In terms of championships, the Bruins are somewhat behind their local counterparts. While the Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots have lifted their respective trophies and enjoyed their parades, the Bruins haven’t had such luck since 1972.
Tonight, the Bruins can join the club.
“I’m a Canadian. I know what Canadian cities are all about,” Claude Julien said. “This is an opportunity for Vancouver to win their first Stanley Cup. So you can understand the excitement here. At the same time, you’ve got to understand that Boston is one of those championship cities that’s won in regards to all the different sports. When you get used to winning, you want more. The one thing they haven’t had is a Stanley Cup since 1972. They want it just as bad as the Vancouver fans do.”
If the Bruins want to hoist the Cup tonight, they must execute their game plan with far more efficiency than they did in their three previous Rogers Arena visits. They have to manage the puck well, track down their dumps, and have speed through the neutral zone.
They’ll need to have a quick start. To do so, they’ll have to find the middle ground between excitement and calm.
“Our group, right now, seems calm, focused, and ready to do the job,” Julien said. “Our team, if it gets stressed out, has never performed well. I don’t expect us, and I don’t want us to go out there stressed out. I expect our team to go out there excited and determined to do the job.”
* Johnny Boychuk will play tonight. The NHL examined Boychuk’s hit on Mason Raymond to make sure it didn’t merit supplemental discipline. “I’m not worried about Johnny Boychuk,” Julien said. “But I do worry about Mason Raymond. We talk about those kinds of injuries. They’re unfortunate. They really are. Whatever happens, whether it’s a concussion or other things, this is a job. When guys are making a living out of this, the last thing you want to see is something that could jeopardize their careers. He was in an unfortunate position. I didn’t see any extra reason to try and injure him more than he was in a bad position. It was unfortunate. I’m more worried about him and hoping he gets better. Johnny’s strong enough. When you know, as a player, that you didn’t mean to do it, you don’t have to worry about the psyche. If it was something done in a cheap manner, then you would. But Johnny certainly didn’t intend on hurting him. Right now, we feel for Mason Raymond. Honestly. No matter what happens tonight, we hope he gets better quickly.”
* In all likelihood, tonight will be Mark Recchi’s final game. The Bruins hope to send Recchi off into the sunset with his third ring. “Not because I want him to retire, but I’d like to see him in another Cup,” Julien said. “He’s been great for us. We can’t say enough. We’ve talked about him all year. Maybe his speed isn’t where it might have been at one point. But his experience has certainly made up for that.”