What you may not know, however, is how to deal with the stress and agony that takes place during these games. Obviously, there was a similar one played in the TD Garden about a year ago, and, well, you're right, let's not talk about that.
Still, there are some precautionary measures you can take so that you don' t end up like the thousands of fine folks from Pittsburgh who looked like their souls had been stolen by a pack of Canadians. Don't let that be you. You should pour your heart and soul into this Game 7, but it never hurts to divert your attention — at least in the hours leading up to the game.
So break out the spiritual goal dances and your authentic Neely jersey and check out the top 10 ways for Bruins fans to relieve the stress of Game 7.
Or at least try. Listen, the more you think about this one, the worse it's going to be. The game is going to be decided one way or another, regardless of any historical event that has happened in the past. Red Sox fans let go of their demons in 2004, and Bruins fans would do well to do the same.
Oh, and don't even think about bringing up anything that rhymes with Snott Gawker.
Paging Kevin Millar?
There may be no bigger good-luck charm in Boston sports than Kevin Millar. He got everyone to shave their heads and pretend to be cowboys, convinced a bunch of men to refer to themselves as idiots, loosened up the clubhouse with a beverage or two and spurred the most remarkable comeback in sports.
Even better, he came back to Boston to help the Red Sox when they needed him in the 2007 playoffs. He didn't let small details — like the fact that he was employed by the Orioles — get in the way. Instead, he simply did whatever it took to help out the city of Boston. So now, why not bring in Kevin Millar for a ceremonial puck drop? Sure, it's a ridiculous idea, but he's kind of a ridiculous man.
Play video games
At least when you play the video game version of a Bruins-Flyers matchup, you have a little bit of control. You could get all fancy with the PS3 version of NHL 10, but if you really want to have a good time, it's only fitting to bust out NHL 94 for Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis.
Not only was it perhaps the greatest game ever made, but if you just work on your wraparound move, you can sweep four best-of-seven series in an hour or two. Plus, if you pit the Bruins against the Flyers, you can roll out Neely-Oates-Juneau up front with Bourque and Sweeney on the blue line and Andy Moog between the pipes. Fun fact: They'd be facing off against Mark Recchi's Flyers.
Listen to "New Jack" Edwards
It doesn't take a psychiatrist to know that the best way to relieve stress is to laugh. It also doesn't take a genius to know that listening to NESN play-by-play man Jack Edwards recite hip-hop lyrics from the '90s is kind of hysterical.
So check out the audio from Jack's appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich Show, and pump up the volume. It's guaranteed to not be wiggity wack.
Start making Taylor Hall/Tyler Seguin posters
True, it's not the most optimistic approach to Game 7, but it's still a good use of time. One of these kids will be a Bruin come the end of June, and both bring a certain promise for the future. Time spent crafting some artwork in their honor will prove to be valuable down the road.
Remember the experience factor
A few weeks ago, it was understood among Bruins fans that after a largely disappointing season, any playoff run would simply be gravy. They already had the No. 2 pick locked up, so with Marc Savard and Dennis Seidenberg out for the playoffs, reality stated that the B's had little chance of getting anywhere.
That all changed, of course, against Buffalo, when the B's showed fight and skill in taking out the East's No. 3 seed. Now, with one game separating the Bruins from their first conference finals trip since the final year of George H. W. Bush's presidency, Cup aspirations are alive and well.
But thinking about that can be stressful. It's important not to forget the amount of playoff experience the young guys are getting, including Tuukka Rask (23 years old), Johnny Boychuk (26), Milan Lucic (21), Vladimir Sobotka (22), Blake Wheeler (23) Mark Stuart (26) and Matt Hunwick (24). Even Patrice Bergeron, who's been around since 2003, is just 24 years old.
Each and every playoff game is a battle, and there's a lot to be learned in every shift in the spring. For these young guys, the past few weeks (and potentially, the next few) will go a long way. That should be enough to provide you some solace, at least for an afternoon.
YouTube (the verb form)
For some of you, it just won't be possible to keep that fire at bay throughout the day on Friday. That's fine. The best way to harness that would be to spend the entire day on YouTube watching some great Bruins moments. Here are just a few:
Loosen up … responsibly
Obviously, hockey fans in Boston don't exactly need an instruction manual when it comes to pregame beverages, and when it comes to the potential anxiety levels in a Game 7, a pint or two will definitely take the edge off. But hey, make sure that pint or two doesn't turn into four or 11, or else you could simply get too nasty and might be conked out by the third period and thus miss the celebration.
Realistically, there will be a ton of passionate Bruins fans who won't be able to follow anything on this list. That's where this one comes in.
If you know that you won't be able to sit still, focus at school or work or act like a civilized human being for the entirety of the day on Friday, you'll need to separate yourself from the rest of humanity. It's not a bad thing, we just don't want anyone to get hurt.
What it will all come down to on Friday night for the fans will be belief. Yeah, the Bruins blew a 3-0 lead, but so what? It's winner take all now, and if you don't believe it can happen, then it never will.
Last year, when the Bruins hosted the Hurricanes in Game 7, the capacity crowd of 17,565 chanted "We want it!" in unison. It was a moment that could have even given the chills to Larry King, and we're not even sure how alive that guy is.
That game, of course, didn't end the way the fans wanted, but had the break gone the Bruins' way, it would have been one of the most memorable moments in Boston sports.
So now, it's time to let go of reason and ignore that nagging feeling of doubt inside your head. It's been too long since B's fans have truly rejoiced. You deserve it. Believe.
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