ST. LOUIS — The Boston Bruins brought history with them to the ‘Arch City’ for Games 3 and 4.
No, they didn’t take the accomplishments from their current core. Not yet, anyway. The Bruins still have three wins to go to capture hockey’s ultimate prize after all.
They brought a different type of history instead, captured in images. Various snapshots of the 2011 championship squad and another featuring Bobby Orr drinking out of Lord Stanley’s Cup hung high inside the visiting locker room at Enterprise Center.
It’s not so much a motivation tactic, but a reminder of what’s at stake. The Bruins plastered the images inside their own dressing room at TD Garden and took them with them to St. Louis as they await a pivotal two-game set beginning Saturday night.
“That’s what we’re playing for. We’re here to win a Stanley Cup and I don’t want to hide from it,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said following Boston’s optional skate Saturday morning. “And I don’t think the players do either.”
Patrice Bergeron knows what it takes to win the Cup. He’s one of the few leftovers from that 2011 squad that includes Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask, David Krejci and Bergeron’s longtime partner in crime Brad Marchand.
Things progressed for Bergeron and the Bruins for the better since 2011 — even with consecutive early-April exits in 2015 and 2016. But a look back on a piece of Bruins’ lore isn’t a bad thing for the current vets and a healthy dose of youth sparked by Charlie McAvoy, David Pastrnak and Brandon Carlo (to name a few).
“Everyday is a reminder of what we’re playing for,” Bergeron said. “Obviously just to get to this point has been a long journey, and the challenges in front of us. You just remember what you’re playing for and how much it means to make it happen.”
The Bruins challenge tonight: overcome Matt Grzelcyk‘s injury and take a 2-1 series lead while re-establishing home ice advantage. John Moore enters the next man up role as Grzelcyk’s replacement on Boston’s third defensive pair with Connor Clifton.
Another in-game challenge: getting the ‘perfection line’ going. Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak only have a goal — an empty netter in Game 1 — and an assist through the first two games as the Blues D’ kept the potent trio in check with their tough and physical forecheck. The trio were also on the ice for three of St. Louis’ five goals — coming from its top line — in Boston.
Cassidy has faith inserting Moore into a tough spot. The third-year bench boss also displayed that same confidence whenever reporters questioned him about the ‘perfection line’ bouncing back as the series shifts to St. Louis.
The Bruins hope to be halfway toward their goal once the final buzzer sounds. And perhaps Moore and the ‘perfection line’ can create a few new snapshots along the way.
Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.
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