By Maria from Watertown | Follow me on Twitter @mariaofh2otown

Before offering my theory on part of what may be ailing our Boston Bruins, let me say this from the start. The results of the round-robin tournament were not good by any stretch of our passionate imaginations.  There were many times during the round-robin games where Bruce Cassidy’s body language and facial expressions exhibited the same sentiments that we as fans likely felt while watching these games – utter frustration.

Photo courtesy of Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo

From the start of the round-robin tournament, it appeared to me that the Bruins had a cavalier approach to the games.  When you hear core veteran players making statements about moving on to play “real games”, or that these games were being treated as if they were merely “preseason games,” this could lead you to wonder, and perhaps worry, about the mindset of players and coaches as they prepared to play the games.

Regardless of anyone’s view of the round-robin tournament format, many of the contending teams played to win in an effort to hold or improve their playoff seeding.  I find it hard to believe that a group of competitive athletes, along with the coaching staff, would not take these games seriously.  Bruins coaches and players can spin it any way they choose, but the reality is, the team simply did not play well enough to win any of the 4 preliminary games.  Although the Bruins showed signs of improvement with each of those games, last time I checked, you need more than improvement to win hockey games.  Scoring goals and stopping your opponents from putting the puck in your net wins you hockey games.

Brad Marchand admits the Bruins treated the round robin like preseason games

When the Bruins started this season back in October, which seems like a liftetime ago, many of us, myself included, expected the team to be suffering the effects of a Stanley Cup h n2ver.  After all, the team played well into June and that left little time to rest and recover.  The Bruins presumably had a built-in excuse if the team struggled to start this season.

Instead, the Bruins came out of the gate playing with a focus and determination to finish what they started after making it to the Stanley Cup Finals.  The team was preparing to head in to the playoffs as the No. 1 seed. To their credit, the Bruins, did not appear to have any hangover symptoms.  Momentum was on their side and that momentum came to a crashing halt in March.

Could it be possible that we are now seeing some effects of a Stanley Cup hangover????  The Bruins were on a torrid pace up until March and they showed no signs of slowing down.  While it does not fully explain the Bruins lackadaisical play since returning to the ice, it’s plausible to think that they used the round-robin games as time to shake off the cobwebs, hydrate and get their “mojo” back.  My hope is that it does not take the Bruins too much longer to find their game again.

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