By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
How often has Sean Kuraly replayed Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final in his mind, thinking of things he (and the Bruins) could have done differently to have avoided what's lingered as one of the greatest disappointments in team history?
“All summer, yeah," Kuraly, one of 30 Bruins to participate in a captains' practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Wednesday, admitted. "You do it all the time, and you realize it’s not doing you any good. You’re not doing yourself any favors by doing that. That’s the way life goes. You think it should be a reward to put yourself in that situation, but it ends up feeling like the biggest disappointment."
"I’m not over it," David Krejci, who experienced similar feelings when the Bruins dropped the 2013 Stanley Cup Final to the Blackhawks, said. "I don’t think I ever will [get over it]."
It's a disappointment that's clearly lingered throughout their summer workouts, even for some of Boston's leaders, and even during their attempts to do anything besides think about hockey and what could have been.
“You come across some articles or on TV or a specific song on the radio and... it's kind of attached to that Stanley Cup Final and it kind of brings up all those memories,” Krejci, who lives in South Carolina in the offseason, offered. “It happens all the time. And I’m sure it will keep happening, that’s something you have to learn to live with."
It's hard to fault any Boston skater that goes through the events that transpired to the straight-up stunning loss.
There's just so many things to pinpoint that night. If the Bruins break through on the power play in the first period, does Jordan Binnington break? If Ryan O'Reilly's activation was matched by any member of The Bergeron Line over the last three games, does this series even go seven and favor the Blues? How does that game end if Brad Marchand, one of the Black and Gold's most situationally aware players, doesn't go for an ill-time change with 10 seconds left in the first period and the Bruins end the first only down by one? And that's just through the first 20 minutes of the game.
But dwelling on the past is no good for the mental, as Kuraly noted, and is something that can only be cured with the Bruins doing everything in their power to getting through that block with another deep postseason run.
"The only way out of it is having a good season and making a push in the playoffs," Krejci said. "That’s the only way."
A task that the Bruins, based on their attendance at an informal skate on Wednesday, are eager to start.
For their own mental benefit, clearly.