Where did it go wrong? Can you pinpoint a reason? How surprising is it to miss the playoffs?
The players all attempted to answer the questions as best as they could.
Other questions always come up during this time as well, about the players’ health and any injuries they’ll have to take care of in the offseason.
One such update came from David Krejci.
“I knew this question was going to come up,” Krejci said, when asked about his health. “I’m going to need surgery on my hip.”
“It’s been bothering me for 20 or so games. But we have a good medical staff here and they got me through games, so I still felt like I was in decent shape to play games and there’s been games where I thought I felt pretty good, so I was able to finish the season and I was even ready to play in the playoffs.”
The surgery will be taking place on his left hip. He had the same surgery done on his right hip six years ago.
When that surgery happened, he had about four months of recovery. He’s hoping it will be shorter this time around, based on updated technology and the different methods of rehabilitation, and that he will be ready to play in the World Cup in September.
Krejci disclosed that the injury was related to his nagging injuries during the 2014-15 season.
“I’m looking at it kind of two ways: one is that yeah, it was kind of a nagging injury from last year, I missed almost half the season,” said Krejci. “And this year I felt maybe the best I felt my first 50 games, and then I missed some games from my shoulder injury and after I came back, it was never the same.”
“The nagging injury kind of kept coming back and it got to the point where we’ve been talking surgery for a while now, so it was frustrating. But at the same time, I had this surgery about six years ago on my other leg and never felt better after, you know.”
“So I’m looking forward to getting [the surgery] done in the next week or two, and be the player that I can be with nothing holding me back.”
Tuukka Rask unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to help out his teammates for Game 82 on Saturday, when the Bruins suffered their 6-1 loss to Ottawa.
Knocked out by a 24-hour stomach bug, the netminder wasn’t in any shape to play.
“It just hit at the worst possible time. So, nothing you can do,” Rask said to reporters during the season-ending availability on Monday. “When you’re sick, you’re sick. And trust me, if I felt like there was a chance I could have helped the team, I would have gone out there, but couldn’t even stand up.”
Rask was feeling much better on Monday when he spoke with media, though he hadn’t really been able to eat in a couple of days. That wasn’t much solace for him.
“It was terrible, obviously, but you can’t control it,” said Rask. “But, that’s life and when it happens at the worst possible time, it was just happens and you have to just take it, you know. I mean, it’s tough. It’s really tough. But nothing you can do about it.”
Marchand to Suit up for Team Canada; Bergeron to Rest
Brad Marchand divulged during his media availability that he will be suiting up for Team Canada at the upcoming 2016 IIHF World Championship in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, from May 6-22.
Marchand is coming off a career year in which he scored 37 goals and racked up 61 points in 77 games.
Patrice Bergeron, however, will not be heading overseas this year. The centerman was playing through a sprained ankle since the game in Winnipeg on Feb. 11. He’ll be using this time to heal and rest up.
Kelly Was Getting Close to Return
Chris Kelly had come a long way since suffering a broken left femur on Nov. 3. After five months of recovery, he was getting close to a possible return, had the Bruins entered the postseason.
“I think we were getting close. The whole time, we were kind of right behind that healing process, and we pushed it as far as we could,” said Kelly, who started back up skating in early March. “And I was starting to feel really good on the ice the last week or so. It was always the goal to get back playing, and it’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to achieve that.”
Kelly is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and is uncertain of his future in Black & Gold.
“There are changes every year, regardless of if you win or you don’t, that’s just hockey,” said Kelly. “I love being a Bruin.”
“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I have no idea what’s going to transpire the next little bit, but regardless, like I said, I’d love to stay here, but if that’s not the case, this place has been unbelievable to me and my family. I’ve been able to win a Cup, go to the Finals, win a President’s Trophy, and then not only on-ice experiences, but off-ice experiences, living in one of the best cities in the world and getting to experience that. So, it’s been extremely fun.”
In retrospect, it’s difficult to imagine the impact that Kelly would have had on the Bruins, had he been healthy in 2015-16.
Unprompted, Marchand brought up Kelly’s importance to the team, while answering a question about the leadership voices who had an effect on the room during the past month.
“We have a good leadership group and those guys stepped up at the right time. It definitely hurt having Kells out — he’s such a huge presence in our room, on the bench, on the ice,” said Marchand. “In situations like that, we need a guy like that, and you can only rely on so many guys that are around for so long, but when you take a guy like Kells out of the room and out of the lineup, it really hurt our team. So it was really tough when Kells went down. We definitely missed him a lot in the room this year.”
Seidenberg, Connolly, Hayes on the Mend
In other injury news, Dennis Seidenberg disclosed that it was an adductor (groin) strain that caused him to miss the Bruins’ final stretch.
“I wasn’t good enough to play, and it’s too bad I missed the last five games,” said Seidenberg. “It was just a few days more, and that’s it. It wasn’t anything bad at all.”
Two Bruins were also sidelined by MCL sprains at the end, Brett Connolly and Jimmy Hayes.
“I was ready to go after that game, so that was my last one that I was going to miss,” Connolly said of Saturday’s matchup. “I was kind of hoping, and cheering the guys on, and hoping they could get in, and get back in the lineup and get into the playoffs — you never know what can happen in the playoffs.”
“It was very hard to wake up the next day and realize you’re not in the mix,” said Connolly. “We knew if we could have somehow got in there, we could have done something, but it’s one of those things we’re you’ve got to move on and use it to have a good summer and come back next year and be ready to go.”