BOSTON – The obvious would be to dwell on blowing a one-goal lead in the final minute of Game 7 while breaking down the playoff demise of the Boston Bruins and their perfect 2022-23 regular season.
That was the time of death for the Boston Bruins magical season, and it will take a long time to reconcile that with blowing a one-goal lead in the final minute of a Game 7 on home ice. But the feeling and the vibe in the Boston Bruins dressing room following the stunning, “stupefying” 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers in Game 7 on Sunday night was that the first round series was truly lost after the OT defeat in Game 5 at TD Garden a few days earlier.
It had Brad Marchand lamenting that he didn’t score on the last-second breakaway at the end of regulation when he could have iced the entire series in five games, and thereby given injured players like Patrice Bergeron and Linus Ullmark extra time to perhaps recuperate for a second-round playoff showdown with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
I keep thinking back to that Brad Marchand breakaway where he had series ending goal at his finger tips but Sergei Bobrovsky shut him down right at the buzzer. Wow! Major #TurningPoint pic.twitter.com/JCDsbnxZIy
— JeSuisCH🏒BleuBlancRouge (@HabsHappy) May 1, 2023
Marchand, with his Boston Bruins baseball cap cast downward over his eyes, said the missed breakaway bid would stay with him “for the rest of my life.”
“That was my moment, and I didn’t capitalize on it,” said a downcast Marchand, who was held off the scoreboard and had a tough Game 7 with a minus-2 performance after posting four goals and 10 points in the seven game series. “It’s a game of inches. I had the game on my stick in Game 5, with a couple of seconds left. Didn’t capitalize and they capitalized on their inches. They dug down one more than we did, one more battle, and that’s it.”