CEO Charlie Jacobs pleased with how Bruins’ season has gone

Matt Kalman
March 26, 2019 - 5:41 pm

The Bruins’ third-period meltdown in Tampa and 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday did little to alter the perception that they had a successful road trip, going 3-1-0, running their point total to 101 and clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the third straight season along the way.

With six games to go in the regular season, the Bruins look poised to finish either second or third in the overall league standings despite losing 232 man games to injury, including lengthy absences of core players Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug.

Needless to say Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs is pleased with how the 2018-19 season has unfolded.

“Well obviously I was disappointed about what happened [Monday] night,” Jacobs told during a ceremony for the opening of the Bruins Bar at Logan Airport. “But you know our team has really come together. I think the younger players have really stepped up and played some really critical roles for us, which you need in 2019 in order to have a successful team. I mean it can’t all be $7 million players or $10 million players. …

“I think hockey ops and our player development arms have done a great job of bringing our prospects along, identifying maybe kids that weren’t even drafted, and placing them in the development process for us. So I’m really happy with the way things have turned out.

“I think [coach] Butch [Cassidy] has done a really good job. We’re conscientious enough to be a strong defensive team. But also, I think players if you ask them, they really enjoy playing for him because he lets them go, he lets the reins go. And he’s offensively minded, as he was as a player, right? He didn’t have a long career, but [he was]. … He’s just a really good people manager, which is wonderful.

“So listen, I mean from [president] Cam [Neely] and [general manager] Donny [Sweeney] all the way down we’ve done a really good job. I’m really proud of sitting here with 101 points, a couple games left, potentially two 50-win seasons back-to-back, it’s good.”

It’s somewhat unfortunate that the Bruins, who are currently third in the NHL standings, are going to face the Toronto Maple Leafs, who currently sit in fifth, in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of that series, because of the NHL’s bracketing system, will face the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Lightning.

Jacobs, an alternate governor on the NHL Board of Governors, said it might be worth having the league reassess whether the current playoff format is the right one.

“That’s a shame. I do think that needs to be looked at. But don’t get me in hot water with the league about that one,” Jacobs said. “But I do think that merits a look. Just consider, as you mentioned, we could potentially end up with the second-best record in the league and have to play two very, very tough opponents before – if we were fortunate enough to advance – before we get to the conference final.”

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