Bruins fans get their Game 7, and likely the Cup
The fans may get that Cup after all.
You can just hear the chant already, can’t you? Hungry Boston Bruins fans on Wednesday night chanting throughout Game 7, “We want the Cup”, the chant they’ve had throughout the playoffs.
It’s the Stanley Cup the fans of St. Louis, and even the St. Louis media, etc. were so sure they were going to win, newspaper headlines, letters, parade plans, etc. were inadvertently leaked out.
Oops. It’s back to Boston. That’s where the Cup will ultimately be won.
And right now, it’s clear the better team is the Bruins, if they do one thing, the one thing that a few of them said in post-game interviews after Sunday’s 5-1 Game 6 win.
“Play our game,” the suddenly alive Brad Marchand said.
And that’s the skill game. It’s been an interesting series, basically the skill of the Bruins vs. the brawn of the Blues.
The Blues lost their composure with a couple of bad penalties early, and Marchand made them pay with a power play goal. And when the Bruins score first in this series – with a Game 2 exception – they usually win.
Say what you will about blown calls, all the controversy, but Sunday night it was all about hockey. All about skating. And all about goaltending. There’s no doubt that if the Bruins do what many expect they will and win the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night, Tuukka Rask (28 saves Sunday) will win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the series MVP. He schooled St. Louis netminder Jordan Biddington a bit on Sunday night, and expect him to do more of the same come Wednesday.
“We knew that he was going to be there,” Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy told the NHL Network after the game. “He’s our rock. He has been all postseason long, he’s our best player. We had all the faith in the world in him, and he showed up and did his job.”
Some feel this is the best Rask has ever played.
“He’s playing phenomenal hockey right now,” Marchand told NBC’s Pierre McGuire. “That’s what we need each and every game. He’s given us an opportunity to win. We’ve got one more game here, and hopefully he does that again.”
This thing seems over, doesn’t it? It didn’t seem that way for the Bruins coming into Game 6, unless the Blues got off to a fast start. Boston is clearly the better team, and the Blues are going to have to resort back to their physical, take-no-prisoner ways if they want to beat the Bruins in what will be a very loud TD Garden.
There are so many images of this Cup Final,which means it’s been a good one. But the images of the dejected Blues and their fans on Sunday night is the favorite one for the Bruins fans so far.
And thus we hit Game 7, the first one in a Stanley Cup Final since, well, since the Bruins turned Vancouver into a riot-filled city back on a June Wednesday night in 2011. This will be the first ever Game 7 in Boston in the 95 year history of the Bruins franchise. Sunday night the Blues were poised to win the first Cup in their 52 year history, the longest wait any NHL franchise has ever had for its first title.
We say they will still be waiting after Wednesday night. If the Bruins score first, it’s over. It may be over anyway, because St. Louis let a golden opportunity slip through its Gateway Arch, even though after the game Blues coach Craig Berube tried to spin it his team’s way.
“If you had told me four months ago we’d be in the Finals in Game 7, I think I’d take it,” he said in the post game press conference. “We’ve been a good road team, we’ve won twice up there in this series, we’re a confident group.”
Not buying it. We said Bruins in six before it started, and now we just simply change it to Bruins in seven.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK, or email@example.com