There’s plenty of negativity and criticism flying around the Boston Bruins right now after the record-breaking 2022-23 team was bounced from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in another heartbreaking Game 7 loss on TD Garden ice.
The 2022-23 Boston Bruins set an NHL record for regular season wins (65), and points (135), but then fizzled out in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. After taking a 3-1 series lead over the eight-seeded Florida Panthers, the 2023 Presidents’ Trophy winners, the Bruins lost Game 5 at home 4-3 in overtime, Game 6 in Florida 7-5, and then suffered another 4-3 overtime loss in Game 7 at TD Garden, after blowing a 3-2 lead with a minute left in regulation.
This latest Game 7 and series collapse has some questioning if the Zdeno Chara-Patrice Bergeron-David Krejci-Brad Marchand era has been a failure?
The Bruins are now 3-5 in Game 7’s since walking off the ice in Vancouver as Stanley Cup champions and have lost twice in the Stanley Cup Final, the last time being the infamous 4-1 loss in Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. Despite all that losing when it counts most, former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara disagrees that this recent era in team history was a failure with just one Stanley Cup to show.
“No, I wouldn’t say it’s only one cup, because there’s probably a good dozen or over a dozen teams that don’t even have that,” Chara said on the Felger and Mazz Show on Tuesday. “So I mean, if you want to take it that there is only one cup. I mean it’s not easy to even get that far. It’s not easy to get to the finals. And we were able to do it three times a nd I know that we we all felt that we could win every one of them. But just like I say the sport…that’s life. You’re going to have to live with those losses as well. But, you know, I think that this organization has been very consistent. And you got to understand it’s not easy to get even to the finals and to expect to be in the finals every other year or winning Stanley Cup every third year, it’s not going to happen. It’s just the way it is.”
Zdeno Chara is proud of that consistency of regular season winning and playoff runs and the culture he helped build to enable that.
“You go through some ups and downs, you go through some changes whether that’s coaching or a player, it’s a process,” Chara pointed out. “And I think that I personally I’m proud to be a Bruin for for that long and started setting a culture and establishing something that years and years hopefully from now players can carry that same torch and culture and continue to that the something we started in ’06 and you know hopefully be able to be successful and and winning later on. But yeah, I have no regrets and I only can say that I’m very grateful. I’m proud of what we as a team were able to accomplish.”