Breakup day is winding down.
During his press conference, Peter Chiarelli explained the day's activities -- or tried to -- before breaking into his state of the B's address.
"Today we’re conducting our exit interviews, among other things, with the players, so we started earlier this morning, and maybe 15, 20 minutes, each interview," he said to the assembled media. "There’s a gnawing at the back of my head that isn’t normally there, and it’s about this last playoff series, it’s about this season, and it’s about unfinished business.
"We’re still all collectively disappointed with the way it ended."
Chiarelli said that the B's level of expectation has risen.
"That’s a good thing," he said. "The fact that we’re disappointed here today, while it doesn’t feel good, it bodes well for the future.
"It’s been going through my head, a variety of reasons, why we didn’t win that last series."
But amongst the negatives, there are plenty of positives.
"I met with Claude, and there’s a lot of things that we talked about, but the fact of the matter is, is that we’ve put another three, four or five solid foundation blocks in place, and whether it’s experience, whether it’s new players, whether it’s another year with a tremendous coaching staff, there is unfinished business, but we’re on the right track," said the Bruins GM. "I don’t know if this gnawing feeling will go away this summer – it probably won’t; it’ll probably subside sometime in September – but we’re heading in the right direction.
"[But] expectations are high, and rightfully so."
The B's finally talked about some of the injuries that had been nagging at the club -- some for the entire season.
"There’s a variety of injuries we had throughout the course of the playoffs," he said. "You’ve probably already heard, or [will hear about them] from us.
"Every team has injuries, but we seem to have a few more than other teams, and I have to hand it to the players for playing through those injuries."
In the end however, Chiarelli explained that the club continues to improve.
"In a nutshell, [there's] disappointment,but we will forge ahead," he said. "We’ve got some players to sign, and we’ve got some decisions to make, and we expect to be better next year."
Things looked a little different inside the Bruins locker room this morning for “break-up day.”
Equipment and hockey sticks were all packed away, and the players took their place in front of the awaiting media in street clothes instead of the usual jerseys and skates.
“We improved,” said captain Zdeno Chara
, looking back on the season. “We tried to set goals, and I think that this year, we did a very good job of reaching and accomplishing those goals….We established ourselves in the league.”
That comes with some added respect from the other 29 teams in the NHL, as well.
“That’s great to have, and normal when you have a season like we had,” Chara said. “For sure, the expectations are going to be high, and teams are going to be ready for you, and every time we have to be ready for that.
“I think it’s a good thing – it’s a challenge, and this team always responds well to challenges.”
Still, the disappointment of Thursday night’s game seven loss still hung over the players’ heads.
“We had nine days without a game, and that’s something that doesn’t always benefit [a club],” Chara said of the B’s significant amount of time off between the first and second rounds. “During that period of time, you try to stay focused as much as you can, but obviously it’s hard because there’s a week without a game.”
The team also had a litany of injuries – Marco Sturm, Andrew Ference
with lower body injuries, and Matt Hunwick, sidelined by his sudden spleen surgery.
And just revealed today, a problem with Phil Kessel’s shoulder, David Krejci
's hip and a quick kidney stone surgery for Mark Recchi -- just to name a few – probably didn’t help either.
“Injuries are always a part of the playoffs,” Chara said. “It’s a long season, and they will happen.
“Obviously [it helps] with more healthy guys in the lineup, but I think we have so many good enough guys and so much depth that it’s not an excuse.”
It's becoming clear that Boston was a MASH unit by the second round. Mark Recchi had a rib injury and also had kidney stone surgery before Game 7. Krejci will have hip surgery that will sideline him for 4-6 months.
Phil Kessel revealed that he injured his labrum and rotator cuff in the game in Columbus. He will have shoulder surgery and he said he could be out as long as six months.
From ProvidenceBruins.com: The Providence Bruins fell to the Hershey Bears 2-1 Sunday evening at the Giant Center. The best of seven series is tied at one. The P-Bruins return to the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Friday, May 22 at 7:05 p.m. for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
After scoreless first and second periods, The Bears took a 1-0 lead at the 3:21 mark of the third period. Andrew Joudrey tallied his first goal of the post season, while Tyler Sloan and Oskar Osala recorded the assists. The Bears went ahead 2-0 at the 6:01 mark, while on the power play. Alexandre Giroux netted his sixth goal of the playoffs, with Graham Mink and Chris Bourque picking up the assists. The P-Bruins pulled within a goal at the 19:24 mark, while on the power play. Vladimir Sobotka sent the puck to Jeff Penner and he found Brad Marchand in front of the net. Marchand tipped the puck in for his sixth goal of the post season. Providence continued to put on pressure late but was unable to get another goal as the P-Bruins fell 2-1.
Tuukka Rask stopped 37 of 39 shots for the P-Bruins, while Michal Neuvirth made 25 saves for the Bears. The P-Bruins were 1-for-2 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill.
Today the B's will hold their year-end media availability session.
Bruins players will be available in the Bruins locker room at the TD Banknorth Garden and then B's General Manager Peter Chiarelli and Head Coach Claude Julien will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. ET in the Will McDonough Press Room.
Look for full coverage of today's activities over the next several days on both BostonBruins.com and bostonbruinsTV.com.Goodbye Angela...
As many of you know, Angela Stefano has been an intern with us for the past season and a half. Over that time, she has been invaluable to our work here at BostonBruins.com and her stories have helped all of us get to know the Boston Bruins players and staff that much better.
Yesterday, Angela graduated from Boston University and will be returning to her hometown in Western New York after helping us cover today's Bruins "breakup" day here at the Garden.
It is with sincere admiration (and more than a touch of sadness) that we send her on her way by saying, "Thank you Angela! We will miss you..."