BOSTON -- The Bruins are up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, and should be starting to almost crave the taste the Stanley Cup toasts while holding all the momentum in the Finals against the Blackhawks.
But they’re also an experienced group. They know that holding the Blackhawks offense down for 122 plus straight scoreless minutes and dominating them physically is nice, but it isn’t nearly the same thing as collecting the necessary four wins to hoist the Cup.
The Black and Gold have been putting the pedal to the metal in the first three games of the series, and B’s coach Claude Julien doesn’t plan on doing anything differently knowing there are two off days between Game 4 and Game 5 back at the raucous United Center in Chicago.
“You don't get a second chance at trying to win the game you're playing that night," Julien said. "You got to do whatever you have to do. Even if we were playing every second night, if you need to shorten your bench, you do it. If you need to play certain players, move them around, you do that. I don't think those two days are going to change anything in our philosophy of having to win tonight.
“Our focus is going to be on what we need to do tonight, not what is going to happen in the next two days, resting them, playing them more because we got two days for them to rest. It's about winning and finding the right recipe.”
The Bruins have probably also learned that the team that takes a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-seven Cup Finals has gone on to win the Cup 83 percent of the time since 1939, with 39 Cup wins in 47 chances. But the B’s were also one of the 17 percent-ers when they came back from a 2-1 deficit to vanquish the Vancouver Canucks two years ago, and triumphed in a seventh game on enemy turf in British Columbia.
So the Bruins know to expect the biggest punch that the Blackhawks are capable of throwing in Game 4, and they will empty the entire tank to withstand Chicago’s desperate efforts.