The first thing that went wrong was the realignment of the conferences and the new playoff format. The adding of Detroit, Florida and Tampa shuffled the deck for the potential play out of your division format. The Bruins had built a team to play out of the conference. It's notable to reflect that this also impacted Pittsburgh as well. After the first round the Bruins should have faced the NY Rangers and the Penguins should have faced the Canadians. Who's to know how that may have turned out.
The second thing that went wrong was the injury to Dennis Seidenberg. There was just no replacing him as number two in the Bruins defense scheme. We will never know if he may have come back for the Eastern Conference Finals and the point is now moot.
The third thing that went wrong was the inability of Peter Chiarelli to replace Seidenberg before the trade deadline. Frankly I can live with this as it probably would have required a major trade and created another roster hole somewhere else.
The fourth thing that went wrong was a mixed bag condition. The injuries to Adam McQuaid and Chris Kelly. McQuaid's availability might have allowed for a better fit and larger role for Andre Meszaros, then again we learned that Kevan Miller was an adequate and now perhaps permanent replacement for McQuaid at a cheaper price. Missing Kelly against Montreal may have made a difference on the penalty kill and more possession time as a key face-off performer. But in the search for more speed next year at forward, Kelly may become a casualty with his salary. It is unlikely that either will be moved before the pre-season as their overall health will need to be evaluated.
The fifth thing that went wrong, was David Krejci's level of play never elevated and we don't know why. Perhaps the Olympics made him tired, he had some minor injuries, whatever. I didn't feel as some felt that it was Lucic or Iginla that didn't raise their level or that speed on the line was a factor. I'm not sure we will see Iginla return as there is money on the table elsewhere, maybe in Detroit. But if he were to return under a favorable salary condition, I'm not sure he could replicate his numbers and would not benefit from a rest during the Olympic break as he did this past year. I think perhaps that looking at Matt Moulson may be the more alluring option in free agents.
The sixth thing that went wrong was the fourth line, the " Merlot Line" didn't perform during the season or playoffs as it has in the past. This was due to injury, suspensions and it may be a peruser to looking at larger roles for Matt Lindblad and Matt Fraser come pre-season. Steve Ott is an available free agent and may be better suited to replace Sean Thornton and perhaps Greg Campbell might be tradable.
The seventh thing that went wrong was during the series against Montreal. We never respected them as an opponent and the sensed this and fed off it. It made them hungrier and fight harder and we didn't respond, as if there were a sense of entitlement. Very unlike the Bruins and I put the blame squarely on Claude Juliens shoulders. He got out coached and out gamed by Michel Therrien.
Now that the uglies are out, the next post will revolve about what can be carried forward into next season and addressing needs and changes. I believe the window for a Stanley Cup is still open for this team. We'll see how much Bruins management agrees as we head into the draft and free agency.
Until Next Time!