Sunday, June 16, 2013
Bruins looking forward to Garden crowd
By Scott Barboza
With the Cup finals back in Boston, thoughts turn to 2011's Garden party.
BOSTON -- While the Stanley Cup finals are tied at a game apiece, there are more than a couple of things trending in the Bruins’ favor entering Monday night’s Game 3 at TD Garden.
Consider these nuggets:
* In a telling stat sourced by the NHL’s public relations staff following Boston’s Game 2 win in Chicago, about 75 percent of the teams to win Game 2 of finals series since 1939 went on to hoist the Stanley Cup.
* The Blackhawks have yet to win a Game 3 this postseason.
Outside of that karma surrounding the Bruins heading into their first game of the series on home ice, there are all the other intangibles that come with the comforts of home.
“The city rallies around this team all the time,” defenseman Adam McQuaid said during Sunday’s media session at TD Garden. “But at this point, it’s going to be pretty exciting and we’re all looking forward to it.”
The last time the Bruins played Game 3 of the Cup finals in front of the home crowd, the result was a memorable one: a rousing 8-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks en route to a seven-game series win in 2011.
It’s a memory that remains with the Bruins who were around for the last Cup run.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the excitement in this building,” said forward Daniel Paille, who scored the overtime goal to win Game 2. “I remember two years ago how loud it was. I can’t wait to hear it again.”
Another shred of momentum in the Bruins’ favor is the wide hit margin they established in Game 2. Looking to avoid another slow start that nearly did them in on Saturday, the Bruins are wont to keep up the physical tone, urged on by the rabid locals.
“Whether they get more hits, we get more hits, I don't go and look at that stat at the end of the game,” Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said of Saturday’s result. “I think we want to be physical, but also more than anything we want to be hard to play against.”
Of course, there’s also the emotional factor. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said his team needed to play with desperation in Game 3, as though they have “something to prove.”
But with the teams skating through nearly 10 full periods in two games, there are other juices flowing to keep the legs moving.
“You run on adrenaline this time of year,” McQuaid said with a smile.
Paille admitted it was a little tough to get to sleep following the rush from his game-winner. But after getting about 5-6 hours of shut-eye in the wee hours of Sunday morning, he’s ready to put that accomplishment behind him. He said he looked forward to playing a “better game” in Game 3, even after a two-point performance, factoring in both Bruins goals.
Even with home-ice advantage for the next two games, as the old adage says, the series doesn’t truly start until the road team wins a game.
So let the games begin.
“I don’t think we should be too comfortable, but we should be confident with our game right now,” Paille said. “We know we've got a good goaltender helping us out there, and I think we all have faith and trust in our game.”