BOSTON, MA – There’s a special allure that surrounds a Game 7, one that can’t be matched during any game during the regular season.
A whole season’s work is at stake – one team will go home and another will advance on the road towards Lord Stanley’s Cup.
When the final buzzer sounds, it’s hard to be disappointed regardless of the outcome according to Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference.
“It’s pretty rare that you’re in a Game 7 and you can’t look at all your teammates and just be proud of the effort they put in,” Ference said, who will play in his 10th career Game 7 tonight. “It doesn’t always shake out in your favor.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been part of a Game 7 when people were diving in front of everything and sacrificing themselves, so you know guys are professional and you always see a little extra from everybody.”
But while there are guys like Bruins forward Chris Kelly that aren’t as well-versed in Game 7s like Ference, it’s just as special.
“I never had the opportunity to play in a Game 7 until I got here last year and that was one of those things that I remember thinking going against Montreal,” Kelly said. “For one, I got to play the Montreal Canadians in the playoffs, which was something that was pretty neat and then I got to play Game 7.
"I didn’t think I’d get to play three of them, but this is just a great opportunity.”
There’s no question the extra effort Ference referenced has been on full display in the Bruins series against the Washington Capitals.
The two teams have combined for over 400 hits and 200 blocked shots in the six games they’ve played thus far, and those numbers alone reflect the said self-sacrifice.
There’s plenty of wounds to tell the story, too.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara exited the ice after the team’s morning skate today with stitches across the bridge of his nose – the scars from a high-stick in Game 6.
“As long as the guy’s not too hurt, you’re a little jealous,” Ference joked. “That playoff face, it looks good especially a guy that big with the war wounds. I’m sure picking up his daughters at school, all the other parents aren’t looking quite so mean.”
It’s those true signs of battle that encompass the intensity involved in a seven game series.
And quite frankly, there’s nothing like it.