The Boston Bruins came within two wins of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2024. They outlasted the Toronto Maple Leafs in their first-round matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Unfortunately, they could not overcome the Florida Panthers in round two. And general manager Don Sweeney did not mince words when discussing his team's elimination.

Sweeney spoke with reporters recently when the topic of his team's disappointment came up. The Bruins general manager said he felt disappointed his team couldn't advance. He acknowledged the need for his team to get better during the offseason this summer.

“We’re bitterly disappointed that we did not push this, to the very least, to a Game 7, to extend that series, to continue to challenge for what our ultimate goal is, and it’s to win at the most important time of the year,” Sweeney said, via “We put together a team that was very, very competitive in the regular season. We fell short in the playoffs in some areas that certainly this summer we need to continue to address.”

Offensive woes lead to elimination

Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) and Boston Bruins center Trent Frederic (11) shake hands after the Panthers defeated the Bruins in game six of the second round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

One area the Bruins especially struggled in during the Stanley Cup Playoffs was offense. Boston certainly had their moments during their postseason run. They defeated the Panthers 5-1 in the first game of their second-round matchup, for instance. But overall, they had issues putting the puck in the back of the net.

Of all playoff teams, Boston had the fifth-fewest goals for per game. They had the lowest goals for per game of any team that made the second round. Furthermore, they had the lowest shooting percentage of any team that made the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Their offensive woes became readily apparent during their series with the Panthers. Outside of their Game 1 victory, the Bruins failed to score more than two goals in a game. This was also a trend in their series with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Four of their seven games against Toronto saw Boston score two goals or less.

“It reared its head at the most inopportune time,” Sweeney said, via, “that we weren’t able to finish in quality chances, and in some cases, guys that generally do finish in quality situations of that nature.”

An aggressive summer ahead

Don Sweeney and his team are likely to see changes to the roster over the summer. Reports indicate that goalie Linus Ullmark is a “priority” trade candidate as the NHL Draft draws near. And other players such as Jake DeBrusk are expected to leave the team through NHL Free Agency this offseason.

Sweeney mentioned that the team will be proactive when conducting their offseason business. “We are in a situation where we can look to add to our core group of guys, and that includes also some of the younger guys, as [Bruins president Cam Neely] mentioned,” the Bruins general manager said, via “But we are going to be aggressive, to be able to complement what we currently have in some areas.”

Overall, the Bruins don't appear headed for a rebuild after their latest elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Boston was within striking distance of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2024. And they believe the core they have in place can lead them on another deep postseason run in 2025. The Bruins are certainly a team to keep an eye on during NHL Free Agency this year.