BOSTON — Well, most of the hockey media and Bruins fans know about the team’s recent history in Game 7 by now. And it hasn’t been to friendly to say the least.
Dating back to 2004, the Bruins have lost their last four Game 7’s; 2004 and 2008 vs. Montreal, 2009 vs. Carolina and 2010 vs. Philadelphia. And in a few moments, the Black and Gold will be looking to break that Game 7 curse when they host the Canadiens again at TD Garden.
Will this be the year that the Bruins finally break through and advance? Or will they leave their fans in disappointment again for the fourth straight season?
Before we get into pregame notes and such, here are a few things to ponder…
The last time the Bruins won a Game 7 was back in 1994 when they defeated the Habs at the old Boston Garden during the Eastern Conference quarterfinal by the final of 5-3. Interestingly enough, that was the last time the Habs lost in Game 7.
This will be the eighth time that the Bruins and Habs face off against each other in Game 7. The Habs have the advantage with a 5-2 record in this situation.
Bruins coach Claude Julien is 1-3 all-time in Game 7’s. His only win came in 2004 when he was the Habs’ coach.
Montreal’s bench boss, Jacques Martin, is 2-4 all-time. Those two wins came last year against Washington in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals (coming back from a 3-1 deficit) and against Pittsburgh in the conference semis (coming back from 3-2).
This will be the 20th time that the Bruins have played in a Game 7 during the playoffs and the 16th time they have hosted the last game of a series. They are 9-10 lifetime and 9-6 at home in the previous 19 and 15 Game 7 situations, respectively.
The Habs are entering their 22nd Game 7 and the 11th time they have played a final game on the road. They are 13-8 lifetime in Game 7’s and have a 5-5 road record.
Scott Gomez and Mark Recchi will both be playing in their ninth career Game 7 tonight. Gomez has four assists in that span and his team has gone 6-2 (he played with the Devils and Rangers before coming to Montreal). Recchi, meanwhile, has two goals and four assists in his Game 7 career and has a win-loss record of 4-4 — two of which came with the Bruins.
Many have been calling for Milan Lucic to break out of his slump, and given his track record in Game 7, one might think this would be a great time for him to snap out of it. While Lucic hasn’t scored a goal since March 22nd against the Devils, the fourth year forward has tallied three goals in three career opportunities in Game 7, including two against the Flyers last year.
Carey Price has started in one career Game 7, which was back in 2008 where he and the Canadiens shutout the Bruins at the Bell Centre. His backup, Alex Auld, has also played in a Game 7 before giving up three goals in a losing effort with the Canucks back in 2004 in their loss to the eventual Western Conference Champion Calgary Flames.
Tim Thomas enters his third career Game 7 and is 0-2 with a 3.45 goals against and a .889 save percentage. Like Auld, Tuukka Rask also played in a Game 7 last year and we all know how that turned out…
History is clearly on the Canadiens’ side tonight and can easily build on their momentum from their win in Game 6 and can use last year’s run as an example. The Bruins will have their work cut out for them tonight, but at some point this trend has to end, right?
We are about 45 minutes away from the final game of the series. Enjoy the game!