The season started with all sorts of talk about the Bruins suffering from a Stanley Cup hangover. That all got put away when they went on a 10-game winning streak and ran away with the Northeast Division title.
With how the Bruins season ended in a seventh game in overtime to the Capitals, however, what the Bruins are saying makes you wonder just how long a hangover can last. Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic tell CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty finding motivation this season was a lot harder and winning the Cup had something to do with it.
“It played a part in it. We had a long year, a short schedule and another tough season again this year. It made it a challenge to get prepared this year,” said Marchand. “You don’t notice it until after it happens. You’re obviously excited for the playoffs, but the hype of last year didn’t really feel the same [this year]. But at some point you have to find a way to get yourself engaged and prepare for the game.”
Lucic compared how much hockey the Bruins played the last two seasons and the schedule it provides to being like a baseball schedule. Lots of play and not a lot of time off. If words like these sound familiar, it’s because we heard the same from Chicago’s Duncan Keith last season as Brian Hedger from NHL.com shared when the Blackhawks found themselves down against Vancouver.
“This year for me was frustrating,” the reigning Norris Trophy winner said at O’Hare Airport after the Hawks returned from Vancouver. “I felt like it had really good stretches and then there (were) times I would just … I don’t want to say … lose focus, but just was not really … interested for whatever reason.”
Is the Stanley Cup hangover just a convenient excuse or, gasp, a narrative to play along with or is there truth in just being worn out and not having the motivation?