringer, Antti Raanta, have thoroughly outplayed Boston’s top goalie Linus Ullmark thus far.

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Defensively, the Boston Bruins have no cohesion. Charlie McAvoy is a stud, but he’s not had a consistent partner all season long. It seemed like Lindholm was set to be that guy, but he’s out for Game 3, and potentially the rest of the series, after he got his bell rung in Game 2. Matt Grzelcyk was moved up to the top pairing with McAvoy for Game 2 anyways, but he hasn’t looked great to start this series.

After the top pairing, Brandon Carlo is solid, but he’s also been looking for a partner-in-crime ever since Krug signed with the Blues in free agency in 2020. The third pairing of Connor Clifton and Derek Forbort wouldn’t even be active for other teams on most nights. The lack of depth on the blue line has been on full display, as Carolina have picked up five goals in each of the first two games.

Offensively, things haven’t been much better. The “Perfection Line” had a reunion last night that yielded nothing, which isn’t really a good sign. Patrice Bergeron was the only bright spot on the top line, and when you consider he might be retiring after the season’s end, that’s not really a good sign.

Brad Marchand has been missing in action for the past month now, and David Pastrnak is doing that thing where he disappears in the playoffs again. The depth behind them is again middling at best, and the third and fourth line have barely created any chances against the Hurricanes deep defensive unit. The second line has seen some good play, specifically from Hall, but that’s been about it.

Next. Time for the Bruins to go back to the 'Perfection Line'. dark

There’s been nothing over the course of these two games that has proven Boston can beat Carolina; the sad truth is that they are the better team. With Bergeron seemingly headed towards retirement, and an overall lack of depth on this roster, the Boston Bruins are officially headed towards a rebuild. And with that, their title window has been closed.