For the second playoff year in a row, the defending champions fell in the overtime of a Game 7. In this case, it was the Boston Bruins, who tumbled 2-1 in OT against the Washington Capitals. Bruins coach Claude Julien had a lot to say about the defeat, beginning with the mood in the locker room.
“Everybody’s upset. Everybody’s quiet … a lot of emotions,” Julien said. “It was a challenging year for our guys and it was a challenging series as well. We lost three out of four games at home. [You] can’t expect to win a series when that happens. We lost home ice advantage.”
It’s easy to at the series from a hyper-literal perspective: the defending champions and second seed lost to the second-to-last playoff team in the East. That dismisses the heady expectations the Capitals brought into this season – not to mention the talent on their roster. Julien was complimentary of his opponents in that regard.
“Let’s not forget to give Washington a lot of credit,” Julien said. “I don’t believe they are a seventh-place team. They’re playing some great hockey right now.”
Both teams have their differences, but considering the Capitals’ notably single-minded defensive approach, it wouldn’t be surprising if Julien saw a little of his Bruins in Washington. It’s unlikely that will do much to numb the pain of a very close Game 7 loss, though.