By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The wound may be almost three months old, but the Bruins are not over their Game 7 loss to the Blues.
It’s hard to blame them. The Blues came in and just ripped a Stanley Cup away from the Bruins. On TD Garden ice, too. It’s the kind of loss that can linger with a team for not just days and weeks, but months. Even years, sometimes.
But Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has made it clear that he doesn’t want to hear about or talk about it what could have been when training camp officially opens later this week.
“I hope we’re not talking about it after Day 1,” Cassidy admitted at the team’s annual golf tournament on Monday. “It’s done. It’s over. We’ve got a few new players. It’s not the same team. It’s a new year.”
After a quiet offseason (the cap-squeezed Bruins added forwards Par Lindholm and Brett Ritchie as free agents), the Bruins will hope to avoid a Stanley Cup hangover that’s often haunted teams following a two-month war of attrition.
But the Bruins, who still have to re-sign Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy to new deals, still enter the season with a strong core headlined by one of the best lines in hockey, solid second-line pieces (David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk), a third-line center (Charlie Coyle), and a goaltending tandem that was among the league’s best a year ago.
It’s enough to let you think that the Bruins should remain competitive in the Eastern Conference.
But a strong start — and a clear mind — is at the top of the list for Cassidy and Co.
“We’ve got to be ready to be our best going into the season,” said Cassidy.
“I don’t want to talk about [losing Game 7] after the next four, five days,” Cassidy reinforced. “It was a good year; we fell one game short. Now we’ve got to work on getting back to that position and not falling one game short.”
No Cup-losing team has returned to the Stanley Cup Final the following year and won it since the 2009 Penguins.