Boston Bruins Chairman Jeremy Jacobs, along with CEO Charlie Jacobs and President Cam Neely, addressed the Boston media at TD Garden on Tuesday afternoon. In addition to comments on potential expanded video review, Jacobs touched on how the club performed in 2018-19.
It was the third time this decade that the Bruins reached the Final, but the second time they saw the Cup awarded to the opponent on their ice. Even with the heartbreaking end to the season, Jacobs was pleased with how the club performed. In fact, the Chairman admitted on Tuesday that the club exceeded his personal expectations for them.
“Oh, I think it way exceeded my original expectations. I thought we were more evolving” proclaimed Jacobs. Like most in the hockey world, Jacobs saw the amount of talent teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs had. The road to another appearance in the Final was daunting, but good breaks and favorable matchups helped spring this Boston team to another level.
“I didn’t think we would…I thought we showed more maturity, more development than I thought we had gotten to, and it may have been circumstances, conditions that got us there, but it was an outstanding season.” Those circumstances would include the Lightning, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins all losing in the First Round.
When expectations are exceeded, that usually means someone did an exceptional job. Jacobs pointed to his management staff and coaches. “It shows….I think it says a lot about our management and a lot about our coaching. It was an impressive – there isn’t a person in the league that didn’t say to me, you know, we really admire the way this team was built. I’m very proud of that.”
The Bruins aren’t done building yet, and will get back to work Friday in Vancouver when the Entry Draft commences. Even after a great season, the Hockey Operations department isn’t satisfied. Cam Neely, one of the men praised by Jeremy Jacobs for building this team, echoed those sentiments. “We have to move on from that [run to the Final] and look at our club and see where we can make improvements.”
Those improvements will start with the 31st pick in Friday night’s draft. They could also include a buyout for veteran David Backes and a trade for veteran David Krejci. It doesn’t appear that a trade of Torey Krug will be in part of those improvements.
The Bruins exceeded the expectations of their owner in 2018-19. They’ll get to work tomorrow on trying to repeat the feat, with Neely and Sweeney in front.