The Bruins won't have the 17,565 Black and Gold faithful on Wednesday night when they take to the ice at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. Instead, it should be 19,519 fans forming a raucous sea of orange that will try to form a tidal wave of momentum behind their beloved Flyers, who trail 2-0 in this Eastern Conference semifinals series.
"This place will be rocking, that's for sure," said Flyers captain Mike Richards. "I love playing for these fans here in Philly because they bring their best and we need to do the same."
The Bruins are 5-0 at the TD Garden this postseason but just 1-2 on the road. Yet under Claude Julien's watch, they have been a solid road team, going 21-13-7 this past season. One reason for the road success has been Julien's systems and the ability to stick within them, despite different nuances on the road.
"Obviously for a rookie like me, that makes it a lot easier," defenseman Adam McQuaid said of sticking to the game plan. "I mean, you stick to your job and don't let little things — like shift changes or crowd noise — that you don't control bother you."
Crowd noise can often rattle a rookie like McQuaid or even a seasoned veteran if the game starts to swing in favor of the home team, but Julien noted that the Bruins have had the pleasure of playing in what many consider to be the loudest and most intense arena in the NHL at least three times a season. They've also made trips there the last two springs. Basically, if a team can overcome the deafening passion of the Bell Centre in Montreal, any other arena is a cakewalk.
"You know, I think that was the most nervous I've ever been," McQuaid said of his first game at the Bell Centre. "I mean that place is just nonstop noise and the fans are so smart and passionate. But after that, I think I've learned to adjust and feed off the energy, even if it's directed at you in a negative way."
Center Marc Savard also referenced the fact that the Bell Centre's has made the Bruins a battle-tested squad.
"You know, we were in this situation last season [in the quarterfinals] up 2-0 heading into Game 3 at Montreal and the Bell Centre, and we just came out hard and quieted the crowd," Savard said. "That's what we need to do [on Wednesday]: Just come at them, not wait for their best shot."
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