"You have to think about the things you have to do on the ice and...we have to have a really strong mindset and put the thoughts of the Stanley Cup aside and go out there and just think about what you have to do." - David Krejci
Tuesday, just after they landed in Vancouver after a fifth cross continental flight, the Boston Bruins reflected on their chance to fulfill their own childhood hockey fantasies as they prepared for the final game of the 2010-11 season.
"When we're in the garage or driveway playing as a kid and you're fantasizing...you're saying to yourself - Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals," explained Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas
"[It's] what every kid dreams about."
And now the B's have a chance to make their dreams -- and the dreams of kids (of all ages) throughout New England and many other bastions of Black & Gold throughout the hockey world -- come true.
"It is in your head. You know? Everybody's thinking about it for sure," said center David Krejci
when asked about the possibility of fulfilling a childhood wish with a win on Wednesday.
"But I think you can't think about it too much.
"You have to think about the things you have to do on the ice and...we have to have a really strong mindset and put the thoughts of the Stanley Cup aside and go out there and just think about what you have to do.
"I think that's the only way for success," added Krejci.
Krejci's fellow center Chris Kelly
's been close to the pinnacle before (with the Ottawa Senators in 2007) and doesn't intend to waste this chance at Hockey's Holy Grail.
"It's a situation, a scenario, you know, there are dreams about it," Kelly said.
"But right now, that's what it is -- it's a dream.
"We need to go out and have our best effort."
No matter the majesty of the moment, the team that keeps its collective head out of the clouds might be the club to inspire the magical moments in the future.
"There's nothing different," said winger Rich Peverley
of his preparation. "I'm just going to go out there and play it like it's a regular game.
"Obviously, the stakes are a little higher, but...I'm going to come to the rink and just be really excited for the game."
Peverley won't be alone, but it will be the team that channels its collective excitement properly that will rule the day.
"We want to win," said Thomas. "We want all the work that we've put into this whole season and this whole playoffs to payoff and accomplish that goal that we've set ourselves towards, which is winning the Stanley Cup.
"I can only speak for myself, but I'm not thinking of it as pressure. I'm thinking of it more of this is the reality.
"The series is tied 3-3...[and] we have to find a way to win this game to get what we want."