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.
Honestly, I think every game is a pivotal game. But we knew the importance of coming back home and having a good effort. We played a lot of hockey in Chicago to make sure we were coming home with a 1-1 series tie. It was important for us to come and have a good game -- especially in front of the home fans.
We had a better start. I think that was an area we could only improve on. There was no secret that we weren't happy with our start or our first period last game, so a better start in that regard.
Whatever you do on the ice, you take pride in it. We, as a group of defensemen, take a lot of pride in our job and we support one another and we are always trying to keep each other positive. It's not an easy job against a team like that. But, again, when we had our breakdowns, Tuukka Rask was there to bail us out and our forwards come back to support us.
Tuukka has been so good for us. I think he is really competitive. I think he is very calm in net and has a calm demeanor. After the game, no matter what happens, you wouldn't know how he played or what the result was. He keeps things on a pretty even-keel, and that is important. That's a quality that you want to see from a goalie. He has that competitive side as well, and he wants things to go well. I think he has a good mix that way.
Dennis Seidenberg also had a big game for us and he got the Ranger jacket. Dennis plays big minutes for us. He plays with Zdeno Chara a lot and maybe people are focusing on Z, but Seids is a huge part of our team and a guy we really rely on and makes a lot of small plays and does the stuff you need to win games. He's a strong guy and he plays strong on the ice, too.
We'll enjoy [the Game 3 win] a little bit, but we'll get up [Tuesday] and get back at it. You want to enjoy it a little bit. But Tuesday is a new day and regardless of the game result you have to approach it that way and get back to work.
Check back again later today for another installment.