Bruins president Cam Neely joined owner Jeremy Jacobs and principal Charlie Jacobs Thursday at TD Garden to assess the 2011-12 season and discuss the future of the team.
Following the Bruins' first-round exit against the Washington Capitals, many players said at last week's breakup day that the team felt the exhaustion that follows a deep run, such as the previous season's Stanley Cup victory. Asked whether such circumstances changes the fact that an established contender didn't make it out of the first round, Neely noted that the team shouldn't settle for such a disappointing finish.
"It should be unacceptable," Neely said. "With the players we have, the talent that we have, the coaching staff we have, you can't accept a first-round exit. I believe that we're a franchise that's beyond, 'Let's make the playoffs,' that's beyond, 'Let's have a good showing in the first round.' I think we're beyond that. Expectations are much higher now."
Neely said that though players spoke of their difficulty getting mentally engaged in the postseason, the team as a whole appeared to share his frustration with the first-round exit.
"What I saw was guys that looked to be disappointed," Neely said. "When you look at all the seven games of the whole and you say, 'Geez, we probably should be moving on,' I think they would all agree with that. I think if they really assessed our game and their individual play, they to a person probably feel like they could have played better or could have done a little bit more to get that extra goal or that extra win that we needed."
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