'Whatever it Takes to Get the Job Done'
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.
"That’s a weird phrase, "Nothing to lose,’" remarked Krug. "We have everything to lose."
This isn't a "go out and there see what happens" situation for the Bruins - this is a "go out there and make something happen" mindset for them.
"You go down swinging. You throw everything on the table," added Krug. "You do whatever it takes to get the job done, and that’s the mentality we have."
"You don’t come this far to lose, right?" said Milan Lucic. "I mean, it would have been easy to quit two months ago in that Game Seven against Toronto when we dug deep to get ourselves through that game."
"There’s no reason why we can’t dig deep and find a little bit extra to get ourselves through this one."
"It just depends on individual performances and small, little details that if you’re showing up for your first hockey game tonight you wouldn’t be able to see," said veteran defenseman Andrew Ference, noting that when every individual in that dressing room holds himself accountable, they collectively give themselves their best chance to win.
"Everybody in the room knows what they have to do, and you hope that’s enough to put you over the edge."
Often, you walk into the locker room following the team's morning skate, listening to their pregame remarks, dissecting their attitude, the way in which they speak, the confidence they have.
At this point, there's nothing more to observe. Both teams know what's at stake, especially the Bruins, and they're ready for the puck to drop.
"We've just got to play our best. Obviously, there’s nothing to say before," said Lucic. "You've got to come out with your best game at moments like this. We’ve been through it before and we know what we have to do in order to be successful. It's going to take our best with this team."
"Everyone has to pull their weight and play at their best. These are the games that you want to be a part of, and be a big part of. You got to look forward to the challenge, embrace it, and have a lot of fun with it."
And there's always been something about this team that brings out their best, when they're faced with the worst.
"Backs against the wall. Do or die. I think it’s something [you] definitely can be nervous if you’re not ready for it but I think we have a team full of experienced guys and guys that are ready to go and we’re excited for the challenge," said Krug.
To go through and chronicle the B's experience in do-or-die situations would take you back to the core of this team since 2008 that has not been pushed out of their run for the Cup without a fight. Game Seven after Game Seven, these Bruins have proved that they will themselves to push forward. Faced with a similar situation tonight, we can expect nothing different.
"I guess they enjoy that challenge," suggested Head Coach Claude Julien, when asked how his team shows their best in situations like this.
"Just when everybody thinks they're down, they love that challenge of proving people wrong. I mean, we've been knocked down so many times for all different reasons, but we're very capable of bouncing back. We know we can."
"At the same time we've got a lot of confidence in each other in that dressing room, from the coaching staff down to the players. There's a lot of trust and confidence, and that's what makes a good team and a good group."
"I like the excitement of our team right now. They're excited to play tonight; they're not afraid of it. They're excited for the challenge."
For the Bruins, it's about channeling that excitement into their play, right from the drop of the puck.
"A night like tonight, you just really want to be focusing on playing on your toes and not sitting back. Any nerves, you’re using that as energy," said Seguin. "We’re in our own barn here and playing for a lot more than ourselves and our teammates, so we definitely want to come out strong."
It will take everything they have - and they're prepared to make that happen. Not just hope it will.
"We’ve been there before. It doesn’t mean, that we’ve been there before, that it’s going to be easy," said David Krejci. "It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be a tough game."
"We’re going to try to do everything we can to get a win and force Game Seven."