Even in an empty TD Garden Tuesday afternoon the intensity was palpable.
Because the Boston Bruins couldn’t close out the Montreal Canadiens Monday night at the Bell Centre, the Black and Gold will host an all important win or go home Game 7 Wednesday night at 7 pm.
Stats to this point can be thrown out the window. It is one game. Whoever capitalizes on their chances or makes the big save will advance on to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Bruins are no strangers to Game 7’s. Their captain, Zdeno Chara, will play in his 11th Game 7 in his career. As a team, the B’s have played in 89 games of that magnitude where the Canadiens have only played in 36 of them. Head coach Claude Julien has coached his team’s to a 5-4 Game 7 record where Habs coach Michel Therrien has yet to coach in an atmosphere his team will face Wednesday night.
The Bruins have plenty of experience heading into their tilt tomorrow night against the Habs and Julien hopes his team can benefit from being there so many times.
“Playing with desperation” is a phrase that is being thrown around lately, but it will really come into fruition in a little more than 24 hours, because there is no tomorrow for either team if they lose.
“I think desperation is going out there and giving the best shot you can,” Julien said. “The last thing you want is regrets and if you hold back and you don’t do the things you know you can do and don’t leave it all out on the ice, then you have regrets. So, that’s what desperation is all about, is leaving it all out there on the ice and you can walk away knowing you gave it your best shot.”
The Black and Gold worked extremely hard to be in this position through their 82 regular season games. It was for games like this. Having the crowd behind you and trying to feed off the atmosphere in the building in a win or go home situation.
Torey Krug dreamt about this situation a dozen times when he was a kid and it’s finally coming a reality tomorrow night at TD Garden.
“It’s why we work so hard all year,” Krug said, who is making his first career Game 7 appearance for the Bruins. “You know, it’d be a different story if we were going to Montreal for Game 7, but for us, it’s coming home and we know we have the support of our fans. It’s going to be a loud building and very electric and we will use that towards our advantage.”
When asked if his team needs to play with desperation, Krug smiled and admitted it’s going to take a lot more than desperation.
“Yeah, why not,” Krug said while nodding his head. “Desperation, urgency-you want to make sure you are in control though. If you are too hyped up or the game is too hyped up, you might go a little bit too far and cost your team a penalty or take yourself out of the play and all of a sudden they have an opportunity at the other end. So, you need to make sure you are in control of your emotions.”
Daniel Paille has appeared in six Game 7’s and has plenty of experience for the Black and Gold, but knows it’s about execution and capitalizing on the Canadiens mistakes. Just because Paille and his teammates have been there, doesn’t mean it will come easy to them.
“I mean, it can only take you so far,” Paille said in front of his stall Tuesday afternoon. “It’s okay to have it, but you don’t want to count on that. I’ve been a part of wins and losses, but for us, it’s just about making sure we stay calm and be ready to play a full game.”
If history keeps on repeating itself, the team that scores the first goal has a decent shot to win the game. Both teams now own a 6-0 record when scoring first in the series. It is no secret the Bruins need to get off to the start they did in Game 5 and not the start they got off to in Game 6.
With the experience, home ice advantage and the desperation coming from inside the dressing room, the Bruins have the advantage on paper. Let’s just hope it translates on to the ice tomorrow night in what is shaping up to be one of the best games of the 2014 season.