BOSTON (CBS) – After playing on back-to-back days over the weekend, in different cities, the Boston Bruins have a chance to rest up before their deciding Game 7 Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals.
Some rest is something the Bruins, and Capitals, could certainly use after the first six games of their series.
“I think both teams can benefit from that. I think for the fans it’ll certainly make for a much better Game 7,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said of the two-day break between games. “With all the energy and everything else that was executed in the last two games, back-to-back games, those are tough games, especially with travel in between. It’s not two games in the same building, you go back and go to sleep – you’ve got to travel and I think these two days here will be beneficial for both.”
The Bruins were able to gut out a 4-3 overtime win in Game 6 Sunday afternoon, forcing yet another Game 7 for the defending Stanley Cup champs. Wednesday night will be the franchises’ seventh Game 7 in the last five years.
“It doesn’t get better than Game 7, whether it’s first round or in the finals,” said center Gregory Campbell. “It’s where big players show up, and to be a big player in a Game 7 you have to have that balance of energy and excitement mixed with poise and confidence. You have to be able to execute plays.”
Nothing Beats A Game 7:
With each of the first six games of this series decided by just one goal, and three of the contests needing extra hockey to determine a winner, it wouldn’t be right if it didn’t come down to just one deciding game.
“I think it’s been a great series. Both teams have battled hard and I think someone mentioned the other day that this is the first time that all six games have been decided by one goal. Both sides are battling and competing hard,” said forward Chris Kelly, who netted the Game 1 overtime winner. “We battled back from being behind, and obviously they did last night. I’m expected the same thing Wednesday night.”
Last season, the Bruins won all three of their deciding Game 7s en route to a Stanley Cup Championship. And while the motto in 2012 has been ‘last year is in the past,’ the B’s are hoping their Game 7 experiences will go a long way this season.
“Last year is last year. I think we quickly realized that in October,” Kelly said with a smirk, alluding to the Bruins’ 3-9 start to the season. “In the same breathe, it’s nice to have played in Game 7’s to reflect upon and look back on.”
“There is tons of character in this locker room and it’s been proven over the past. We have a lot of guys with experience; not only the older guys but the younger guys that got to mature a lot last year with what we went,” added Kelly.
The emotions will be high in another win-or-go-home game for the Bruins, but balancing them is one of the keys the team is taking from last year’s Cup run.
“I think these two things are there; nerves are there, excitement is there, but obviously confidence and wanting to go out there and having a winning attitude is very important,” said assistant captain Patrice Bergeron. “Obviously we respect Washington and we know they’re a great team and have played well against us all series, so it’s going to be a tough game. We’re looking forward to it and I guess we’re just excited and making sure we’re ready for Wednesday.”
“I think it’s a combination of everything. I’ll be the first to admit that in order to have success in the postseason you need to have a little luck on your side,” said Kelly. “You need those bounces to go your way. It comes into play that you don’t want to let the others day; you want to battle for another day, show up to the rink for another day. I think it’s both sides will put everything they can into that game.”
“Game 7; there is something we as a team like,” said Campbell. “They’re fun to play in, the stakes are pretty high and it comes down to a one-game series. We have to be as prepared as possible. It’s been a close series so far and we expect nothing but the same for Game 7.”
In franchise history, the Bruins are 12-10 overall in Game 7s and 11-6 on home ice.
98.5 The Sports Hub is the only place to hear every game of the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins 2011-12 NHL season with Dave Goucher and Bob Beers. Pregame coverage begins 30 minutes before the puck drops, with Postgame coverage following each game.