The Stanley Cup playoffs are here and the Boston Bruins are buzzing.
Whether it’s Bruins President Cam Neely or one of the players readying for Monday night’s Game 1 at TD Garden on Marathon Monday, there’s a palpable excitement for a team that truly heightened expectations with the best regular season in NHL history.
“This is what everybody laces them up for,” said Boston Bruins president Cam Neely. “It’s an exciting time here in Boston. I’m sure the city is going to be popping [on Monday].”
— p – Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 16, 2023
There’s greater energy and anticipation after the B’s set the records with 65 regular season wins and an all-time NHL-best 135 points, but there’s also a different level of anticipation for a Boston Bruins hockey club that’s been loading up for one last run with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci coming back this season with no promises for their services beyond this year.
That’s raised the urgency level since the very beginning when Neely himself admitted that it felt like this season was one last run with the current group as age and salary cap constraints are going to materially impact this team after this season.
“I think it’s very fair,” said the Boston Bruins President way back in October when asked if it’s fair to view this as one last run with this particular Bruins group. “We talked about it earlier with Bergy — it’s really up to him, and I think with Krejci the same way. These guys have had long, successful careers.
“I think this group in the locker room feels like something special can happen this year. It’s a close team, and when I say team, it’s a real team. I think their teammates look at this and say this might be the last year we have the ability to play with these guys, so let’s take as much advantage as we can. That’s the feeling I get inside the locker room.”
That’s been the feeling all year as they went about making history and now the Boston Bruins are on the precipice of what they hope will be a two-month odyssey leading to hoisting the Stanley Cup one more time. They also know it’s going to be difficult and that every awe-inspiring regular season record that they set means absolutely nothing know that it’s moved to the postseason.
“Everyone’s really proud in this room and everybody dreams of the opportunity to play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and everybody understands that,” said Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand. “They know what the stakes are. There’s a long road to get to that point. Right now, it’s still day to day and we don’t want to change anything we’ve done all year. We just want to continue to prepare the same way. I think that’s a great mentality for the guys to have and one we’re focusing on.
“It’s not every year that you have an opportunity to play for the Cup especially with the team that we have. It’s great to get it going again. The regular season’s one thing, you’re playing for the opportunity to be in this position. You wait all year to have the playoffs start. It’s what everyone wants to be a part of and looks forward to. It’s exciting that we’re starting [Monday].”
The excitement will begin with the Boston Marathon on Monday morning, will continue with Shohei Ohtani taking the mound at Fenway Park to face down the Boston Red Sox and then hit a crescendo when the Boston Bruins host the Florida Panthers on Monday night for the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs. There is no better time of year for hockey fans and the Boston Bruins are pumped and ready to show everybody exactly why.