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The Blame Game: Five Boston Bruins Who Failed to Step Up During 2013 Stanley Cup Finals

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Five Boston Bruins Players Who Struggled Throughout the Stanley Cup Finals

Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins are most likely still tending to the wounds induced from Monday night’s stunning loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. In the span of 17 seconds, the Bruins went from gearing up for Game 7 to choking back tears on their way to the locker room while the Blackhawks hoisted the Stanley Cup on Boston ice.

Now everyone on the team knows what it’s like to feel bipolar.

It was an absolute heart-breaker for a team that had genuinely surprised the hockey world with an incredible playoff run. Minutes from being eliminated in the first round by the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins became the first team to rally from a three goal deficit in the final ten minutes of an elimination game. After the Game 7 miracle against Toronto, Boston began to look like the team of destiny.

A second round bout with the New York Rangers ended in a laugher, as the Bruins dominated the five game series en route to the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston then took on everybody’s playoff pick, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Fans would’ve settled for a tough back-and-forth series with such a juggernaut. Instead, the Bruins swept the Penguins, shocking everyone in the world and punching their dance card to the Stanley Cup Finals.

It’s important to remember this as fans, as this run was hardly what anyone could’ve honestly expected from the Bruins. It ended in soul-crushing fashion, but the team came so close to not even getting this far.

That being said, there were a few players that struggled in this final series, whose contributions would’ve gone a long way in perhaps changing the outcome. Here are five Bruins that missed the mark in the Stanley Cup Finals.

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Tyler Seguin

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This was a tough postseason all around for the former No. 2 draft pick. His stats weren’t much to brag about, scoring just one goal and seven assists. He started the playoffs with his typical linemates of Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, but his funk resulted in being dropped to the third line.

To be fair, Seguin had his moments. His lone goal against the Rangers was impressive, and he had crucial assists in the Stanley Cup Finals. Still, the team depended on Seguin’s scoring ability, and he just wasn’t able to generate much.

He’s still incredibly young and will most likely see playoff action again in the near future. However, Boston needs him to develop into the player they thought they were drafting when they picked him in 2010.

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Dennis Seidenberg

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Seidenberg had been having a pretty solid playoff run this year. That is, until the Finals.

The German defenseman had been a steady presence throughout the majority of the postseason, but the mental lapses started piling up in the Finals. Seidenberg committed ill-advised pinches, poor turnovers, and was the victim of just being in the wrong place at the wrong time on more than a few occasions. All of these incidents resulted in Chicago goals.

Luckily for him, these hiccups were exceptions, not the norm. He’s typically been rock steady since joining the Bruins in 2010. However, his shaky play showed everyone just how bad things can go when Boston’s defense begins to unravel.

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Jaromir Jagr

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Yes, Jagr made a few quality plays throughout the postseason. However, he was brought in to score goals, and he only scored two in his entire tenure. None of these were scored in the playoffs.

Jagr often looked slow, but complaining about a 41 year old being slow is the same as complaining about the ocean because it’s wet. That being said, the future Hall of Famer still had a postseason to forget. If there’s a record for most posts hit in two months, Jagr broke it.

He was notified Wednesday that his time in Boston will be short-lived, as the team will not be re-signing him in the offseason. It’s a shame Jagr couldn’t produce more for the Bruins. Everyone was dying to see his trademark goal salute, but alas, it was not to be.

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Zdeno Chara

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This one stings a bit to write. Calling out the best defenseman in the NHL is tough to do. However, as the Finals went on, it was obvious something was off with the big man.

It was announced after the series ended that Chara had been playing with a hip flexor, though he refused to use it as an excuse, taking the brunt of the criticism head on. This is respectable, but when your most intimidating player is off his game, bad things happen.

Often looking out of place or confused down the final stretch against the Blackhawks, Chara looked just plain out of gas by the time the series came to a close. He logs monster minutes every game, and you couldn’t blame him for being tired because of it. But Boston needs him at his A-game to succeed, and come the final bell, he just couldn’t seem to find it.

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Brad Marchand

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The pesky winger was just way too hot and cold this postseason. After having a quiet series against Toronto, he returned to his pugilistic yet offensively skilled ways against New York and Pittsburgh. When he’s at his best, he’s displaying a sniper’s accuracy while driving the other team out of their minds.

And then the Finals started. For some reason, Marchand went back to just being there, failing to register a single point for the entire series. Maybe it was because there was nobody on Chicago willing to retaliate to his chirping. Or maybe he just wasn’t chirping anymore. Either way, he was a no show when the team needed him.

The Bruins are a team that plays physical, and when Marchand gets under the opponent’s skin, it plays right into Boston’s style. When he doesn’t, it takes a little edge away from the Bruins. Come next year, he’ll need to maintain his goon ways in order for Boston to stay consistent.