There will be no parade in Boston this June.
Zdeno Chara will not be called to come get the Stanley Cup. The Bruins season came to a stunning, heartbreaking end on Wednesday night at TD Garden, with Washington winning Game 7 – how else? – in overtime. It was the fourth overtime game of the series, and finally, a Game 7 extra session the Bruins could not escape.
Three things we learned (the hard way) on Wednesday night:
1. Stanley Cup champions do not repeat
The streak lives on for another year. Neither of the 2011 finalists could escape the first round, as league parity has revealed itself like no other time in recent memory.
For all the hand-wringing about whether the Bruins could hold onto the No. 2 seed as they struggled late in the season, it clearly does not matter where teams are seeded, as long as they get in. The postseason is that wide open. No team has repeated since the 1997-98 Red Wings.
2. Tim Thomas is human after all
He actually played a strong game, but in the end, he got beat on the only goal that mattered, and the Bruins are going home.
3. The injuries were just too much
No Nathan Horton. No Tuukka Rask to spell Thomas down the stretch. Patrice Bergeron not 100 percent in the final games.
In a series where every game was decided by one goal, not being at full strength proved the killer.