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Did a lack of character doom the Bruins?

May 15, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

sadbruins2.jpgThe Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa regularly produces great work and his post about Boston’s profound meltdown is a fantastic read. At times it’s a little brutal, but so is reality. Here are some of the most interesting tidbits from his column.

Aside from his overtime winner in Game 1, it was a forgettable series for Savard (1-2–3 in seven games). He was at the center of the too-many-men blunder. He took a lazy hooking penalty in last night’s second period, and although the Bruins killed off the infraction, Danny Briere scored 38 seconds later. In Game 6, Savard high-sticked Kimmo Timonen, a penalty that was followed by Daniel Paille’s elbowing, which ultimately led to Briere’s four-on-three game-winning goal. His backchecking throughout the series was indifferent at best. All those shortcomings point to one major explanation: Savard never had enough time to recapture his game, and for good reason. It took Patrice Bergeron more than a year to get back to where he was before the Grade 3 concussion.

I, for one, must agree with Shinzawa on this point in particular. When it comes to concussions, I’m essentially like a coddling mother who pleads with her child to put on a coat in cold weather. Or, uh, something like that. *cough*

There were stretches in Games 5 and 6 when the Flyers could have stretched their leads to fat cushions if not for some game-saving Rask stops. But to these eyes, it looked like Rask ran out of gas. Can’t blame him for the loss. But maybe the Rask from earlier this season stops one or two of those goals last night. Rask was the biggest reason why the Bruins qualified for the playoffs. But the Bruins needed so much from the rookie that he didn’t have enough juice left at the end.

… There were too many Philly heroes for the Bruins to shut down … The Flyers deserved to win the series.

Those are also salient comments. It would be wrong to heap too much blame on Tuukka Rask. The team really leaned on him despite the fact that he had very little playoff experience. When the series was 3-0 I felt like that deficit was a mirage, considering how close each game was. While I can’t say I saw the reverse-sweep coming, the two teams seemed to be evenly matched.

The Bruins are going to have a lot of soul searching to do, but to be honest, I feel like they overachieved considering all the adversity they faced. Shinzawa accused the team of lacking character and that might be true to some extent, but I think they showed more than a little heart in getting this far.

It doesn’t change the fact that the team will have plenty of soul searching to do going forward. Do you think the Bruins lost because of a lack of character?

  1. terry - May 16, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    my personal feeling is boston should have played thomas in game7. Rask lost 3 in a row, i think thomas might have made a difference

  2. Jeff - May 16, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    the Bruins under achieved this season and almost redeemed themselves in the playoffs. There is no question that blowing a 3-0 lead shows concerns with the coach and the captain. Ryder and Wheeler got to go and the bruins need to get some more speed. they played a great physical game in the first 15 mins that lead to being so tired they burnt themselves out with a depleated roster. good job at the trade deadline peter. we could have used derekl morris and byron bitz in that one. Well done Peter.

  3. DW - May 16, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    I felt that the Bruins just ran out of gas in game 7 and Rask may have been tired also. The should have played Thomas in either game 4 or 5 just to give Rask a break. It may have changed the out come of the series, but we’ll never know will we.

  4. charlie g - May 17, 2010 at 4:25 AM

    i agree that tim thomas should of played in game 6 and 7 it was obvious that rask was getting tired how come the coach didnt see it i know the bruins had alot of injuries this year but blowing a three game lead is huge i dont know if anyone agrees it is time for a new coach and general manager.

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