Bruins’ resiliency faces biggest challenge in Game 3
By Tim Rosenthal
BOSTON — It’s no secret that the Bruins have been a resilient hockey team this postseason.
Trailing two games to none against the Montreal Canadiens, the Bruins stole two games at the Bell Centre and eventually took the series in seven games. And in two instances against the Tampa Lightning, the Bruins bounced back after a tough defeat in Game 4 (one where they blew a 3-0 first period lead) and in Game 6 before advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals.
But after Canucks forward Alex Burrows put the Bruins in another 0-2 hole with his game-winner 11 seconds into overtime Saturday night, it’s no secret that the Bruins will need that resilient effort again as the series shifts to the TD Garden tomorrow night for Game 3.
“We have to regroup,” said forward Milan Lucic who scored exactly nine minutes into the second period to tie things up at 1-1 on Saturday. “We’re going home and we’ve got to seize the moment.”
Perhaps some good old home cooking is something the Bruins need to get going.
After dropping the first two games against the Habs at the friendly confines, the Bruins have provided their faithful with some entertaining contests, winning seven of their last eight with an overall mark of 7-3 in front of the 17,565 capacity at the Garden. On the other hand, the Canucks have been a solid bunch on the road, going 5-3 in the 2011 playoffs.
They were able to battle through adversity against the Habs and Bolts. But at this stage — and against the best team in the league — coming back from a 0-2 hole for just the second time in their playoff history might be too much to ask for from the Black and Gold.
But just because they are trailing two games to none in the Cup Finals, doesn’t mean the Bruins should, nor will, be hanging their heads in defeat as head coach Claude Julien alluded to after Saturday’s loss.
“I don’t think there’s any reason here not to be positive,” he said. “You don’t get this far and all of the sudden hang your head. They had home ice advantage and took the first two games and now we have to go back and do the same.”
Perhaps things would have been looked at a little differently had the Bruins A) stole at least one victory in Vancouver and B) they hadn’t lost two heartbreaking contests in a row.
But as devastating as the first two losses have been there is still a bit of hope left. The Canucks are the best team in the league, but the Bruins have been through this before and hope to turn the page again in Game 3.
“We can’t let that [the first two losses] affect us,” said forward Patrice Bergeron. “That’s [the result] is the way it is and we can’t let it get to us. Tonight is going to be a big night for us to get some good rest and by tomorrow there’s no excuse.”
The Black and Gold will have the support of their fans, who have waited 21 years for an opportunity to watch a game in the Stanley Cup finals.
“I expect it [the Bruins’ crowd] to be the loudest I’ve ever heard it here in Boston,” Lucic said. “They’ve waited a long time for the Stanley Cup Finals back here in Boston. I know they are excited and we’re excited to play in front of them and we’re excited for this opportunity to play in our home building and get ourselves back in the series.”
This post also appeared on Inside Hockey