BOSTON -- The Bruins are headed to Vancouver for the Stanley Cup finals. For five players, it won’t be the first time they will be playing for hardware in the beautiful Northwest city in British Columbia. Tim Thomas (USA), Patrice Bergeron (Canada), David Krejci (Czech Republic), Zdeno Chara (Slovakia) and Dennis Seidenberg (Germany) all played in the 2010 Winter Olympics hockey tournament, with Bergeron coming home with a gold medal and Thomas a silver.
“My memories are great and it’s a great city,” Chara said of his Vancouver Olympic experience. “The fans are every passionate and they showed a lot of support throughout the Olympics and obviously for the Canucks the whole year. I played my junior hockey actually in B.C. (for Prince George, WHL) and I like the area and the environment so my memories are good and I’m excited to be going there now to play for the Stanley Cup.”
The spotlight and pressure will be similar to the Olympics with the Stanley Cup on the line.
“It’s like anything else and part of it, the spot we’re in now,” Chara said. “It’s to be expected, we’re aware of it and we’re ready.”
For Seidenberg, the pressure wasn’t as intense at the Olympics as he expects it to be for the finals.
“It was definitely a lot less pressure then and I was able to enjoy it because Germany really didn’t have a chance and no one was expecting anything from us,” Seidenberg recalled with a laugh. “We didn’t have anything to lose. But this time it’s a whole lot different. It’s two good teams playing against each other and both teams want to win the Stanley Cup so there’s definitely a lot more pressure but everyone is looking forward to it.”
Canucks fans will be raucous and, as Chara pointed out, very passionate, but Seidenberg thinks if he and his teammates can deal with Canadiens fans, they can handle anything.
“I don’t think it gets any crazier than Montreal, that we had in the first series,” Seidenberg said. “So I’m sure everybody knows what to expect and is ready to handle it.”
Bergeron obviously has the fondest memories, having won gold with Canada, but he hopes to add another special Vancouver memory.
“That was obviously a moment I’ll treasure for the rest of my life,” Bergeron said of winning Gold with Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics. “It was just such an amazing experience. But this is and could be another amazing experience and I’m excited about the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup.”