The Bruins returned home from Florida to Hanscom Field in Bedford in the early afternoon, appearing calm, determined, and a little surprised to see the large crowd of reporters and television cameras waiting for them. The decisive Game 7 of the B’s Eastern Conference final with the Tampa Bay Lightning is tomorrow night at TD Garden and while fans are biting their nails and worrying over lineup tweaks, the players are trying to block out the noise and concentrate on making music together on the ice.
“I thought we’d land and there might be a few of you guys here, but not quite like this,” said Chris Kelly, one of five Bruins players assigned to talk to the press. “Boston is a great sports town and they want us to do well. And we want to do well just as much as they do, so hopefully we can have a great effort tomorrow night.”
Gregory Campbell, in his first NHL playoff season after six fruitless years with the Florida Panthers, is soaking up the warmth of the team’s success, and expecting to turn that heat into energy tomorrow.
“It’s something that we’ve worked hard for all year, to get this home ice advantage, so it’s really up to us to feed off the energy from our crowd,” Campbell said. “We are happy to be home. We’ve been such a good team on the road all year, but I think in the playoffs we’ve shown the ability to win at home. And we’ve been in this situation before in Game 7 at home and we were able to win that game [against Montreal in the first round]. So hopefully tomorrow night will be a successful one for us.”
Patrice Bergeron said he can’t wait for tomorrow. “It’s nice to see that the Bruins are being talked about,” said Bergeron. “And it’s good and obviously tomorrow we want to do that job.”
There was no on-ice practice for the B’s. After their flight from Florida, it was a rest day in preparation for the do-or-die game with the Bolts.