Monday, September 26, 2011
Fond memories of playoffs at Bell Centre
By James Murphy
MONTREAL -- The Bruins skated on Bell Centre ice for the first time since Game 6 of their classic seven-game series win in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against Montreal. For Patrice Bergeron and the Bruins, being back at the Bell Centre to play the Habs -- whom they beat 7-3 in Halifax Sunday night -- is always fun. This first visit back since last April has plenty of memories flowing. The Bruins came back from a 2-0 series deficit to beat the Canadiens, a comeback that many players credit as a catalyst for their Stanley Cup run.
“Yeah for sure,” Bergeron said when asked if memories of the classic seven-game series were flowing when he entered the arena Monday morning. “Being down 2-0 and then coming here, it’s a tough building to play in and to win those two games was a huge confidence builder. That was a huge test for out hockey club. It was really one shot that was the difference in the series but that really built our character and out confidence. That was a huge win and we carried over that confidence against Philly.”
Just like any other game against the Canadiens here at the Bell Centre, the atmosphere will be intense and fun as the customary sellout crowd makes their usual amount of noise.
“It’s always fun to come back to Montreal and there always fun games and the atmosphere is there,” Bergeron said. “It’s a hockey town like Boston and we know the rivalry between the two teams and it’s always fun even in the preseason.”
While that seven-game series win was a main topic of conversation Monday morning, Bruins forward Tyler Seguin shared another special memory of his own that took place at the Bell Centre. Last preseason, Seguin played in his first NHL game here and while the game didn’t go as well as he liked, it was a valuable experience for the then 18 year-old rookie.
“I remember that was my first meaningful NHL game and I’ll be honest, I don’t think I was ever that nervous,” Seguin said. “I’ve been nervous but not that nervous. Then to skate out into that hostile atmosphere and you’re saying ‘this is only preseason!’ was pretty crazy. But it was a valuable experience and obviously with all the battles between our two teams that followed it got me ready for that.”
The Bruins and Habs square off at 7:30 tonight. Tuukka Rask should get the nod between the pipes as Anton Khudobin started Sunday night in Halifax. Here’s the lineup for the Bruins:
Forwards: Jamie Arniel, Gregory Campbell, Jordan Caron, Chris Clark, Chris Kelly, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Lane MacDermid, Rich Peverley, Max Sauve, Tyler Seguin, Shawn Thornton
Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Johnny Boychuk, Colby Cohen, Andrew Ference, Steven Kampfer, Dennis Seidenberg
Goaltenders: Tuukka Rask, Anton Khudobin