2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Higher expectations as the Bruins advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs

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(Adam Richins for BSJ)

Any expectations the Boston Bruins had at the start of the 2017-18 season can be tossed in the trash. Most thought this would be a bridge season given the fact that the organization was taking a veteran group and combining it with an inexperienced rookie core.

No one really knew how it would turn out. The veteran group met during the offseason and decided it would do everything possible to help the rookie class develop. After a slow start to the season, mostly due to injuries, everything began to mesh around mid-November and suddenly the overall mindset for the season began to change.

Now, there’s a new team goal and it involves playing hockey until mid-June.

After dismissing the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round with a 7-4 win in Game 7 on Wednesday night at TD Garden, the Bruins will now face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“That’s not good for the ticker,” said a relieved Cam Neely after the comeback victory against the Maple Leafs.

Just wait, Cam. It’s only going to get more stressful on the arteries against the Lightning. It was evident early this season that the chemistry in the room and on the ice was strong.