CHICAGO – If somebody had told the Bruins, whether they were playing in far off European locales or simply reporting to a local informal skate every day, that they’d be one of the final two teams standing at the end of the regular season, they’d be more than overjoyed.
If that very same somebody told the Black and Gold tribe members that they’d be in a situation to win two of three games for the Stanley Cup, they’d be confident about their chances. Some marveled at the steely, cool confidence of the Bruins following a triple overtime loss in Game 1 in a situation that certainly could have taken on greater meaning given the grand Stanley Cup Final stage and the unique circumstances of the game.
But the Bruins have been down all these roads before and didn’t blink when they finally fell in triple overtime, and they’re not expecting anything different after allowing a playoff-high six goals to the Blackhawks in a Game 4 overtime loss.
Panic is not in the vocabulary of the Boston Bruins, and it certainly wouldn’t be in a series that’s tied at 2-2 with three games to be played for the Cup.
“I think we've been a fairly calm team the whole way through [the playoffs]. We've had our ups and downs. Are we disappointed when we struggle? Absolutely, but I don't think there's ever been a panic where we're concerned,” said Julien. “That's not to say when it was 4-1 in Game 7, we didn't start thinking, ‘uh-oh.’ You're looking at the clock and you're running out of time.
“But there was no panic in that we've got to do something here and try to keep the guys calm on the bench and focus on that next goal. Once they got that second goal, you could see the guys just kind of taking over and saying ‘Hey, listen, we've got time here, let's get it done.’ It's a combination of a lot of things, but panic isn't something that our team does.”
The Bruins may win Game 5 on Saturday night and get a chance to close things out at home, and they may make it hard on themselves if they can’t win a second straight game at the United Center.
The statistics say that winning or losing a Game 5 doesn’t make anything a lock. Teams have split the first four games of the Stanley Cup Final 22 times since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939. The hockey team that wins Game 5 has captured the Stanley Cup 15 times (68.2%) in that span.
However, the team losing Game 5 has rebounded to win the series on four of the past six occasions (all since 2001) including Boston bouncing back from a loss in Vancouver to win the final two games of the series in memorable fashion.
That experience is a big part of the reason nobody will see the Bruins players sweat no matter what happens in a sure to be hard-fought Game 5 at the Madhouse on Madison.