BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins have yet another Game 7 on their schedule tonight, as they try to send the Montreal Canadiens home for the summer and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Bruins have been here before, especially under head coach Claude Julien. This will be Boston’s ninth Game 7 of Claude’s tenure, and though they’re just 4-4 in those tilts, the Bruins have won four of their last five. One of those wins came against the Habs in 2011, and they’d go on to win two more Game 7’s that year en route to the Stanley Cup title.
Though they have the experience, Game 7’s still come with plenty of nerves. But Julien wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s do or die, and everybody knows that. To me, it’s exciting,” Julien said Wednesday following the team’s morning skate. “I was ready to play last night. I was excited watching the other games on TV. I wish it was an afternoon game.
“I don’t know if having been through a lot of game 7’s is a compliment, but we’ve been through a lot of them. Hopefully we can take advantage of it,” said Julien.
Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron has played in eight Game 7’s over his 10-year career, tallying four goals and two assists, and hopes he and his teammates can use their experience to their advantage.
“We know what it’s going to be like tonight. We have our fans with us, so we have to use all of that to our advantage,” said Bergeron, who is a plus-three in those eight Game 7’s. “We still know it’s going to be a tough game, a hard game, and we know Montreal is going to be ready.
“It’s about us tonight; about us skating and doing the things in order to come out with a win,” added Bergeron. “It’s a great challenge, it’s why you play the game — to win. Situations like this are always fun to be a part of. It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to tonight.”
Even with all his Game 7 experience, Bergeron said he still feels those pre-game nerves leading up to taking the ice. But he says those nerves are a good thing, as long as the player can channel them and use them to their advantage.
“It’s always there and it always will be; that’s part of sports and big games like that,” he said. “It’s actually a good thing, it’s just a matter how you use the nerves. Use them to your advantage and when you step on the ice use your instincts.”
Bergeron, who has a team-high nine points (three goals, six assists) this postseason, said his advice to younger players who haven’t experienced a Game 7 is to take it as any other hockey game, but leave everything out on the ice. He is also stressing on-ice discipline.
“It’s been important all playoffs but even more so in Game 7,” said Bergeron. “It’s something we have to put emphasis on, but that being said we have to give everything between the whistles, play really hard and find a way to come out with the win.”
After a terrible effort in Monday’s 4-0 Game 6 loss in Montreal, Julien said he expected his team to win on Wednesday night. He still has that same level of confidence with the deciding game just a few short hours away.
“I don’t think you’d expect me to say the other thing, would you? I expect us to win,” Julien echoed. “We’ve been resilient and rebounded from losses. It’s about having confidence in your group, and that I have lots of.”
Tune in to Bruins-Canadiens Game 7 on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the Boston Bruins. Pregame coverage with Dave Goucher and Bob Beers begins at 6:30pm!
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