The Boston Bruins entered the playoffs as the number two wild card team in the Eastern Conference. Their first-round match was against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes finished the regular season with 116 points compared to the Bruins’ 107. The series was supposed to be a close matchup with both teams having star power, and the matchup lived up to the hype. The big question going into the playoffs was who would be the Bruins’ starting goalie. Coach Bruce Cassidy announced that Linus Ullmark would be the starting goaltender. The Bruins came out flat in Raleigh and lost the first two games by a combined score of ten to three. With the series back in Boston, the Bruins needed to switch something up. Cassidy added veteran winger Chris Wagner to the lineup, shook things up in the net, and switched to rookie goaltender Jeremy Swayman. Making these two moves paid off for the Bruins big time as they won game three, four to two, and game four five to two. With the series tied up, the Bruins headed back to Carolina.
However, the Bruins again started slow and were quickly down two to zero and lost. Heading back to TD Garden on the brink of elimination, the Bruins needed the Garden to be electric and to use home ice as an advantage, and they took full advantage of that. The Bruins won game six, getting key goals from Brad Marchand and Charlie Coyle, winning five to two. Now heading into a game seven winner-take-all, anything was possible. Only one win to advance to the next round against the New York Rangers. The pattern in this series was that every home team won and that continued as the Carolina Hurricanes won a hard-fought game seven three to two. The Bruins did not get the job done. However, they had a great season, but they need to address questions about the team’s long-term future this offseason. Will captain Patrice Bergeron retire? Will coach Bruce Cassidy be fired? These are the two main points the Bruins will face during the offseason.