Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 30: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins hugs Brad Marchand #63 before exiting the ice after Florida Panthers defeat the Bruins 4-3 in overtime of Game Seven of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 30, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

Or maybe it was.

With all my heart as a Bruins fan, I just didn’t want it to.

Sunday night’s Game 7 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers (seriously, the Panthers?) wasn’t just a shocking finish to a season in which the Bruins set the NHL record for points and wins, it was an appropriately devastating end to an entire generation of Boston Bruins hockey.

As much as I wished for a fairytale ending for the Patrice Bergeron-era Bruins, it was never meant to be.

And it sucks.



  • This isn’t just the end of a season, this feels like the end. It seems like it’s all over now. I’m left wanting more. I’m left searching for answers…answers that I might never find or just don’t want to find.

    They should’ve won more than this. How did they not win more than this?

    They just weren’t cut out for it, I guess. That’s probably the truth I’m searching for. I just wish I didn’t have to admit it.

    The Bergeron-era Bruins will go down as the second-best chapter in Bruins history, behind only the Bobby Orr years in the 1960s and 1970s. But here, at the likely end of the Bergeron years, it’s hard to feel truly fulfilled by the experience we just lived. We’ll always have 2011, but the sting of every other year just grows more painful by the day.

    2009: Game 7 overtime loss at home to Carolina.

    2010: Blew a 3-0 series lead and a 3-0 lead in Game 7 to the Flyers.

    2013: Led the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final 2-1 and were seconds away from extending the series to Game 7 before conceding two goals in the final minute at home.

    2014: Won the Presidents Trophy, lost Game 7 at home to Montreal.

    2019: Game 7. Cup in the building. I’ll never get over it.

    2020: En route to the Presidents trophy, no-showed in the bubble.

    2023: The greatest regular season in league history. Up 3-1 in the series. Game 7 overtime loss. First round exit.

  • Moments after Florida’s overtime winner found the back of the net, I received a text from my brother, the most passionate Bruins fan I know.

    “Despite all the heartbreak over the past 10 years, they saved the best for last,” he said.

    They just might have. Rank ‘em how you want. This one is right up there.

    We all saw it coming, too. Over the last seven games, the Bruins never once looked like the team that won 65 games this season. They were a wreck defensively, marred by hideous turnovers that seemingly got worse with each passing game. Their goaltending was suspect at best, with the obviously-injured Linus Ullmark morphing into Swiss cheese by the end of the series. Jeremy Swayman, thrown into an impossible spot starting Game 7 after not playing for two weeks, couldn’t save the Bruins from their faults. Jim Montgomery, with his constant lineup shuffling but his unwillingness to sit his hobbled goalie until it was too late, was clearly not the right coach for the big stage.

    Still, I wanted to believe that this year would be different. I wanted to believe they would figure it out and advance. I wanted to believe that they’d go on a deep run. Above all else, I wanted to see this core of Bruins hoist the Cup a second time. We wanted it. They needed it.

    Sadly, this year was no different, and it hurts. It hurts even more than it usually hurts.

    The 2023 Bruins summed up what the last 15 or so years were all about. Hope. Joy. And in the end, disappointment.

    But describing this generation of Bruins hockey in a few words can’t do it justice. They gave you a Stanley Cup season that you’ll never forget. You can’t say that they weren’t winners. But they were losers too, with epic, historic defeats on their record that will help define who they were. They were choke artists — spectacular ones at times — but along the way they had wins that made you believe they were capable of delivering in the big moments.


  • You feel like you fell in love with them for the right reasons, but despite that, they still found ways to shatter you. More often than not, they let you down when it mattered the most. As much as you wanted it to be, it wasn’t meant to be. The Bergeron-era Bruins are The One That Got Away.

    All good things must come to an end. But it’s hard not to feel like the Bergeron Bruins should’ve been better than good.

    They should have been great.

    Sometimes, happily ever after just doesn’t happen. I just wish it happened this time.

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