The Bruins had to face the questions prior to meeting their Stanley Cup final rematch with the Blues. They won’t have to field any further questions after their postgame media sessions on Saturday.
Here lie the two different schools of thought. Certain media and fans will hype the rematch from last year’s grueling seven-game series. The players, meanwhile, see it for what it is: a chance for two points in the standings.
Brad Marchand heard these questions before. He first encountered them in 2011-12 prior to the rematch with the Canucks and again before facing the Blackhawks for the first time since the “17 seconds” loss in 2013-14.
“We’re still dealing with questions from Vancouver and Chicago,” Marchand said following Friday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to stop answering questions about this. But it is what it is. And that’s part of the game that comes with the territory, especially with social media nowadays. It’s going to happen and we’ll deal with it, but that doesn’t change our mindset of: ‘we’re on to this year and we’re preparing for each and every game and try to grow from it.”
They still had a bitter taste in their mouths throughout the summer. But the Bruins put Game 7 behind them once they arrived at training camp.
Some memories might creep in the first few minutes of Saturday’s interconference tilt at the newly renovated TD Garden. Yet, the Bruins haven’t held on to any grudges after coming up one game short of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup in front of the loyal hub supporters.
“I think we’re already at the point of moving on past it,” defenseman Brandon Carlo said. “It’s a team that you have to face every single year in different stretches and you can’t hang on to the past. I think we’ve done a good job at remaining positive in this room. The start of this season has shown our tenacity and commitment to win, so overall we’re not going to let [last year’s loss] affect us anymore.”
Could the Game 7 loss still light a fire under the Bruins for the long run? Sure. We know their short-term focus doesn’t need any questioning, especially with their strong start.
The Bruins enter Saturday’s rematch with 13 points and a 6-1-1 record. They took four points out of this tough four-game stretch that included an overtime loss to Tampa Bay and Toronto and a victory over the Maple Leafs to close out their recent home and home with their Original Six rivals.
Fans and media had this date circled when the league released their schedule shortly after the Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins, though, have the whole one game at a time mentality.
It’s cliche, but really who can blame them? After all, they’re not playing for a Stanley Cup in late-October, but rather two early-season points.
“People just want something to talk about right?” defenseman Torey Krug said. “It’s a headline and a big game. They’re obviously a good team and most of their roster has carried over again and so has ours. So it will be a good game.”
Some familiar names from the Stanley Cup Final — Krug, Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan O’Reilly, Zdeno Chara, Alex Pietrangelo, Tuukka Rask and Jordan Binnington (to name a few) — will see each other for the first time in a few months. Others, like David Krejci and Vladimir Tarasenko, will only be spectators as they heal from respective upper-body injuries.
The Bruins and Blues (sitting at 5-2-3 on the season) will have quite the matchup ahead on Saturday night. But don’t expect another helmetless Krug-like moment — or an iconic Flying Orr — in this Bruins-Blues rematch. Instead, expect a passionate early-season tilt with two teams looking to build on their solid first months of the new season.
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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