Many of us spent the 2022-23 NHL season wondering if the Boston Bruins—the best regular-season team in NHL history—had any flaws at all.

They had a Vezina-contending starting goalie in Linus Ullmark working in a solid, feel-good tandem with Jeremy Swayman. They had the star factor in David Pastrnák and the depth that seemed almost unfair with consistent contributions from players like Jake DeBrusk, Charlie Coyle and Taylor Hall. They had Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm holding down the back end. They had the veteran presence of returning captain Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Krejcí. They had a great redemption story in first-year head coach Jim Montgomery. They even had one heck of a trade deadline, acquiring players that immediately made an impact like Tyler Bertuzzi, Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway.

They also had a certain third-period magic where you didn't know how or when they'd do it, but you just knew that they could pull out a win in almost any situation.

Maybe the sudden disappearance of that magic throughout their first-round choke job is the most stunning revelation of all.

The Florida Panthers completed a rally from a 3-1 series deficit Sunday night with a stunning 4-3 overtime win in Game 7. It ended what many assumed was going to be a deep Cup run for Boston. The 43-point difference between the Panthers and Bruins' regular-season records represents the largest upset in Stanley Cup Playoffs history in a best-of-seven series, by the way.

"I guess the words that come to mind right now are disappointment, confusion," Montgomery said postgame.

It turns out the Bruins did have flaws, and they reared their heads at the worst possible time. Five big issues in particular stand out following the abrupt and unceremonious end to their historic season.

So what happened?


The Bruins Weren't 100 Percent

As there usually is this time of year, there was some mystery surrounding key injuries.

Patrice Bergeron sat out the first four games of the series with what was first announced as a stomach bug that had spread around Boston's locker room.

But the Bruins' captain revealed postgame that the nagging injury he suffered at the end of the regular season was a herniated disc in his back. He played through the herniated disc in the last three games of the series, averaging 18:15 TOI, scoring one goal and ending up with an uncharacteristic minus-four rating.

Bergeron's performance is not even close to the main reason the Bruins lost, but a 100-percent Bergeon changes this series.

"Obviously, it's stiff," he said postgame. "I mean, it's definitely not something I'm going to use as an excuse. It is what it is. Everyone battles with a lot of things during playoffs. It's just unfortunate the way that it happened, on a fluke play."

David Krejcí was also banged up and missed the first five games with an upper-body injury that hasn't yet been disclosed. Krejcí, always a Game 7 performer, still ended up with a goal and two assists Sunday. The two assists gave him 12 in Game 7s, an NHL record.

Having your top two centers and most experienced playoff veterans out for more than half of the series and then limited because of injury is going to impact even the deepest team.

Surely, there will be more injury reveals on locker clean-out day.