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By Kalvin Tragethon

  Late Sunday night, the Boston Bruins were shockingly eliminated in the first round of the NHL (National Hockey League) Stanley Cup Playoffs, and for many fans of the team at Masconomet, the loss was heartbreaking.

  After a historic season, which saw the 2022-2023 Boston Bruins win 65 regular season games and accumulate 135 points, which were both respectively the most by a team in a single season in NHL history, the taste in the mouths of many Bruins fans is a deep disappointment, as the Bruins were eliminated by the Florida Panthers in game 7 of their first round series. 

  “From a personal standpoint, this is probably the biggest disappointment as a Bruins fan,” said history teacher Christopher Fay, who invested a lot of time going to many Bruins games this past season. 

  The feeling of disappointment also coincided with shock for many Bruins faithful, who felt that the team had much more to give in the playoffs. 

  “I don’t think anyone had [the Bruins] losing in the first round of the playoffs, especially when it’s game 7 and it’s at your home arena,” said junior Nathaniel Cantalupo.

  This latest collapse for the Bruins is another in a decade that has been filled with heartbreaking defeats. In 2013, the Bruins lost game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks on their home ice, after having a 1 goal lead late in the third period. Then, the very next year, the Bruins won the Presidents Trophy for being the best team in the NHL that season, yet they lost to their vaunted rivals, the Montreal Canadians in a game 7 again at home. This time, the loss occurred in the second round. But, the biggest collapse by the Boston Bruins occurred in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2019, when they lost to the St. Louis Blues. 

  Once again, the Bruins played a game 7 in this series, and once again the game was played in front of the Bruins fans in TD Garden.

  “The worst game the Bruins lost was game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals,” said junior Andrew Voner. “ I had so much faith in the Bruins that they were going to win to bring the cup back to Boston, but they got completely blown out.”

  This year’s end to the hockey season may also signify the end of the careers of two of Boston’s most beloved athletes. At 37 years old, there has been lots of speculation that this season may have been Patrice Bergeron’s last in the NHL. Having played for the Bruins since he was 18 years old, Bergeron has meant a lot to the city of Boston. 

  “I think Bergeron will be remembered for being one of the best defensive forwards in NHL history,” junior Evan O’Heir said. “He will also be remembered for his leadership in the locker room during his 19 seasons with the team.”

  Leadership was one of Bergeron’s greatest qualities as both a hockey player and a person.

“He is the most amazing sports captain, I just think he’s an incredible human being on the ice, off the ice and the way he is with his kids, it was heartbreaking to see his face Sunday night after the loss,” said Cafeteria staff member and Bruins fan Lori Salvati.

  Another player that is contemplating retirement is Bruins centerman David Krejci. Krejci, who was drafted by the Bruins in the 2004 NHL draft, played with the team through the 2020-2021 season before going to his home the Czech Republic to play a season for the HC Olomouc. But, after talks last offseason with Krejci and Bruins upper management, Krejci came back this past season to try and win one last cup before he retired. 

  “I think Krejci will be remembered most for his outstanding performance in the playoffs and the significant role he played on the Bruins Stanley Cup-winning team in 2011,” said O’Heir.  

  Despite the curtain closing on some of the best Bruins players of this generation and the underwhelming playoff performance by the team this past year, the greatest statistical team in NHL history will leave a legacy.

  “I think this Bruins team will be remembered as the best regular season hockey team of all time. We can’t forget about how many things they accomplished during the regular season,” said Cantalupo. 

  Other fans are able to put the season in perspective, finding the true value in sports.

  “It’s not a failed season, it’s a successful season. The most important thing is did you have a good time, and I think that people that watched the games this year had a good time,” said Fay.