BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins are in a situation no team wants to be in, but at the same time, it’s a familiar one.
The Bruins head into Monday night’s Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final with their backs against the wall. The Chicago Blackhawks own a 3-2 series lead after Saturday night’s 3-1 win in Game 5, meaning the Stanley Cup will be in the TD Garden when the puck drops Monday evening.
But much like 2011 when Boston faced a potential elimination game in Game 6 of the Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks, they’re hoping Lord Stanley’s chalice will remain in its case and travel to a Game 7 — this time in the Windy City for Game 7 on Wednesday night.
Boston won that Game 6 two years ago 5-2, scoring four first-period goals against the Canucks. They would love a similar start on Monday night, as a sluggish start on Saturday put Boston in an early hole that they couldn’t bounce back from.
But they know that just because they’ve done it once before doesn’t mean it will happen again — they still have to go out and earn it.
“We’ve been here before. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy –it’s going to be tough,” said center David Krejci. “We’re going to try to do everything we can to get a win and force Game 7.”
“You can draw on it all you want and you can reminisce about it all you want, but you got to do it,” said defesneman Andrew Ference. “It’s easy to call yourself resilient, but you got to do it and that’s not just once. You have to do it when it counts, and obviously that’s tonight.”
The Bruins are 4-0 under head coach Claude Julien when facing elimination in a Game 6, but the coach has said countless times that stats mean nothing in the playoffs. On the flip side, the Bruins aren’t going to be intimidated by the 3-2 hole they’re currently sitting in.
“Just because we’re down 3-2, we haven’t lost the Cup yet and we still have a chance to win it,” Julien said Monday. “It’s about going out there, focusing on doing it, and having fun doing it.”
“They enjoy that challenge; when everybody thinks your down, they love that challenge of proving people wrong,” Julien said of his team. “We’ve been knocked down for all different reasons that we’re very capable of bouncing back. We know we can, and we have a lot of confidence in each other; from coaching staff down to the players there is a lot of trust and confidence, and that makes a good group.”
“I like the excitement of our team right now; they’re not afraid of it, they’re excited for the challange,” he said.
Right now, all that matters to Boston is win, or their summer will begin without hoisting the Cup high above their heads for the second time in three years.
But the Bruins found themselves just minutes away from elimination six weeks ago, with the Toronto Maple Leafs holding a 4-2 lead in the final minutes of Game 7 at the TD Garden. They didn’t quit at that point, and they certainly won’t quit now.
“When you are in a moment like this, there’s definitely nothing to save it for. You don’t come this far to lose, right?” said Milan Lucic. “I mean it would have been easy to quit two months ago in that Game 7 against Toronto when we dug deep to get ourselves through that game. There’s no reason why we can’t dig deep and find a little bit extra to get ourselves through this one.”
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