CHICAGO – It’s been less than 24 hours since the Bruins fell to the Blackhawks in a triple overtime thriller at the United Center. As the Black and Gold took Thursday off to rest up, the feeling among the team is still the same.
Wednesday’s loss to the President Trophy winning Blackhawks is still leaving a bit of a sour taste in the Bruins’ mouth. But the B’s aren’t too concerned about dropping the first game of the Stanley Cup Final.
Even if they find themselves in an 0-2 hole before the series shifts to Boston for Game 3, there will be no need for head coach Claude Julien and his squad to panic. They can look back at the 2011 Cup Final where they trailed the Vancouver Canucks by the same margin.
With the exception of Tim Thomas, Mark Recchi, Michael Ryder, Tomas Kaberle and Gregory Campbell (due to injury), 15 members from that 2011 squad are still skating with the Black and Gold two years later. Those fifteen players will try to help the Bruins steal a victory at a hostile United Center environment, but know they can revert back to the 2011 run as a benchmark if needed.
“Last time we won the Cup, we lost the first two games in Vancouver,” Julien recalled about the Canucks series after the 4-3 loss to the Blackhawks Wednesday night. “It never stopped us from coming back and this certainly won’t.”
Two years ago, the Bruins fell in Game 1 in the last few seconds of regulation thanks to a goal by Raffi Torres. Three days later, Alex Burrows, who bit Patrice Bergeron in the first game, scored the winner 11 ticks into overtime.
Those are just two devastating losses that this group of 15 have endured. Through it all, though, they came together and spit in the face of adversity. And they’ll look to do the same thing Saturday night.
“Yeah, I mean it’s a loss. It’s an overtime loss. A lot of hockey was played to get to that point,” defenseman Andrew Ference said on Thursday. “I think you look back at the game as a whole, you say this is going to be a tight series. It’s not like there were no chances on net, no good plays. Guys played their game, the finishing wasn’t there and there was some great goaltending. So you just move on.”
Although they were on the losing end, the Bruins were appreciative of the effort.
“It was hard, physical [and] clean,” Patrice Bergeron said about Wednesday’s contest. “It’s hard to play in those situations, but fun to play in those games.”
If Wednesday’s triple overtime game is any sign of what’s to come, then fans of the Bruins and Blackhawks will be in for a treat.
In the meantime, it’s all about getting rest and moving on from the three overtime thriller. And they’ll hope to turn the page Saturday night in Game 2.
“There’s no question that it’s a tough loss. At the same time, the game could have gone either way,” said defenseman Adam McQuaid. “[We need to] take the positives from it. Today is a new day. We kind of start over and get ready for Game 2.”