Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid is already a veteran of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including winning a Stanley Cup title with the Bruins in 2011 and approaching 50 postseason games for his career before his 27th birthday.
This postseason, McQuaid, 26, has been a staple of Boston's third defensive pairing, providing a shut-down presence for Claude Julien. In the Eastern Conference Final, McQuaid scored the series-winning goal in a stunning four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
McQuaid was gracious enough to agree to keep a player blog that has appeared on NHL.com throughout the Stanley Cup Final.
In his final installment, McQuaid talks about the heartbreaking 3-2 loss the Boston Bruins suffered in Game 6 at TD Garden on Monday, a loss that eliminated Boston from the Stanley Cup Final. He also discussed the inspirational performance of injured center Patrice Bergeron and the difficulty of absorbing a loss that came when Chicago scored two goals in a 17-second span during the final 80 seconds of regulation time.
It's hard to put into words what just happened. I'm not sure. That can happen. We've been on the other end of it. You know you have to play right to the whistle. We're shocked just how quickly things turned. Coming down to the last minute with the lead, you hope that you can keep it, try to do everything you can to do that; but they pushed hard and found a way to tie it. They didn't sit back and kept pushing forward and found a way to get another one.
Having Patrice play tonight was inspirational for us. He was pretty banged up. We know how important he is to our team. It was important to have him in the room and then for him to play the way he did, the minutes that he did. When a guy is going through all that and battling and there were other guys that were playing through things as well -- and there were probably guys on their team banged up as well; it happens. But when you see guys pushing and battling through with injuries and stuff, it is a morale booster for your team. You want to go out and compete for those guys.
For me, this is the closest team I have ever played on. We've said a lot of times that we are pretty fortunate that the organization put the faith in the group and kept the group together. We've just built really strong friendships and everybody just seems to click; in that sense, we are a super-close team and we've been through a lot together.
This is the most disappointing loss of my life by far. It's tough; you battle to get to this point and there has to be a winner and a loser. But it is tough when you get this close and don't come out on the side you want to come out on. It's definitely by far the hardest loss that I have ever had to endure, probably the hardest loss that most of the guys on the team have had to endure. It's just really tough.