Eric Staal shakes the hand of the goalie he beat in Game 7. (Bill Kostroun/AP)
Eric Staal, the hero of Game 7 and Carolina’s go-to guy, didn’t have much luck against the Bruins this season. In four losses, Staal didn’t score a single point.
“I don’t think I played my best games against them this year,” said the alternate captain. “I’ve had success against Boston in the past. I like playing in their building. It’s about being ready to play in this series. That’s what it’s about now. The regular season doesn’t really matter at this time of year. We’ll be ready to go.”
While Staal might have a rotation of linemates during the series (he last played with Ray Whitney and Chad LaRose), he’ll be getting a faceful of Zdeno Chara on just about every shift.
“It’s a challenge,” Staal said of the matchup. “He’s a big man. He’s obviously got a great reach and is real strong in the corners. I’ve got to make sure I rely on my speed and my legs. Try and get him turning and twisting and doing thing he’s not comfortable with. Rely on maybe a little more quickness than power. Keep it simple. It’s going to be competitive. He’s a competitive guy. So am I. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”