Five years ago, Boston forward Mark Recchi, then with the Carolina Hurricanes, opened the playoffs with two-straight home-ice losses to the Montreal Canadiens. Yet, two months later, Recchi was lifting the Stanley Cup, having overcome that disastrous start.
This season, Recchi watched his Bruins fall into an 0-2 hole against the Canadiens – again with both losses at home – and felt all the same disappointments before remembering how Carolina turned that playoff-opening adversity into a pathway to a championship.
Does he see similarities with the Bruins now that they have a Game 3 victory under their belt against the Canadiens and have, at least, forced themselves back into the series.
"If we win tomorrow, maybe we'll see some similarities," Recchi said, laughing. "It's still a long road ahead. Obviously, me being through something like that, you can talk to the guys about it. It's been done, it can be done. But, there is a lot of work to do. We have to stay focused. "
Recchi believes the key to engineering a comeback from such long odds has less to do with tactical changes than it does with the consistency of the team's mindset.
In 2006, Recchi joined the team, through trade, with about 20 games left in the season. He says his first impression was how united the team was in its belief. That unity, he says, rescued the Hurricanes when things started off so poorly.
"It's all about believing and believing in what we have done all year and believing in each other and trusting what we have done all year and trusting each other; that's what it comes down to," Recchi said. "If we don't trust each other, we wouldn't have won Game 3.
"Now we have to believe in each other more than ever tomorrow and trust in each other that everyone is going to go out there and play a good game and do the right things for the hockey club like we have all year. If we do that, then we put ourselves in a good position to win a hockey game. If not, then we will make it very hard for ourselves."