Bruins’ consistency faces final test in Stanley Cup Final vs. Blues | TribLIVE.com
NHL

Bruins’ consistency faces final test in Stanley Cup Final vs. Blues

Associated Press
1276035_web1_1276035-5e1d5f19bc8e4bc08aa38e225aeebe51
AP
Bruins right wing David Pastrnak scores against Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington during the third period of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Sunday, June 9, 2019, in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — The strains of Jay-Z and Linkin Park’s “Numb/Encore” mashup emanated from a small speaker on the hallway floor outside the visiting locker room following the Boston Bruins’ morning skate.

“I don’t know what you’re expecting of me … put under the pressure … of walking in your shoes.”

Despite all the pressure on Boston, team DJ Torey Krug wouldn’t dare change anything in the face of elimination.

“Same playlist I’ve been playing for months now,” Krug said. “It’s been the same music for months on end.”

And the same Bruins, whose consistent approach on and off the ice will be tested one more time Wednesday in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues. This is an experienced Boston roster with five players left from the 2011 Cup championship team that vanquished the Canucks in Vancouver, also the most recent time the final went to a seventh and deciding game.

“There’s never been a (Cup Final) Game 7 in Boston, (so) I would say lean on past experience with that, but there is none,” Krug said Monday. “There is experience from guys who played in Game 7 in Vancouver.

“It’s tough. It’s the most exciting game in all of our lives, and I think whoever maintains their composure and discipline within their system, how they play and how they approach the game is probably going to prevail.”

The smart money is on the Bruins recapturing the Stanley Cup on home ice, and sportsbooks give them the edge. Not only do they own an experience advantage in these situations, but they also carry momentum from a 5-1 rainstorm on St. Louis’ potential parade in Game 6.

Four of the previous five times in this year’s playoffs a team down 3-2 won Game 6, it also won Game 7. Just don’t tell that to Boston coach Bruce Cassidy because he doesn’t believe there’s carryover from a strong showing Sunday night.

“New slate,” Cassidy said before the team flew home to Boston. “They had expectations, Stanley Cup is in the building. … I can’t speak for them, but it can be tough, knowing we’re playing good team defense to now have to come back (from a deficit) that far. But I don’t think it will affect them all on Wednesday. It’s one game, winner take all. Both teams will be in a good place mentally, ready to go.”

Longest-tenured Bruins player Patrice Bergeron put his teammates in the perfect mental state the day of Game 6. Young defenseman Charlie McAvoy had trouble calming his nerves until Bergeron spoke up in the locker room and said exactly what players needed to hear.

Speaking in French, Bergeron said he told the team, “We are in a situation that is everyone’s childhood’s dream here and we must realize it.”

That’s also a pretty normal thing for Bergeron to boost up his teammates, which he considers to be part of his role. It’ll be up to him, captain Zdeno Chara, winger Brad Marchand, center David Krejci and goaltender Tuukka Rask to impart some lessons from winning in 2011 and also losing to Chicago in the final in 2013 — the time Bergeron played through broken ribs and a punctured lung but didn’t get to lift the Cup a second time.

“They’ve been here for us all year (and) before that, too,” forward Sean Kuraly said. “You look to them and can feel comfort in that, follow in their footsteps and know you’re walking in the right direction.”

The Blues are marching in the wrong direction after failing to close a series for the first time in the playoffs. They eliminated Winnipeg, Dallas and San Jose on the first chance each time and all on home ice.

Now they go on the road where they’re 9-3 this postseason with two of those victories coming in Boston.

“Listen, if you told me four months ago we were going to be in the finals in Game 7, I think I’d take it,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. “We’ve been a good road team. We’ve won twice up there in this series, so we’re a confident group.”

Just like the Blues couldn’t measure up to the Bruins in Game 6, it would be hard to make the argument they’re as confident after the deflating loss Sunday. Ryan O’Reilly and the Blues typically have been able to bounce back well and stay as even-keeled as their coach.

“We know if we play our best game, we can take these guys,” O’Reilly said. “Go there and get it done.”

Categories: Sports | NHL
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.