The veteran core of the Boston Bruins has been there and done that.
Five members of the Bruins — Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask — were part of Boston’s two most recent trips to the Stanley Cup Final. The run in 2011 ended in championship glory, while the march two years later concluded in heartbreak on home ice.
Bruce Cassidy believes these experiences of his veteran players have paid dividends throughout the Bruins’ current go-round in the playoffs, which have seen the Black and Gold stave off elimination in Game 6 on two occasions: against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round and Sunday night against the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Final.
“(The) leadership group’s been there; they’ve been in a Game 7 before, in the Stanley Cup Final,” the Bruins coach said Monday, per NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin. “They’ve lived it. We’ve been in Game 7 at home against Toronto this (season). Stanley Cup’s not at stake, but if you don’t win (that game), you have no chance at (the Cup).”
Cassidy continued: “To me, it matters a lot because I haven’t been through it in a Stanley Cup Final. So the core from Vancouver and the core from Chicago, for that matter, 2013, they didn’t want to go through that again last night. It showed. The guys that stepped up, Tuukka being one of them, (Marchand), they’ve been through it. So I think it matters a lot in our room.”
Boston’s veteran leaders have led by example all spring, highlighted by Rask’s stellar play in net and Chara battling through a brutal injury. The B’s will need this trend to continue more than ever Wednesday night when they battle the Blues for all the marbles at TD Garden.
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