Haggerty: Bruins believe going into Game 6

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Haggerty: Bruins believe going into Game 6

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON Tyler Seguin tweeted out a single word after last weekends frustrating 1-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks in Game 5. It was a one word reaction to the game that placed the Bruins right on the brink of elimination in the Stanley Cup Final.

He tweeted whats become the mantra for the Bruins from the time they fell down 0-2 to the Montreal Canadiens in the first round: Believe.

Seguin didnt have a premonition of any kind. The puck prodigy is certainly no slap-shooting soothsayer, but he was still moved to repeat the motto thats pushed Boston all the way to within sniffing distance of the Cup.

I dont know. Its a do-or-die coming back home and I know a lot of fans follow me on twitter, said Seguin. I thought that was the right thing. Thats been the message word around this town with the B in Boston Bruins and the believe. I was in that mood for whatever it was, and Im still in that mood now.

Since choking away a 3-0 lead against the Flyers last spring, the Bruins have picked up a bandwagon full of believers and Johnny-Boychuk-come-lately type followers ready to experience their first Stanley Cup championship. For many, it would be their closest link to the hockey nirvana that invaded Boston with Bobby Orr in the golden age of the 1970s.

The Bruins face a difficult road littered with challenges, to be sure, but they sit only two wins away from getting their names etched on Lord Stanleys hockey hardware forever.

Despite their backs being against the wall, there wasnt a lot of stress or strain in the Bruins' dressing room leading up to Monday nights Game 6. In fact, Tim Thomas was so loose, he walked up to the podium for his press conference and was playful with the media. Smiling, he asked if anybody else could smell "popcorn cooking."

It seems that a 37-year-old fretting about his brush with hockey immortality wouldnt be ready with the jokes at the microphone. But then again, Thomas isnt even close to your garden variety hockey player.

Likewise, Patrice Bergeron sees what are essentially two Game 7s in a unique light. He does not look at Game 6 (or a potential Game 7) as a pressure-packed threat. For him it's an opportunity. An opportunity to add to his already stacked trophy case with Olympic and World Junior gold medals.

This chance to win a Stanley Cup is a childhood dream and you have to enjoy the moment, said Bergeron, who has three assists and a plus-1 along with 17 shots on net in five finals games. Its a great challenge. But its something we can do. Tomorrow its up to us in front of our fans to take all that energy and emotion thats going to be in the building and carry that out on the ice.

There really is nothing to lose at home for the Black and Gold in this series after punishing the Canucks in Boston to the tune of a 12-1 combined score. They played so well at home in Game 4 that they chased Roberto Luongo with all kinds of pressure and body traffic in front of the net.

Third periods on the road have been a struggle for the Bruins, but before they worry about that, they know they need to take care of business at home in a make-or-break situation -- the kind of situation thats brought out the best in Boston all season long.

I look at our resolve that was there during the season and different times when we have to come up large whether its Game 7 in the playoffs or sometime during the season when we needed certain wins, said Claude Julien. Our guys have always responded well and I have a lot of confidence in our team. The reason were here is because those guys have delivered. I dont expect that to change.

Its quite a story that the Bruins have come so far in people's eyes that they are expected to dominate Game 6 and get to Game 7 in Vancouver where absolutely anything can happen.

They've proven that the B on their sweaters stands for more than "Boston" or "Bruins," now its up to them to make it happen.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

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Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

CHICAGO – The Bruins finished up their 2017 NHL Draft class with a bit of a project, but a 6-foot-5 defenseman with some great skating wheels is a pretty good way to go with a seventh round pick. The B’s nabbed Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Daniel Bukac with the 204th pick in the draft, and admitted afterward that he’s an ultra-big bodied player that could take some time in the development process.

Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley said Boston is more than happy to be patient with Bukac given the tools that he’s working with as an 18-year-old prospect. Bukac had two goals and 17 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes in his first season in North America after coming over from the Czech Republic, and Bradley said that B’s scouts noted that he continued to improve and get comfortable as the season wore on.

"He's raw. He's a project. [He’s a] kid from the Czech Republic that played in the Western Hockey League,” said Bradley. “At the start of the year - he's come leaps and bounds with his development. Talking to the people - the coaches, the management, and the GM in Brandon, they're very excited about him coming back to Brandon. They're expecting big things from him. We look forward to seeing him in camp."

Bukac is starting to garner some good international experience after playing for the Czechs in the Under-18’s and the Ivan Hinkla Tournament, but this weekend it was all about his addition to the talented group of Bruins prospects in the hockey world.

"I'm so excited to be drafted by the Boston Bruins," said Bukac, who described himself as a solid two-way defenseman with a good first pass. "It's an awesome feeling. I'm so glad that I was drafted by Boston."

Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

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Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

CHICAGO – While the Bruins went strong two-way defenseman early in the 2017 NHL Draft, they took a shot at a more offensive-minded Swedish defenseman late with seventh-round pick of Victor Berglund.

The six-foot, 165-pound Berglund clearly has a way to go in physical development and will need to get much bigger and stronger before he’s potentially ready for the North American pro ranks, but B’s assistant GM Scott Bradley raved about the Swedish defenseman’s skill set and potential. He also noted that Boston’s entire European scouting contingent, including former B’s forward PJ Axelsson, were fully on board with taking a flier on a talented player that simply needs to develop in the Swedish hockey system.

“Our Swedish guys were on top of Berglund. They think he’s a mobile D, he’s ultra-skilled and he skates well. He’s a six-footer, but [PJ Axelsson, Svenake Svensson and Victor Nybladh] were all pounding the table for him,” said Bradley. “We went along with it and I think we might have something there. Talking to his strength coach after the fact he’s working on putting some muscle and weight on, so we look forward to seeing him at development camp.”

In 62 games at three different levels, Berglund posted five goals and 18 points last season and displayed the kind of speed, creativity and play-making that one needs from their defensemen in today’s NHL.

"I'm an offensive defenseman, who likes to play with the puck, with a great short pass," said Berglund. "I like to follow the rush up ice and want the puck."

It will be a matter of building size and strength and for Berglund to continue developing his game in Sweden for the time being, but the Bruins are certainly happy with him at the 195th pick in Saturday’s second day of the draft.