BOSTON – While there weren’t mass firings or fire and brimstone speeches at the season-ending press conference for Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, CEO Charlie Jacobs and President Cam Neely at TD Garden on Wednesday morning, there was a necessary, obvious admission that last season was a failure. Neely addressed the media prior to the question and answer period, and put to rest any weak notions that the Black and Gold roster wasn’t good enough to secure a playoff spot among the top eight Eastern Conference teams.
Instead the Bruins executive pointed toward Boston’s position with a month left to go in the season, and the implosion that took place as the Bruins limped to a 3-8-1 record in their final 12 games while watching helplessly as the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers hopped over them for the final postseason spots.
“Quite frankly, with 86 points and 13 games to go, we should’ve been a playoff team. We should be playing right now. We should’ve locked up the third seed, and who knows? But that didn’t happen, and we’re all extremely disappointed the way the season ended,” said Neely, of a B’s team that fell one point short of the postseason for a second year in a row. “Having said that the [Don Sweeney] plan was not a one-offseason fix.
“We know what our goals are, we know what we need to improve, and we’re taking the necessary steps to continue to do that. So from my perspective we were told by Don, it’s going to be a bumpy road, we should see some improvement along the way, and for the most part we had that. But it's the way we finished that was extremely disappointing for us.”
Both the Red Wings and Flyers are currently on the brink of elimination in each of their first round series, and the Bruins were destined for the same kind of fate even if they had stumbled their way into a playoff spot. But there’s no question that the dividing line between playoffs and no-playoffs is a giant one for the three men that shared the Black and Gold dais at Legends on Wednesday morning while coming up just short two years in a row.