BOSTON -- Whether you’re a Bruins fan, a Capitals fan, a hockey fan, a member of the media or a player, no matter what happens tonight in Game 7, there will be something memorable and unique about the game. There is something about Game 7’s in the Stanley Cup playoffs that brings out the best in every player and what fans love most about pro sports. That and the fact that the Bruins have played in six Game 7's in the last four seasons is probably why there was plenty of positive excitement and smiles on the faces of players this morning as they addressed the media.
Bruins veteran winger Shawn Thornton doesn’t even know if he’ll be in the lineup but either way he is thrilled to be part of another Game 7. Thornton was asked about watching Game 7’s as a kid and didn’t exactly have the best memory growing up as a Leafs fans. Unfortunately for him, Game 7 of the conference finals in 1993 between the Los Angeles Kings and the Leafs ended in disappointment, with Wayne Gretzky notching a hat trick to help the Kings advance.
“I have a bad memory, " Thornton said. "Leafs-Kings ’93. That was a bad bad memory. I watched it in the SkyDome with my Mom. I don’t want to think about that.”
Thornton would reenact that memory a different way playing ball hockey with his friends. The Leafs would win and he’d score the game-winner. But he never thought he’d actually play in a Game 7.
“Well I really never thought this would be my career so at that age I never really did imagine it, just pretending playing road hockey,” Thornton said. “I never thought I’d get this far so it’s great being here. It’s what every kid dreams of and I’m happy to be a part of it. Thank God we have had so many chances and success at it.”
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference had the same childhood dreams but as he pointed out, he didn’t see too many Game 7’s since the team he grew up watching was a dynasty.
“I got spoiled because I grew up with the Oilers ... actually not too many went to Game 7’s because they were so good, but yeah you remember the drama and how every little play matters and it’s great,” Ference said. “We would always pretend on the pond and stuff and that was fun.”
Ference marveled at the fact that he will now have been a part of 11 Game 7’s after tonight. But each one never ceases to amaze him and or make him proud to be a part of.
“Now I’m beyond that because this is like number 10 and still it’s been everything you dreamed of. Even if you come out on the short end of the stick sometimes, it’s rare either way that you’re in a Game 7 and you can’t look at your teammates and be proud of the effort they put in. I don’t think I’ve ever been part of a Game 7 where people on both sides weren’t diving in front of everything and sacrificing themselves. You always see a little extra from everybody.”