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Bruins early exit nothing new for defending champions

Apr 26, 2012, 8:01 AM EDT

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 25: Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins shakes hands with former teammate Dennis Wideman #6 of the Washington Capitals after Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 25, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

We’re going to have to wait at least a little longer to see a defending Stanley Cup champion successfully defend their title. The last team to do that was the Detroit Red Wings, who won in 1997 and 1998. The Bruins won’t even come close to matching that feat as Boston was booted from the playoffs by the Washington Capitals after just one round. However, if Boston Bruins fans are upset at their team’s encore performance, perhaps they can take comfort in the fact that they’re not alone.

Including Boston, seven of the last nine defending Stanley Cup champions have been unable to advance beyond the first round of the postseason. The exceptions are the Detroit Red Wings, who made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals in 2009 before ultimately falling after winning the Cup in 2008, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were eliminated in the second round of the 2010 playoffs after winning it all in 2009.

Fatigue might be a factor seeing as winning the Stanley Cup means a shorter off-season. However, there’s another factor too: parity. Thanks to the salary cap, the gap between teams has shrunk and the difference between a squad coming off a Stanley Cup run and any other team that makes the playoffs usually isn’t that monstrous anymore. In the same vein, a seventh or eighth seed team is a serious threat, especially if they happen to have a hot goaltender, as the Bruins can no doubt attest.

  1. blast126 - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    That article shows, how difficult is to win 2 consecutive Stanley Cups.
    Very competitive league.

    • lsxphotog - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:37 AM

      It’s what make the NHL so compelling. Any player on any team can make a difference, as seen last night. The importance of each player and their contribution to the win is tremendous.

      • blast126 - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        The draft system and salary cap gives a big contribute.
        All the teams have the same financial capability and worst teams get the best prospects.

  2. bradyisbetterthanrodgers - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    in about 5 seconds bozo is gonna copy and paste that same
    post. what he doesnt understand is that they didnt choke. the caps were the better team. anyway the above post is correct. it is extremely hard to repeat

    • bozosforall - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      You mean like when the Red Sox were the better team in 2004, yet you idiot Boston sports fans continue to try act like the Yankees choked? I’ll take one week of losing over 86 years of no WS titles any day of the week.

      • t16rich - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        Baseball sucks until October. Lets talk hockey.

      • bozosforall - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:04 AM

        Yeah, let’s talk hockey:

        The Bruins CHOKED. All that needs to be said here. HAHAHAHAHA

  3. tcclark - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    This is what makes the NHL so great. Any team has a chance to win any year. The NBA should take a lesson from the NHL

  4. t16rich - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    You want to see a complete lack of class and focus on racism. Click and read this link to see what fans were tweeting about Joel Ward. Stay Classy hockey fans because those comments make the Wayne Simmonds banana thrower look like a saint.

    • habsman - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:55 PM

      Disgusting, even by Boston standards.

  5. bozosforall - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Just for “bradywisheshewasbetterthanmanning”:

    Boston CHOKES yet again! First the Red Sox last fall, then the Pats this winter, now the Bruins this spring…next the Celtics this summer…or sooner.

    City of CHOKERS


  6. sweezz - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Did you see the Boston fans throwing stuff on the ice after they lost? It’s like I said before, every team has terrible fans. Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the whole buch.

    • bozosforall - Apr 26, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      In Boston’s case, it would be mostly bad apples spoiling the few good ones. This latest CHOKE coudn’t have happened to a more “deserving” fan base.

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