Brad Marchand called the round robin the "preseason" Monday, and that probably hit you with a whole lot of "you didn't fire me; I quit/They didn't dump me; it was mutual" energy.
But honestly, for as much as I hate someone saying the round robin didn't matter, I can't get on any Bruin for saying it now. Why? Because this isn't a changing of their tune. For some reason, the Bruins didn't take the round robin seriously from the jump.
In fact, Bruce Cassidy used that word -- "preseason" -- back in June when discussing the type of mentality the team might have.
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I thought that mindset was wrong then and I think it is now. So, given the opportunity to get back into the swing of things and feel good about your game, you just decline? Were they defiantly trying to lose or something?
Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say they were never planning on trying to win games in the round robin. Their plan was to just enter the playoffs cold? Against a team that would have just won a series and have at least some semblance of their game back? Cool plan, guys.
It's not like star players were being given games off other than the one Tuukka Rask missed because he wasn't eligible. If these guys were playing, they were at risk of injury. Trying harder or focusing more doesn't put you at any greater risk.
So I can't see any positives to entering the postseason without a single win since the restart, but I'll happily be proven wrong. Maybe after making a deep run last year, they felt they needed to take the least mentally taxing course of action in order to have everything saved for the games that count. That sounds ridiculous, but it legitimately might be my best attempt at finding an explanation.
Whatever their reasoning, they're certainly opening themselves up to obvious criticism, because the other teams sure as hell didn't take that approach. If the Bruins now go and get bounced in the first round, they can bet them shrugging off the round robin will be called back into question.
Meanwhile, teams like Philly, Washington and -- health and intangibles willing -- Tampa will probably see the fruits of actually having ramped it back up over the last week-plus.
So I can't call Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask or any other Bruin insincere for saying that the round robin didn't matter. The proof was in the pudding before and during the return that the B's didn't care. The "why" remains perplexing, but they had better hope they were right.