CHICAGO -- Other than the media horde that has descended on the Stanley Cup finals, no one would guess by being in the locker room after the Boston Bruins’ morning skate that they are preparing for Game 1 of the finals.
Bruins players were going about their normal game-day routines and didn’t appear to be anxious or nervous. After all, this is the team’s second trip to the Cup finals in three seasons, so the Bruins know exactly what to expect. The same can be said for the Chicago Blackhawks.
“It’s what we’ve been waiting for,” Bruins forward Daniel Paille said. “Everyone is definitely happy about it starting. Now it’s about who can bring out the best in their game.”
The question to most players Wednesday morning was whether they were nervous prior to puck drop.
“Not really right now,” Dennis Seidenberg said. “It seems like the calm before the storm. Everybody’s focused and ready to go. I’m sure everybody’s tired of talking the last couple of days and just ready to play.
“It’s just as exciting as it was [in 2011]. You kind of know what’s going to happen tonight because you’ve lived through it. But it’s a different team and everybody’s two years more experienced, so we’re all looking forward to it.”
During the 2011 Cup run, Bruins forward Tyler Seguin was a rookie and posted three goals and four assists in 13 playoff games. This spring, he’s been limited to one goal and three assists.
However, he said he’s not focused on statistics with Game 1 looming and that the Bruins’ focus is to return the Cup to Boston.
“Obviously we know what to expect a bit more," Seguin said. "Speaking for myself, the guys in here know the worth of a Stanley Cup and what it means to win. At the time [in 2011], I didn’t really know the complete worth of it. When you’ve won a Stanley Cup, it makes you even more motivated to get it back.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien was pleased with what he saw from his team during the morning skate.
“I saw our guys focused,” he said. “I thought we had a good morning skate, a short one. At the same time, I think our guys were focused, but also loose in a way that you can tell most of them have been through this before. I know for a fact that a few years ago there was some nervousness in our group and everything else. I feel good about our morning skate, so hopefully it shows tonight.”
When asked what his message would be to his players prior to Game 1, Julien said: “Not much different than anything else. We’ve gotten here, which is great. But until you’ve accomplished the final stages of the playoffs, you haven’t reached your ultimate goal. So, getting here is one thing, but finishing it is another. We know this could be a tough series. It’s pretty evenly matched. I think it will be fun to be a part of. I think it will be fun for hockey fans to watch.”