It’s a sick and twisted thing when you think about it. Forcing athletes to account for themselves immediately following difficult losses. When their blood is still up and emotions still high. Having to answer mostly generic questions from reporters often times merely looking for the “money” soundbite. No real interest or understanding on what actually took place in the game itself.
Now imagine that game being the Stanley Cup Final Game 7 at home, a loss in which you didn’t play your best, and multiply all that other stuff by a million. That’s what you witnessed in the Bruins locker room last night.
CLNS Reporter Mike Petraglia said it was the most “devastated locker room” he’s seen in 27 years covering Boston Sports. That’s a lot of tough losses.
Grown men crying, unable to come to process the opportunity they just let slip through their fingers and the possibility that they may never get this chance again.
Zdeno Chara was in tears, Charlie McAvoy could barely speak. Jake DeBrusk was still in full uniform head in hands. Brad Marchand choked back tears as he stood and answered question after question about how the loss made him feel.
“You never know when you get that chance again,” Marchand said, while swallowing hard, of chasing the Stanley Cup. “It could be the last one for …for all of us. But, yeah when you’re that close and it doesn’t happen, it hurts.”
Patrice Bergeron consoled his teammates on the ice after the game. But in the postgame locker room he didn’t have much to say.
“Right now, whatever we say, it doesn’t matter,” he told reporters. “It is what it is. I’m proud of the guys and proud of everyone the way that we competed, but then you look at the result, and it’s hard to be here answering questions.”
Tuukka Rask who would have been the runaway Conn Smythe Winner has the Bruins won acknowledged the heartbreak both personally and for his fellow teammates.
“Well, we play for each other,” Rask said. “You know we’ve been building that for a couple of years. Every year you hope that you build something special and this year we felt we had it and made a great run. You know, just one game short.”
David Krejci, one of 5 Bruins who were here for the Cup win in 2011 and also the loss to the Blackhawks in 2013 said this was by far the most devastating loss of his career.
“I think that this group was so close, so tight,” Krejci said. “That was one of the best things I was part of. So, like I said, this one is going to hurt for a long time. But over 2013, this one hurts even more. It’ll be tough, but we’ll see what the future brings. But, that will be really hard, really tough summer, and like I said losses like that it’s hard to get over. You just kind of have to learn how to live with it.”
Bruce Cassidy said he was proud of his players and to hold their heads up high, despite the loss.
“I don’t know. It’s an empty feeling. It’s a long year. Someone had to win and someone had to lose and we came out on the wrong side of it. It’s not the way you picture it. It’s as simple as that.”