As if Bruins fans didnt need any more evidence that their team simply didnt have it mentally or emotionally or otherwise in the offensive firepower department the Caps 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 1 hammered it home.
The Rangers were able to expose 22-year-old Braden Holtby as the rookie goaltender he is while giving up soft goals, and New York had the ferocity and hunger that the Bruins didnt in their seven games.
Ryan Callahan had six hits in the first period against the Caps in the game at Madison Square Garden, and was playing like an animal let out of its cage for the first time. Artem Anisimov carried Mike Green on his back and powered the puck to the net while beating Holtby to the post, and thats exactly the kind of thing the Bruins couldnt do in seven games: expose Green for the defensive liability that he in his own zone. Instead Green and Roman Hamrlik were surprisingly effective against the Bruins forwards.
Some of that came down to Milan Lucic never being out on the ice against that pairing rather than the tough defensive duo of Karl Alzner or John Carlson. But some of that came down to the Bruins lacking the proper mindset heading into the series something they admitted fully after the playoffs were over.
The bottom line is this with the Bruins: they arent successful unless theyre a grinding blue collar team that overwhelms other clubs with their energy, pounding physicality and overwhelming depth.
If they dont have those things and they had none of those three against the Capitals then they become a very average team with a good defensive system and goaltender trying to win 2-1 hockey games all the time. Thats exactly what they were in falling to Washington last week.