Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid is already a veteran of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including winning a Stanley Cup title with the Bruins in 2011 and approaching 50 postseason games for his career before his 27th birthday.
This postseason, McQuaid, 26, has been a staple of Boston's third defensive pairing, providing a shut-down presence for Claude Julien. In the Eastern Conference Final, McQuaid scored the series-winning goal in a stunning four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
McQuaid has been gracious enough to agree to keep a player blog that will appear on NHL.com throughout the Stanley Cup Final.
In his first installment, he talks about a tough triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Final, as well as how players recover -- both mentally and physically -- from such a marathon session of hockey.
CHICAGO -- It was a long night. Triple overtime, getting halfway through the third overtime there, we were almost close to playing two full games. It was definitely a hard-fought battle. In overtime, both teams are trying to keep things simple. Both teams had their chances at times and goalies made some big saves and guys made some big plays.
It obviously would have been nice if things went the other way. But, we'll stay positive, take the positives out of the game and keep moving forward.
Overtimes are tough to play in. You just want to do your best to stay hydrated. Some guys will try to get something in them, food of some sort, bananas, stuff like that, to run on. The main thing is to try to stay hydrated, though.
Once the game is finished, you have to move on, but I wouldn't say Game 1 is gone already. I think we'll probably think about it a little tonight and then we'll get up and the sun will come up and it'll be a new day; so we'll put it behind us and start getting ready for Game 2.
The game went six periods. It was a pretty hard-fought battle that could have went either way. That is what you expect this time of year. You are going to be in some tight games and some hard-fought games. You try to put the loss behind you -- refocus and re-energize.
For me, I just like to try to relax. It's not easy to do because you are kind of wound up after the game. It's maybe a little easier to do tonight because guys are pretty tired. For me, when I get on the bus, I like to listen to some country music and it relaxes me a bit and, when I can, I like to talk to my family.
My younger brother, Chad, was here tonight and then the rest of my family will be in Boston for the games there.
Even though this game went so long, we'll be on a bit of the same routine we usually are after games. The guys will do the same recovery stuff they need to do -- stretching and what not. We'll have a meal and get some food in us. We'll have the meal at the hotel and just chat and hang out and enjoy each other's company. I assume everybody will be turning in early.
Your body obviously feels it when you play in games like this. You feel tired. Maybe we'll spend part of Thursday recovering a bit and then we'll be fine to go. We have a couple of days now and we'll be fresh for Game 2.
You know, it's the same for everyone, same for both teams. Obviously, there are some guys that play more than others, but it is all part of the battle in the playoffs. Everyone is going through the same thing. You just have to make sure you are doing your job when you are out there.