Julien: Extra day's rest will make for better Game 2

Julien: Extra day's rest will make for better Game 2
June 13, 2013, 11:30 pm
Share This Post

CHICAGO – The Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks played more than 110 minutes of gruelingly wonderful Stanley Cup Finals hockey on Wednesday night before deciding a winner. So it’s only appropriate that both teams get a chance to take a big gasp of air, exhale for two days and then get right back at it on Saturday night in Game 2 of the Finals at the United Center.

There was plenty of hydration talk at the B’s meeting with the media Thursday afternoon at their team hotel along the shores of Lake Michigan, and some pretty weary-looking players were just looking to get their rest. But they were also keenly aware that it will be back to practice per usual on Friday, and then primed and ready for another intense, high quality hockey game this weekend.

“Honestly, you feel that stuff more when you’re just lying there in bed. Once you get into the get, you get a rhythm and it’s not that bad,” said Andrew Ference. “You can convince yourself that you’re more tired than you are, but at the end of the day your body has a lot to give. Talking to most of the guys it isn’t an issue as far as feeling slow or weak, or anything like that. We just need to keep it going.”

The handful of B’s players said they would have been ready to play on Friday night if had been the next scheduled game in Chicago, and Ference did log 45:19 of ice time as a hockey player on the wrong side of 30. It’s pretty clear that players such Zdeno Chara (45:05) and Dennis Seidenberg (48:36) weren’t going to argue with a couple of days off, and the 6-foot-9 B’s captain is now officially over the 30 minute mark in average ice time per playoff game.

So, Claude Julien wasn’t going to argue with giving an extra day of rest to some of his most heavily used war horses.

“When you play two games in one night, it's probably a blessing in disguise that we have two days between because, number one, it's going to make for a better Game 2,” said Julien. “I think if anybody who is a hockey fan watched last night's game, they have to be happy with the showing. It was a hard-fought game. It could have gone either way. That's what the Stanley Cup Finals should be all about.”

So both sides will get back to a semi-regular work day on Friday, and then try to produce another instant classic like the triple-overtime beauty that entertained everybody in an all-that-one-could-hope-for Game 1.