BOSTON (CBS) – Anyone who predicted an easy series for the Bruins before this thing began was sorely mistaken.
The Montreal Canadiens are a chief rival and a worthy opponent, just like they’ve always been. Bruins legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque appeared on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak show Tuesday morning to discuss the first six games and preview the deciding Game 7 Wednesday night at the TD Garden.
You would think a team with the best regular season record would be devoid of any major holes in the lineup. That’s mostly true for the Bruins, but one thing they are lacking from Bourque’s perspective is veteran depth — especially on the blue line.
“They’ve always had a lot of depth, and they do have depth, but if you would have [Dennis] Seidenberg, [Adam] McQuaid and [Chris] Kelly, if these guys were healthy think of the depth you’d have. I think that’s the difference right there, where you know a few of these guys are experiencing this type of playoff hockey for the first time.
“[Torey] Krug was there last year, [Matt] Bartkowski played a little bit somewhat and then you’ve got [Kevan] Miller all in the lineup at the same time. They’ve done a great job, but when you go into a game like last night where you can close ’em out in the Bell Centre, and you play good for the first three shifts, then all of a sudden a bad bounce goes against you early like that first goal and you seem to get rattled. It’s the first time for all those guys.
“We do have depth, but in a different way this year. It’s a little younger.”
Bourque, like WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche, thinks the Bruins are in good shape to close it out tomorrow night in front of the home crowd for Game 7.
“I think [the Bruins] are in great shape. That’s why you play all year to win your division, win your conference and win the overall league. When you have a seventh game you want to play it in your building where your fans are the seventh player; they’re cheering you on and the atmosphere is going to be crazy.
“I’m very confident that the urgency is going to be back tomorrow night. They’re gonna bounce back and it should be a great game. Give a lot of credit to Montreal. They’ve played a really good series. I thought it would go six or seven and it certainly hasn’t disappointed in terms of what kind of series it’s been.”
As far as the rivalry goes, Bourque thinks this series has been pretty mild in comparison to some of the older contests.
The Bruins let out some frustration in the form of a pushing and shoving match at the end of Game 6, something that Bourque believes in his day would have escalated into an all out brawl.
There really hasn’t been any cheap shots, and Bourque thinks because of the coverage that every little thing gets magnified to the nth degree.
The conversation then shifted towards the lack of production by the first line, and in particular David Krejci. These games are so close and nothing comes down to just one guy, and Bourque says everybody must be better and you can’t just single out Krejci.
“Nobody is harder on themselves than the players themselves. They expect to be the difference in the game. Whether it’s Krejci or anybody else. Go out and win tomorrow night and everything is forgotten,” said Bourque.
Listen below for the full discussion and find out how you can win tickets to Game 7: