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

May 1, 2016: With NHL draft order set, time to deal?

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May 1, 2016: With NHL draft order set, time to deal?

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after thinking Barack Obama gave Jeffrey Ross a run for his money as the Roast-master In Chief at last night’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

*The man behind the music at American Airlines Arena for the Dallas Stars’ games comes into the spotlight for a story.

 

*Don Cherry sings the praises of Joel Ward, wears a Toronto Marlies suit and said “it was time to go” for Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim.

 

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Penguins coach Mike Sullivan taking major issue with the head shot Brooks Orpik laid on Olli Maatta.

 

*The Maple Leafs secure the No. 1 overall pick in last night’s NHL Draft lottery, which will no doubt lead them to Auston Matthews.

 

*Now that the Edmonton Oilers have the No. 4 pick, Peter Chiarelli is open to trade options for those teams wanting to move up.

 

*Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is once again thriving in Ontario just a year after a major health scare.

 

*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz on the unique journey for Brent Burns that culminated in his Norris Trophy finalist honor this week.

 

*Spector has the roundup of rumors including plenty of speculation on Kevin Shattenkirk once the Blues are done in the playoffs.

 

*For something completely different: a couple of reporters actually got into an actual fight at the White House Correspondent’s after-party. It sounds like they both kind of deserved a punch in the face, to be honest.

Eriksson named Lady Byng finalist for second time

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Eriksson named Lady Byng finalist for second time

Patrice Bergeron will have some Bruins company at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas at the end of the month of June.

Loui Eriksson was named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy on Saturday afternoon along with Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar and Florida Panthers pivot Aleksander Barkov. It’s the second time in his career that Eriksson will be named a finalist for the award given annually "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."

The Swedish winger finished his best season in a Bruins uniform with 30 goals (third on team) and 33 assists for the second most points (63) on the team along with 12 total penalty minutes through 82 games played. Eriksson was excited to once again be a finalist for the award, and to be lumped in with a couple of the NHL’s best players in Kopitar and Barkov.

“It is a great honor to be considered for the Lady Byng Trophy, an award that has been won by some of the best players of all time,” said Eriksson, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 after three seasons in Boston. “There are many deserving candidates so to be named one of the finalists with Anze Kopitar and Aleksander Barkov is very exciting for me. Thank you to my teammates and the coaching staff and I appreciate all those who voted.”

The last Bruin to win the Lady Byng Trophy was Rick Middleton back in 1981-82, and Eriksson is the first B’s finalist for Lady Byng in more than 10 years.

Bruins will select 14th overall in first round

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Bruins will select 14th overall in first round

The Boston Bruins basically had a three percent of moving up into the top three of the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night, but they didn’t strike it draft rich when it was all said and done up in Toronto.

With Bruins general manager Don Sweeney in attendance representing the Original Six franchise, the Black and Gold were the first team logo selected in the draft lottery meaning they will own the 14th overall pick in the first round for the second straight summer.

Instead the Toronto Maple Leafs will select first overall after putting together the worst record in the NHL last season, and the Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets won the lottery to move up into the second and third slots in the draft.

This marks the sixth time in franchise history that the club has owned the 14th overall selection in the NHL Draft. The Bruins drafted Jake DeBrusk 14th overall last summer in Florida at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Stephane Quintal 14th overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, Normand Leveille 14th overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Douglas Halward 14th overall in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft and Terry O’Reilly 14th overall in the 1971 NHL Amateur Draft.

Based on finishing with the highest point total of all non-playoff teams for the second straight season, the Bruins owned a 1.0% chance of winning the 2016 Draft Lottery overall and a 3.4% chance of securing a top-three pick.

The 2016 NHL Draft will take place on June 24-25 at the First Niagara Center home of the Sabres in Buffalo just a couple of months from now, and the Bruins also own the first round pick of the San Jose Sharks that will end up somewhere in the 20’s based on the fact they’re still currently alive in the playoffs.