BostonBruins.com - Throughout the Stanley Cup Final, Bruins' defenseman Adam McQuaid shared his journey through a player blog on NHL.com.
From the roller coaster of the season, to his time growing up in PEI, to his father's influence, to the experience of having rookie Dougie Hamilton living with him this year, McQuaid let fans into many aspects of his life, both on and off the ice.
Following the Bruins' heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, McQuaid's final blog entry talks about the difficulty of taking in the defeat that saw Chicago hoist the Cup on their home ice, after scoring two quick strikes within 17-seconds in the final 1:16 of regulation to secure the victory.
He also addresses the inspiration that Patrice Bergeron provided the team, battling through his injuries, with his team on the brink of elimination.
BOSTON, MA - In the Stanley Cup Final, hockey players play hurt. It's a fact. A handful of the athletes - maybe - are feeling 100 percent, and they're usually the healthy scratches sitting up top.
So when Patrice Bergeron suffered a broken rib and torn cartilage in Game 5, and a separated shoulder in Game 6, trying to push his Bruins to the brink and force a seventh back in Chicago, he battled through it.
But for No. 37 and the Black & Gold, the battled ended late Monday night, in a heartbreaking finish. As the clock ticked down, with the B's leading 2-1 in the final 1:30 of regulation, Game 7 was in their sights.
Just over 30 seconds later, it was taken away from them in a flash. A final push from the Hawks and some help from the hockey gods, and Chicago had two goals within 17 seconds. They won 3-2 to claim their franchise's fifth Stanley Cup. The Garden crowd was stunned; Bergeron and the Bruins were stung.
BOSTON, MA - For the Bruins, it has come down to one game. And winning is the only option.
Anytime a team's season in on the line, you can take a look back at their journey to get to this moment. The ups and downs, wins and losses, everything it took to get them to this point.
With a must-win Game Six on tap tonight at TD Garden against the Blackhawks, the Bruins now sit one win away from their final shot at the Stanley Cup, and one loss away from the ultimate disappoint. But, there is not one ounce of focus on the latter for Boston.
A popular phrase for the desperate team facing elimination in the playoffs is that they have "nothing to lose."
But defenseman Torey Krug wasn't buying it this morning, as he spoke to media following the team's pregame skate.
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins are faced with a do-or-die situation at TD Garden tonight, when they host the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final. And fortunately, they'll likely have the heart and soul of the spoked-B in their lineup.
"Patrice will dress for warm-up tonight, and I'm feeling confident that he'll play," said B's Head Coach Claude Julien following the team's morning skate, that Bergeron did not take part in.
"He's been the glue for this hockey club for a long time," said veteran center Chris Kelly, of Bergeron, but later went on to talk about every player in their dressing room needing to step up.
"Every guy here needs to come out and have their best game, regardless of who's playing."
If Bergeron can't go, Carl Soderberg will likely take the alternate captain's spot centering Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr, as he did during pregame skate. Soderberg also filled in there Saturday night when Bergeron couldn't finish the game. Coach Julien has talked about how impressed he was with his play coming into game action after two months. I would expect that same confidence tonight.
BOSTON, MA - Throughout the postseason, the Bruins' mindset - win or lose - has always been to focus on just one game, the task at hand. They didn't look back, and didn't look ahead to what might be.
Right now, more than ever for the Black & Gold, it's about one game, Game Six, Monday night at TD Garden, to decide whether they'll get on a plane to Chicago for Game Seven and a shot at the Stanley Cup, or they'll stay grounded in Boston.
But even that's looking too far ahead at this point.
Right now, more than ever, it's about playing desperate hockey. And the Bruins are in that right state of mind.
"I think our guys have been through enough that they're fine," B's Head Coach Claude Julien told media Sunday afternoon at TD Garden, after he and his team had flown back from Chicago, following Saturday night's 3-1 loss that has pushed them to the brink.
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins flew back to Boston Sunday in preparation for a do-or-die Game Six Monday night at TD Garden - and Patrice Bergeron was with the team.
According to B's Head Coach Claude Julien, the alternate captain is "day-to-day," meaning he could be a possibility to play Monday night against Chicago.
"Day-to-day is really good news to me, anyways," said Julien, before gesturing to media spanned out in front of him during his off-day press conference. "Should be to you guys."
After only playing two short shifts in the second period of Saturday night's Game 5, 3-1 loss to the Hawks, Bergeron did not play for the rest of the game Saturday night and was transported to a local hospital for observation. He was discharged that night, before flying with his teammates. Specifics of the injury are respectfully staying under wraps.
BostonBruins.com - The Bruins scored two goals on five power-plays in Game Four of the Stanley Cup Final, against what has been the league-leading penalty kill by the Chicago Blackhawks for much of the postseason and still sits at 90.3-percent.
The Black & Gold couldn't capitalize by earning the win in overtime and let in an uncharacteristic shorthanded goal against, but, the production from the B's man-advantage is something of note as the series becomes a best-of-three beginning tonight in Chicago with Game Five.
Boston's power play is now at 18.6 percent, having converted on 20 of 59 opportunities through 20 games this postseason. On the road, that increases to 20.8 percent (9-for-24).
A breakdown of the series so far shows the Bruins 1-for-3 on the power play in Game 1, 0-for-2 in Game 2, 1-for-4 in Game 3 and 2-for-5 in Game 4.
He, of course, had sent the perfect feed over to Paille for the tally.
Seguin was happy the team had found a way to win - and happy he could find a way to contribute.
Following the game, Paille had said his new linemate was "on a mission." Seguin followed up with another assist on Paille's second straight winner in a 2-0 shutout of Chicago in Game 3.
"I think right now I am just trying to work harder every day and just keep pushing for wins and do what I can," said Seguin, who felt like despite not scoring, he was helping out his team push towards their goal.
BOSTON, MA - The night didn't start off the way the Bruins wanted it to - and it didn't end the way they wanted it to, either.
It started with Chicago's shorthanded goal just 6:48 into the first period, and 10 goals later, it finished with Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook ripping a shot into the back of the net 9:51 into overtime to lift his team to a 6-5 win. The Stanley Cup Final now becomes a best-of-three, knotted at two games apiece heading back to Chicago for Game 5.
The Bruins twice overcame two-goal deficits, but it wasn't enough.
"It’s a rollercoaster a little bit, I guess," said defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, on playing through that type of game. "You want to try to stay even-keeled, but it’s tough when there’s so many ups and downs. We’re back, we’re trailing by two, we’re even, we tied it up, and then we gave one up again, so it’s a lot of mixed emotions."
BostonBruins.com - Towards the end of the Bruins' pregame skate Wednesday morning, Daniel Paille made his way into the middle of the spoked-B to lead the center-ice stretch for the second straight game day.
On Monday night, he had scored his second straight game-winner in the Stanley Cup Final. It gave the Bruins a 2-1 series lead over the Blackhawks.
"I mean, I guess we found out the problem, me and Thorty [Shawn Thornton] have been holding him back the last two years," joked Gregory Campbell Tuesday afternoon, speaking with media for the first time since undergoing successful surgery to start recovery for his broken leg.
Paille, his usual Merlot Line left wing, with Thornton on his right, has four goals and four assists this postseason, with three of those points coming in the Stanley Cup Final against Chicago.