BOSTON, MA -- In their season-ending media availability, Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Principal Charlie Jacobs and President Cam Neely expressed disappointment at the B's quick exit from the postseason.
However, the three men also relayed their thanks to the Black & Gold's many fans for their support throughout the campaign.
"It was a tremendous year given that last spring we won the Cup," said Jeremy Jacobs when asked to put the season in perspective, given the high expectations placed on on the club last September.
"They have a rule in football that they call you’re guilty of excessive celebration - so we celebrated," he said. "But we are disappointed, and you have to understand how difficult it is to repeat a Stanley Cup, especially after coming off such a long season [like] we had last year.
"We did win our division, which was an accomplishment, and we did expect to get out of that first round," added the B's owner. "We were actually in the same place at the end of first round where we were a year ago, except we won that seventh game in overtime instead of losing it.
"So, I’d say bottom line we wanted to do better, we expected to do better, we had every reason to believe we’d do better, and the fans were terrific."
Charlie Jacobs said it was difficult to be sitting on a dais so early in the postseason.
"Having said that, we can’t overlook where we’ve been, and that is the Stanley Cup parade here was a very special moment," said the younger Jacobs. "We perhaps got...caught up in it a bit and it snuck up on us in October, but I thought we righted the ship by the time November and December came around – the team certainly responded well."
But Jacobs also pointed out that the team was dealt severe blows in terms of injuries to Nathan Horton and Adam McQuaid.
"You’re missing your top-line winger, it’s not an excuse - it’s a fact," said the B's Principal. "There’s such a parity in the league today, if you’re missing a top-line [forward] as we were, and a...defensemen as we were, it’s a difference maker.
"We get a series that was as close as we had in seven games of one goal apiece, it shows."
But the B's fans showed up, too - in droves, and the TD Garden currently enjoys a 129-game sellout streak for Bruins games.
"First of all, I really want to thank our fans for their support," said Neely. "The last few years have been amazing.
"I’ve said it to our players – it’s quite a privilege to play in front of these fans. They’ve given us support for many years and the last few years have been tremendous. It’s disappointing to lose in the first round – we didn’t have this feeling at all last year.
"It’s a feeling that I don’t like at all," added Neely. "I don’t think anybody in this organization likes [it]."
But there was a feeling among the Bruins brass that there's no reason for that feeling to continue going into next season.
"I can’t say I’m not proud of my team ," said Charlie Jacobs. "I’m real proud of the organization and Cam, and [General Manager] Peter [Chiarelli] and [Head Coach] Claude [Julien] and the players – real happy and proud of the effort that we gave.
"But I can’t say that I’m up here with a giant smile on my face because I just don’t have one.
"I feel we could’ve had a better ending."
But in the end, the elder Jacobs put a smile on everyone's face during his comments.
"I think we’ve got to tell the Stanley Cup winner this year that the Cup’s on loan to them," said Jeremy Jacobs. "That’s going to come back home here."