From coaches to players to fans, everyone knows this is not just another game, and it's not even just another Game 7.
It's a Canadiens-Bruins Game 7.
"To be able to wear this jersey and represent this organization is something special," Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges said after the morning skate Wednesday. "To be in this game tonight playing against this team, that's something special. This is the greatest rivalry in sports, and to be a part of that in a Game 7? As a player, you want to be in this game. This is an exciting day."
Gorges was not in the game the previous time these teams met under these circumstances. Out with a knee injury, Gorges watched on TV at home when the Bruins won Game 7 of the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs in overtime on a Nathan Horton goal.
"It was miserable," Gorges said. "You want to be playing in these games. These are the games that when you grow up, you're so excited to watch it as a kid, and then to have a chance to be a part of it you want to be a guy out there on the ice helping your team."
The Canadiens have a few key players who will be experiencing a Game 7 for the first time, and Brendan Gallagher is among them.
The second-year forward thought that playing in Game 6 on Monday, which the Canadiens won 4-0 to force Game 7, might calm his nerves.
"I was hoping I would be [calmer], but I don't think I am," he said. "I like the way I played last game, and the nerves can be a good thing. They give you that little bit of energy and the motivation to show up because you know if you lose this one there is no tomorrow."
Unlike his Boston counterpart Claude Julien, who will be coaching his 10th Game 7, ninth with the Bruins, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien has never been in this position before. But much like Julien, who said Wednesday he wished it was an afternoon game, Therrien was very eager for the drop of the puck.
"I can't wait for this game," Therrien said. "I'm very excited."
Here are the projected lineups:
Injured: Alex Galchenyuk (lower body)