‘May the Best Team Win’: Bruins Say They’re Ready for Game 7
The Boston Bruins returned home Monday after beating the St. Louis Blues on Sunday to force a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final.
The team flew into Hanscom Field shortly after 1 p.m. Head coach Bruce Cassidy and select players spoke after they landed.
"I'm excited, obviously," Cassidy said. "The whole hockey world is. Stanley Cup Final Game 7 -- looking forward to it. May the best team win."
Game 7 is scheduled for Wednesday night at 8 at the TD Garden. Boston is hosting Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.
Cassidy said the Bruins will try to stick to their playoff routine, taking Monday off and practicing Tuesday.
"We'll be ready to go," he said.
Cassidy said rookie center Karson Kuhlman will be back in the lineup after scoring a goal in Game 6. The only other change, he said, would be if injured defenseman Matt Grzelcyk is cleared to play.
"If he is, we'll have a decision to make on the back end," he said.
Cassidy said he expects the TD Garden to be raucous on Wednesday night.
"I would expect it'll be loud in Boston. It's part of the beauty and the reward of playing this time of year. It's a great environment."
For their part, the players said they'll be ready.
"You dream about it. There's nothing bigger. I can't wait," left winger Marcus Johansson said.
"Obviously that's a childhood dream of anybody who plays hockey," Kuhlman added.
The Bruins beat the Blues 5-1 on Sunday night to even the bruising, physical final at three games apiece.
David Pastrnak had one of Boston's four goals in the third period and an assist, helping the Bruins force the 17th Game 7 in Stanley Cup history. Kuhlman, Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara also scored.
"We're fighting for our lives obviously," Marchand said. "When you play desperate, I think you see everyone's best game."
Boston also was involved in the final's last Game 7, winning the championship at Vancouver in 2011. Tuukka Rask was a reserve goaltender on that team eight years ago, while Marchand was a key performer. They will go for another championship Wednesday night in Boston after losing to Chicago in the 2013 final.
Fans say they will be rooting hard for the B's when they take the ice on Wednesday.
"It's wild," Bruins fan Phil Wettengel said. "I mean the whole team is really coming around I think now, so hopefully we'll get a win here. I think we have some pretty good odds here."
"I am excited that it's back in Boston and one more," added Matt Desilets.
"I thought it was amazing," Emily Pettigrew said of Sunday's game. "I think that they deserve to be in Game 7 for sure and I'm excited that it's at the Garden."