Bruins Keys to Victory in Game 7


May 12, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien talks to Dougie Hamilton (27) and Jarome Iginla (12) and Milan Lucic (17) during a time out during the third period in game six of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody who’s ever seen a Bruins vs. Canadiens game before knows that this game seven will be as ugly and physical as it gets. This is what everybody dreams of: winner-takes-all against your most hated rival, for the chance to continue the quest for the Stanley Cup. In order for the Bruins to be successful they must step up several aspects of their game that have been lacking, or completely absent as of late.

If you watched games five or six, I’m sure you saw that the Bruins have been struggling to stay on their feet. As important as being able to skate may be, it is often overlooked. The Bruins are not a speedy team like the Montreal Canadiens are and should not pretend to be. Boston’s methodical passing, and aggressive forecheck is what wins games, not fast skating and quick breakouts. Many of the boys in black have fallen victim to trying to force a quick play that wasn’t there that resulted in falling over, and led to a scoring opportunity for Montreal. If the Bruins can keep the right tempo, with the right amount of aggressiveness they will have a chance to win tonight.

The Krejci line has been all but invisible this playoff series. David Krejci in particular  needs to show up in game seven and contribute with the big passes and magician-like set-ups that he has been known for, especially come playoff time. Jarome Iginla is sure to play a key role in tonight’s game, and could possibly be the difference maker (in my opinion). His veteran presence and composure should set the tone for the B’s tonight. Milan Lucic has played a huge role this series with his big hits and physical presence on the forecheck. If he can keep his composure tonight, while maintaining a physical game, he could be a major player in tonight’s outcome.

The Bruin’s blue liners have not been playing their best hockey as of late. Max Pacioretty’s goal in game six is a prime example. Zdeno Chara was so scared of being called for a penalty that he didn’t even attempt to make a play on Pacioretty, which resulted in one of the softest goal of the playoffs. Granted the Bruins have not had a lot of puck luck this series but this is no excuse, the defensemen need to be strong on their skates, and make the plays when it matters. If they can provide Tuukka Rask with the little bit of help he needs, it will be hard to beat Boston.

The final key, and most important one in my opinion, is composure. This game is going to be rough, it is going to be dirty, and it is going to be hard. These are facts, not guesses, when you have two of the biggest rivals in all of sports squaring off in a winner-take-all atmosphere it is guaranteed to be a show. This being said, the Bruins need to know what the right amount of emotion is. Montreal is a team that baits their opposition into stupid penalties that can change the outcome of a game. The Bruins need to be on a mission tonight, determination and smart hockey will win this game. If the Bruins are able to put a 60 minute effort together that in anyway resembles game five, they will be victorious. This is obviously easier said than done, but anything can happen in game seven and no one can predict what exactly will take place.

If the Bruins want to continue their season they need to play one game, tonight is all that matters. There is no tomorrow for Boston or Montreal, only a right now. It’s do or die time tonight in Boston, so lets hope the bear comes out of hibernation with a vengeance tonight and beats the Habs.