BOSTON – Charlie McAvoy had one word to describe the emotion that he was going through after the Bruins' season had officially ended with a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.
“Devastating,” said McAvoy, without even a hint of an elaboration.
It was a tough scene in the TD Garden home dressing room on Wednesday night after the Bruins played a dud of a Game 7 in which they were outplayed during 5-on-5 play by a strong, determined St. Louis bunch and watched rookie upstart Jordan Binnington outplay goalie Tuukka Rask between the pipes.
Grizzled veterans like Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand were even on the verge of tears while discussing the final defeat, and Marchand admitted the Game 7 loss was the worst setback of his brilliant Bruins career. Second-year winger Jake DeBrusk sat dejected in the home dressing room with a towel on the back of his head and didn’t say word to anybody while the media was conducting interviews.
“It’s tough to describe that heartbreak, but you know, we worked hard. It just didn’t go our way,” said Marchand, who didn’t factor offensively and had a key mistake for the B’s when he left the ice for a line change just ahead of the Blues' second goal of the first period. “You never know when you’ll get that chance again. It could be the last one for all of us, but yeah, you know, when you’re that close and it doesn’t happen, it hurts.
“[There’s] disbelief that it didn't come together. That’s not how you plan it out. It’s heartbreak. It’s tough to describe. You know, they just took our dream, our lifetime dream from us, and everything we’ve worked for our entire lives. It was 60 minutes away from that. You can’t describe it.”
It was the lowest the Bruins' dressing room has been morale-wise since they lost four straight games in the second round of the 2010 playoffs to blow a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Bruins were disappointed they lost the Stanley Cup Final in 2013 to the Chicago Blackhawks, to be sure, but it wasn’t the kind of shell-shocked, stunned and raw emotion that was on display after Wednesday night’s game.
The Bruins thought they were going to ultimately prevail against the Blues over the last few weeks, but instead they fell short in a Game 7 that several of the B’s termed the worst loss of their long, accomplished careers.
“We haven’t been in the Final in a long time. Felt like it was there for us. I believed in this group every single game,” said David Krejci. “I had a good feeling. Even after the first period I felt a comeback. So, yeah, that’s a really tough one. [It is] definitely the hardest loss in my career, for sure.”
Most of the Bruins admitted they were never going to get over the bitter taste of a Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup Final on home ice, and that’s understandable given where players like Patrice Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci and Chara are at this point in their career. The bright side is that the Bruins took a huge step forward following that 2010 series loss in the second round to the Flyers, and it played a major role in the Black and Gold winning the Cup in 2011.
Perhaps history can repeat itself as the Bruins look to parlay disappointment into success for the regular season next year, and use the loser’s motivation to take them higher and deeper into the postseason standings next season.
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