Bruins

Brad Marchand on Game 7 loss to Blues: 'They just took our dream from us'

Brad Marchand on Game 7 loss to Blues: 'They just took our dream from us'

BOSTON – Charlie McAvoy had one word to describe the emotion that he was going through after the Bruins' season had officially ended with a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

“Devastating,” said McAvoy, without even a hint of an elaboration.

It was a tough scene in the TD Garden home dressing room on Wednesday night after the Bruins played a dud of a Game 7 in which they were outplayed during 5-on-5 play by a strong, determined St. Louis bunch and watched rookie upstart Jordan Binnington outplay goalie Tuukka Rask between the pipes.

Grizzled veterans like Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand were even on the verge of tears while discussing the final defeat, and Marchand admitted the Game 7 loss was the worst setback of his brilliant Bruins career. Second-year winger Jake DeBrusk sat dejected in the home dressing room with a towel on the back of his head and didn’t say word to anybody while the media was conducting interviews.

“It’s tough to describe that heartbreak, but you know, we worked hard. It just didn’t go our way,” said Marchand, who didn’t factor offensively and had a key mistake for the B’s when he left the ice for a line change just ahead of the Blues' second goal of the first period. “You never know when you’ll get that chance again. It could be the last one for all of us, but yeah, you know, when you’re that close and it doesn’t happen, it hurts.

“[There’s] disbelief that it didn't come together. That’s not how you plan it out. It’s heartbreak. It’s tough to describe. You know, they just took our dream, our lifetime dream from us, and everything we’ve worked for our entire lives. It was 60 minutes away from that. You can’t describe it.”

It was the lowest the Bruins' dressing room has been morale-wise since they lost four straight games in the second round of the 2010 playoffs to blow a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Bruins were disappointed they lost the Stanley Cup Final in 2013 to the Chicago Blackhawks, to be sure, but it wasn’t the kind of shell-shocked, stunned and raw emotion that was on display after Wednesday night’s game.

The Bruins thought they were going to ultimately prevail against the Blues over the last few weeks, but instead they fell short in a Game 7 that several of the B’s termed the worst loss of their long, accomplished careers.

“We haven’t been in the Final in a long time. Felt like it was there for us. I believed in this group every single game,” said David Krejci. “I had a good feeling. Even after the first period I felt a comeback. So, yeah, that’s a really tough one. [It is] definitely the hardest loss in my career, for sure.”

Most of the Bruins admitted they were never going to get over the bitter taste of a Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup Final on home ice, and that’s understandable given where players like Patrice Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci and Chara are at this point in their career. The bright side is that the Bruins took a huge step forward following that 2010 series loss in the second round to the Flyers, and it played a major role in the Black and Gold winning the Cup in 2011.

Perhaps history can repeat itself as the Bruins look to parlay disappointment into success for the regular season next year, and use the loser’s motivation to take them higher and deeper into the postseason standings next season.

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Brad Marchand laments not 'being the guy that's a difference-maker' in Game 7

Brad Marchand laments not 'being the guy that's a difference-maker' in Game 7

BRIGHTON, Mass – It’s no secret to say that the Bruins best players were simply not that when it came to winning and losing time in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Not only was the Perfection Line, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, held off the scoreboard in the 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues in the decisive game of the Cup Final, but a key mistake by Marchand led to the backbreaking goal. Marchand opted to head to the ice for a line change with 10 seconds left on the clock in the second period, and in doing so allowed the Blues an odd-man rush where Jaden Schwartz fed Alex Pietrangelo for the game-winning goal.

“The more you think about it, I think it just gets harder,” said Marchand. “You start to pick apart everything that you’d like to change. You start thinking about the ‘What ifs.’ It just makes it tough. This is going to hurt forever. You’re never going to get over it.

“There are a few things there [on the play]. A little more awareness to know there was only seven seconds left. I just would have been more aware of the guys coming up the ice because I thought [Jaden Schwartz] was all by himself. I thought the play was dead, but it obviously wasn’t. It was a bad read and I could have read the situation a little differently. That was the difference. One play can really change the outcome of a game. Unfortunately it was costly.”

So not only did the B’s top line not create any productive offense, but a glaring mistake proved to be the breaking point for the Black and Gold.

A couple of days later Marchand lamented the mistakes made in Game 7, and the inability to bring the same game to the postseason that allowed him to be a 100-point scorer during the regular season. Unfortunately for Marchand his Cup Final performance was about turnovers, bad decisions at both ends of the ice and an unwillingness at times to shoot the puck, and that’s not who No. 63 was for pretty much all of the regular season.  

“It’s definitely something you think about. Part of why we’re such a good group is that we all expect to be good in the big moments and we all expect to come through,” said Marchand, who had just a single 5-on-5 assist in the seven game series versus the Blues with two goals and five points overall to go along with a minus-2 rating. “I think personally I definitely have that thought where I would have liked to have been the guy that would be a difference-maker…be better in that situation. That’s how it plays out sometimes.”

Marchand admitted following the series that he was dealing with groin, oblique and hand injuries during the Stanley Cup Final, but it doesn’t sound like any of those things are going to require surgery. So there are no injury excuses here and instead Marchand and his linemates simply didn’t get it done against a big, strong and heavy St. Louis Blues defensemen core.

The question now becomes whether it was simply a bad stretch for Boston’s top line, or if there is a change that needs to come for Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak. It sure felt like by the end of the Cup Final that the trio simply didn’t have enough size and strength to get to the front of the net, and needed at least one member of their line that could win more battles with oversized D-men in the scoring areas.

The Bruins top line had the same issues with the big, strong Lightning defensemen corps a year ago as well, and a playbook is certainly there against Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak given the right kind of personnel on the back end.

That will be a story for the offseason for the Black and Gold, however. The story this week was about Boston’s best players not being able to get it done when it mattered most, and that most definitely includes Marchand. 

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Zdeno Chara thanks fans on Instagram, says Bruins 'will be back'

Zdeno Chara thanks fans on Instagram, says Bruins 'will be back'

Zdeno Chara was one of the biggest stories of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final for the Boston Bruins. In Game 4, Chara suffered a broken jaw after taking a puck to the face. Despite that, he came back to play in Games 5-7 and did everything he could to help the Boston Bruins win.

Unfortunately, the Bruins couldn't come through. They dropped Game 7 of the Cup Final and the St. Louis Bruins became the NHL champions. It was a disappointing end to the season, but it certainly didn't take away from Chara's warrior-like performance that topped the Bruins' laundry list of injuries.

On Sunday, Chara took to Instagram to thank the Bruins fans for their support during the team's playoff run and ended the post with a strong message: "We will be back..."

View this post on Instagram

It’s been only few days, but I can still hear the overwhelming cheers and applause from our fans. I knew we had the best fans ,but I didn’t realized how special and remarkable you are till I stood in front of you before Game 5.It was an unbelievable experience to have your support. I couldn’t help to fight back tears, but so happy to respond to adversity and be there with my teammates. It was unbelievable feeling of pride and honor to be a Bostonian. We as Bruins fell short of our team goal, but we’re so grateful that we made you proud.This group of players and coaches are very special.I can’t say enough about how many times our team responded the right way to adversity and embrace the challenges. We believe in hard work.We treat each other equally and with respect.We trust each other and depend on each other, but mostly we love to play for this community. On behalf of all of the players and from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of our fans for your support and loyalty this year. We never could have made it this far without you. We will be back...

A post shared by Zdeno Chara (@zeechara33) on

This was a great gesture by the 42-year-old captain and long-time Bruin. It's no surprise that he acknowledged the fan support and in particular, the rousing applause he got before playing in Game 5 with the broken jaw. He truly loves the Boston and fans, and the feeling is mutual.

Chara will return to the Bruins for at least one more season in 2020. He signed a one-year, $2 million extension midway through last season and will try to help the Bruins go on another deep playoff run in 2020.

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