BEDFORD The Bruins are standing on the crest of another Game 7 situation after battling through three rounds of playoffs, and the stakes are certainly high enough.
While it doesnt appear the future employment of Bs coach Claude Julien hangs in the balance of positive results from the conference finals, the legacies of elite Bruins players like Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas certainly do.
Will they be very good players that spent their time admirably in Bruins uniforms with All-Star berths and individual hockey hardware, or will these players go down as members of the best Bruins team in more than 20 years?
If somebody was going to tell us that we were going to be -- before the playoffs or before the season -- one win away from the Finals, for sure we would be all excited, said Chara. So we have to take it that way. We have to embrace it, be excited, and have fun at the same time.
Nobody from the 1990 edition of the Boston Bruins thought it would be the last time most of them made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. They had young players who expected to be back every year, like current Bruins president Cam Neely. Their inability to get back to the Finals simply reinforces the importance that the current crop of Bs seize the moment in front of them.
Joe Haggerty hands out his superlatives following the Bruins preseason loss to the Detroit Red Wings
Click here to view the gallery
BRIGHTON, Mass – It was absolutely an “uh-oh” moment for Matt Beleskey when he was hit on the foot with a shot Monday night in the Bruins' preseason opener against the Canadiens. Beleskey, 29, was just hoping that his foot wasn’t broken in what would have been another shot of bad luck coming off a tough season for the hard-nosed winger, so his hopes have been answered given his presence in the lineup for the preseason game Saturday night vs. the Detroit Red Wings.
Beleskey missed the past two preseason games and most of the practice time as well but returned to the ice on Friday before getting ready for tonight's game. With plenty to prove while coming off a down second season in Boston, Beleskey knows he needs a strong camp that can’t get derailed by injuries or assorted bumps and bruises.
“I definitely did not want a broken foot to start the year, so I’m glad that I was fine,” said Beleskey, who finished with three goals and eight points along with a minus-10 in 49 games last season. “I took a puck in the face during warm-ups and the shot to the foot in the third, so that’s quite a good start to the year. But hopefully, I’ve got those out of the way now.
“I felt really good in the last game. It was great to see some of the work I did in the summertime paying off, so now we build on that [against Detroit] and keep things moving. There are a lot of great players here [in camp] and there’s great competition. I’m just here to play my game and prove myself, and I’ve got all the confidence in the world I can do that.”
Now that he’s been given a full bill of health again, Beleskey will get just that chance skating with Sean Kuraly and Ryan Fitzgerald on Saturday night in Hockeytown amid a deeply competitive situation for Boston’s third line. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for the Bruins against the Red Wings in Boston’s fourth game of the preseason: