|Boston Bruins left wing Daniel Paille (20) jumps over Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mike Smith on a scoring bid in the second period of Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals, in Boston on Monday, May 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) |
But nobody in the Boston locker room was talking about Game 6 as if the result were a forgone conclusion -- far from it, in fact.
The Bruins expect Tampa Bay's best game tonight and the Canucks were farther from the B's collective mind than the mileage on a plane ride from Florida to British Columbia.
"It would be nice to get that feeling," said forward Dan Paille of watching the highlights from Vancouver's overtime clincher versus San Jose on Tuesday night..
But Paille explained that the focus remains here in Tampa Bay and on the Lightning.
"We’ve been up three-nothing...with Philly, and look what happened there," he added.
But there's no question that the B's don't wish to play another Game 7 in TD Garden.
"We want to make sure that we use tonight to make sure that we win the series," said defenseman Dennis Seidenberg
. "Everybody’s pretty upbeat and ready to go.
"For us, it takes focus," added the blueliner. "I mean, the mental part is big, if we stick to our game and are just composed and calm and not nervous, I think we’re going to play a solid game and keep them from getting too many scoring chances."
As far as extra pressure to end the series tonight, Seidenberg said there shouldn't be any for the Bruins.
"We know we haven’t played our best game so far, so hopefully we skate different tonight and play one of the best road games we’ve played so far," he said.
On the other hand, rookie forward Brad Marchand
said there was some extra pressure behind Boston's wanting to finish things in Florida.
"If it goes to game seven, anything could happen, and that’s a situation we don’t really want to be in," said Marchand. "So we have to make sure we put our best game forward tonight and give ourselves the best opportunity."
The fiery Marchand explained that he and the B's will have to keep a tight reign on emotions in check as the game gets into gear.
"The Stanley Cup Finals, that’s obviously the end goal, but there’s still a long way to go to get there," said Marchand. "They’re going to play an amazing game tonight, there’s no question about that, so we have to make sure we’re really ready to counter these guys and put in a good game here."
But keeping emotional control shouldn't come at the expense of playing the B's successful game.
"We don’t want to change our game at all and if we do that and try to change a whole lot, it could affect our game," said Marchand. "So we have to make sure that we keep our emotions intact but that we still play our game and don’t let it change our style."
For forward Shawn Thornton
, who won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, the solution is simple.
"We have to work hard to create chances, and try and bury them if we get those chances," he said.
Asked about the clubs mindset, given one half of the Stanley Cup Finals field has been determined, Thornton said nothing's changed.
"Nothing’s easy this time of year, but as far as focus..you should be able to figure out how to prepare by now," he said.
"I can’t speak for everybody, but my mentality is you never look past what’s going on here.
"It’s not even in our heads, it shouldn’t be anyways," he said. "We have to focus on Game 6 tonight and that should be the only focus."