Brandon Carlo hadn’t had much luck when it came to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Carlo was injured just prior to both the 2017 and 2018 postseason. Without him or Torey Krug, Boston fell to Ottawa in six games in the first round in 2017 and still without Carlo in 2018, to Tampa Bay in five games in the second round. However, with Carlo and Krug in the lineup as the second pairing this spring, Boston soared.
After two straight springs filled with frustration, Carlo finally got his taste of the most exciting tournament in sports over the course of the last two months.
“I loved it!” Carlo responded when asked how much he cherished his first playoff run in the NHL.”I felt very blessed to be a part of that situation. You know you take steps as an NHL player. First is making the league honestly, just becoming a full-time player and then you look forward to playing in the playoffs, doing all that. It was my first experience in the playoffs and I enjoyed every minute of it except for the last one.”
Carlo experienced unbridled joy in his first playoff run. From knocking out a hated rival in the first round to advancing to the Stanley Cup, there were plenty of good times. It is something that not many players ever get to experience and Carlo did it in his first shot.
Despite ultimately losing in heartbreaking fashion to the Blues, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, there are positives to take from the end result. Although many didn’t want to talk about it in the wake of Game 7, Carlo was more than willing a couple of days later.
“I felt like I grew a lot as a player this year,” he said. “Enjoyed being a part of this group, so special to build these friendships and continue on with the guys in this room, but, overall, there’s definitely times the past couple of days where you just feel ultimately heartbroken.”
That pain may never subside unfortunately but it should be eased by the fact that Carlo came into his own this past season and also positioned himself quite nicely to earn a pay raise in the coming weeks as a restricted free agent.