Stanley Cup finals Game 3: Bruins looking for home-ice edge
When the Boston Bruins were at a crossroads in their Stanley Cup playoff journey, left wing Shawn Thornton and right wing Mark Recchi decided to play an unusual version of show-and-tell for their teammates.
Before the Bruins faced the Tampa Bay Lightning in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference championships, Thornton and Recchi pulled out some jewelry that none of their teammates had: their Stanley Cup rings. Recchi won two, with the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins and the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes. Thornton won one, with the Ducks in 2007.
The display served as motivation and a reminder of what was at stake. And it worked: The Bruins won that game and advanced to the Stanley Cup finals, where they hope to record their first win Monday at TD Garden after losing the first two games in Vancouver.
The rugged left winger hasn’t cracked the Bruins' lineup since their second game against Tampa Bay and he wasn’t expected to play Monday. However, he has been available to offer knowledgeable advice about the pressures and joys of playing in the Cup finals.
“Guys ask, before the series started, I guess, more so than now,” he said. “The experience helps if guys want to know, and sometimes guys don’t want to know. If people ask, I’m more than willing to give my take on things. If they don’t, I don’t go looking to chirp in people’s ears. People prepare in different ways. Whatever they feel works for them.”
His advice for Monday’s game? “We have to play better to win.”
Simple, but true.
"Score more and allow less," defenseman Andrew Ference said, saving everyone a few hundred words of cliches.
The Bruins were hoping to draw energy from their hometown crowd.
"If we win tonight, it's a whole different series," winger Michael Ryder said. "We're right back in it."
However, it will take a lot to get to that point, and Coach Claude Julien knows his team can't rely on the crowd alone.
“You want your fans cheering for you, give them reason to cheer,” he said.
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-- Helene Elliott in Boston
Photo: Boston Bruins left wing Mark Recchi scores a goal past Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals. Credit: Andy Clark / Reuters