The Boston Bruins had the best regular season record heading into the bubble but then things didn’t go too well in the Round Robin games, as they went 0-3.
Things got even worse in the middle of the first round when their star goalie, Tuukka Rask, decided to opt-out and leave his team in the middle of a playoff series because of a family emergency.
So all of a sudden the Bruins had to ride their backup goalie Jaroslav Halak for the remainder of the playoffs so you shouldn’t be surprised that Bruce Cassidy’s team didn’t go past the second round.
And because of Tuukka’s sudden departure, the Bruins playoff run shouldn’t be labeled as a failure because there wasn’t much expectation for them to go far without Rask anyways.
They had plenty of offensive talent–Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak on the front line–but the goalie is easily the most important part of a successful hockey team. No disrespect to Halak, but he isn’t a goalie that you can ride all the way to a Stanley Cup victory.
And you have to give props to the Tampa Bay Lightning. They were without their star player Nikita Kucherov for the final few periods of their series clinching Game 5 win so it’s not like the Lightning had all of their great players either.
Once Rask left the bubble it was pretty clear that the Bruins didn’t have enough to compete with teams in the Eastern Conference like the Lightning, Islanders, and Flyers so it was just a matter of how long Jaroslav Halak could survive in net.
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