BOSTON (AP) - The Bruins tried every tactic possible to avoid the dreaded "Stanley Cup Hangover."
They didn't work.
Different lineups, different travel schedules, extra rest, you name it. But Boston still slumped through certain times of the regular season, and though they won the Northeast Division and snagged the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, there they were on Friday, packing up at the TD Garden after a first-round loss to Washington some 10 months after hoisting the Stanley Cup.
"I think the best way to say it is it almost felt like one long season. It almost felt like a baseball season," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "Obviously, we've almost played 200 games here in the last two years. Obviously that's a good thing, you want to be playing as much as you can, as long as you can.
"But, this is an opportunity for us right now to get some rest."