The Stanley Cup Final stage is just about set as the Boston Bruins await the winner of the Western Conference Final between the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks.
Although Boston doesn’t know its opponent, it does know when the quest to bring Lord Stanley back home will begin, which is May 27 at TD Garden.
The Bruins swept the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final and now will have a long layoff until they hit the ice again, something the team did not have throughout the playoffs.
And even though the extra rest hasn’t worked out well for other teams throughout the playoffs, B’s general manager Don Sweeney thinks it will be “beneficial” in the “short term.”
“I think in the short term it’s really beneficial for our group,” he said, via a team provided transcript. “The players themselves, seven-game series, six-game series – we were fortunate to close out quickly against Carolina. But we’ve been peddle to the metal here mentally and physically for a while. I do believe in the short term it will help us a lot. Then it’s incumbent upon us to simulate the best we can with what’s going to be required going forward. We’re gonna tap into some outside resources that have gone through some layoffs and some situations, just try and do the best we can to simulate.”
Boston went the distance against the Toronto Maple Leafs before ending the Columbus Blue Jackets’ season in six games, so its jump from one series to the next has been rather quick.
But is there anything in particular he thinks the Black and Gold should focus on to remain sharp for the Cup Final?
“I’d have to go back and look, but I think Tuukka (Rask) missed, when he was concussed, I think he missed quite a bit of time then came back and played well,” Sweeney said. “He’s in a really good place, a really good place mentally and physically and his routines. He’s gone out game days. In the past, he hasn’t. He’s gone out for specific reasons. I think he’ll continue to do the things. It’s just the game, to get into the flow of the game and speed of the game you can’t every simulate, so there will be challenges, certainly. Tuukka’s in a really good place, and I expect him to return there.”
The Bruins have plenty of time to regroup and figure out how to keep everyone hockey ready in order to bring their best hockey in order to win their second Stanley Cup since 2011.