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The Boston Globe

Sports

On hockey

What kept Bruins afloat last year was missing

The nature of hockey, often full of curious endings, crazy calls, nutty bounces, and pinball justice, is that teams are often left with less than they deserve.

That is not the case with the 2011-12 Bruins. The defending Stanley Cup champions wrapped up their season at the Garden Wednesday night, bounced from the playoffs in the first round for the first time since 2008, and they were never really close to being the team that last June won its first Cup in 39 years.

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