The Bruins are in an unenviable position. Sure, they’re going home to play in front of their hometown fans, but they still have their work cut out for them.
The B’s are headed back to Boston for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, and the Cup will be in the building. It will be the Blackhawks, though, not the Bruins, who have the chance to hoist the Cup in front of Boston fans on Monday night.
That’s because the B’s lost a frustrating Game 5 on Saturday night in Chicago, meaning the Hawks can win the Cup as early as Monday night in Game 6. Even if the Bruins can force a Game 7, they’ll still have to go back to Chicago to beat the Blackhawks in a potential Game 7.
The Bruins aren’t strangers to playing for their lives. They went to Game 7 in the first round — and fell behind by three goals in the third period — before winning the series. They also faced the same exact situation in 2011 when they lost Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver before returning home to win Game 6 and then Game 7 back in Vancouver.
So they have that going for them. However, Chicago is better than Vancouver, and they’re much better than Toronto. Just as daunting, is the fact that Boston could be without its best all around player — Patrice Bergeron — for the rest of the series. It’s too early to say for sure if that’s the case, but Bergeron did leave Game 5 with some sort of injury and eventually had to be taken to the hospital for further evaluation.
But with their backs against the wall, the Bruins aren’t planning on going away without a fight.
“It’s a must-win,” goalie Tuukka Rask said. “The season’s on the line. We just have to play a solid game. I guarantee it’s not going to be because of our effort if we lose. We’re going to throw everything on the table and see where it takes us.
That’s the mindset the Bruins must take and will take. They can’t win both Games 6 and 7 by winning Monday night. However, they can make things very interesting by bouncing back with a win.
“Well, it’s pretty obvious,” Boston coach Claude Julien stated following Game 5. “It’s do or die. We’ve been there before, and we’ve done it that situation. So we’ve got to, again, win the next game.
“Right now our goal is to create a Game 7, and to create a Game 7, you’ve got to win Game 6. So that’s our approach to it. We’ve been good at home, and we need to be good at home obviously next game. It’s as simple as that. Again, there is no panic. You’re not going to push us away that easily. We’re a committed group, and we plan on bouncing back.”
At this point, where the situation seems fairly grim, the Bruins don’t have any other choice.