April 24, 2017 by foleyb33
The Boston Bruins lose to the Ottawa Senators in the first round of The Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Courtesy of Jean Levac/Ottawa Citizen)
Written by Brian Foley
The 2016-2017 season is over for the Boston Bruins after falling to the Ottawa Senators in six games. From the officiating to the play of the teams, there is a lot to talk about. We will dive into some of the highlights that I think are the most important.
1. Let’s start with the series as a whole. Five of the six games went into overtime with one even going into a second overtime period. All six games were decided by a single goal. It was a tough fought series that either team could have won. The Bruins were able to overcome injuries and give the Senators a real fight. They had points where they did not show up but they made up for it with their gritty play overall.
2. Charlie McAvoy is legit. The rookie who was called up from Providence after only a few games stepped in and made huge contributions from game one. He was tops on the team in ice time every game and did not look out-of-place. He showed his defensive talent along with the offensive talent that had everyone excited. The former Terrier showed that he is more than ready for the big time by giving some big hits and not making many mistakes. Every Bruin’s fan has to be excited to see where McAvoy’s career goes.
3. As I wrote in a recent article, Marchand was not producing; he finished with one goal and three assists. Finally adding more to his stat sheet. Even with the addition of the assists I am disappointed. After such a good regular season I was expecting more from him this year in the playoffs. It is a big reason why the Bruins were not able to advance.
4. Don’t freak out on me but, Chara has to go. The Bruin’s captain is way past his prime and it is time to move on. Yes, he had to play more minutes because of the defensive injuries but he made some big mistakes in crucial times. He is too slow to keep up with the other players in this league and will just continue to hurt the Bruins. I love Chara and will always be thankful for his time as a Bruin but his time here has to end.
5. The officiating….. Awful. Awful does not even sound like the right word. It was horrendous the whole series. Game five was a mess and the Bruins deserved better. Both teams deserved better. The NHL will cover for their referees but they really need to look at the crew from this series. I could go on a big rant about this but the fact is the Bruins were too hurt, not skilled enough and played poorly at too many times to win this series. The officiating in such a close series just makes it harder to swallow.
I am happy overall with the Bruins. They made it a series and gave Ottawa a tough match up. After missing the playoffs the last few years it was good to see them playing meaningful hockey again. The young guys are looking good and under coach Bruce Cassidy the team should continue to improve.