BostonBruins.com – No one needed to remind Zdeno Chara what is still at stake for the Bruins. But after having just swept out the number one seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, someone did, asking the Bruins’ captain how good it felt, but still having one big goal left to accomplish.
“Well of course,” Chara said. “Just like I said, we have another round, and we have to get ready for that.”
There were plenty of happy Bruins in the locker room after Friday’s 1-0, Eastern Conference Finals clinching victory, but plenty of determined players as well, who know the job is not done yet.
“It means a lot,” said Head Coach Claude Julien on leading his team back to its second Stanley Cup Final appearance in three years. “We pride ourselves on our game. We work hard at it.
“As you saw, there was a lot of commitment in this game.”
The hardworking B’s were on full display Friday night, blocking 19 shots, and doing whatever they could to win. None of those blocks were bigger than one from the captain himself, as Chara denied Evgeni Malkin on the doorstep with the goalie pulled in the game’s final minute to preserve the Bruins' edge.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Chara of having another shot to compete for a Cup. “To get another shot, we know there’s still a long ways to go, but we just gave ourselves a chance.”
Whether Boston faces off with Chicago or Los Angeles (Game Five of that series is being played Saturday night, with the Blackhawks owning a 3-1 series lead), the Bruins know it will require the same level of effort they had against Pittsburgh. They know they still have one more hill to climb.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” said Brad Marchand, who had two goals and two assists in the series. “I don’t think it’s ever one that you can really describe, and I think it just gets better and better every time.
“It was unbelievable to win that first one [Stanley Cup] but being back in the Finals and having the opportunity to go after another one, it feels the exact same.”
And despite all the team has accomplished—overcoming a three goal deficit in a Game Seven in round one, dethroning Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers in round two, and sweeping away the highly talented Penguins in round three—no one in the Bruins locker room sees the job as done.
“Well it’s more games — I like that, I wish I could play right now,” said the 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr, who assisted on three goals in the series, including Patrice Bergeron's winner in Game Three's double overtime. “To get the chance to play for a [Stanley] Cup is great. And it’s more games to make the season longer and spend a little more time with my teammates. It’s great.”
With four wins standing between the B’s and their second Cup in three years, the fans showed they were ready with a “We want the Cup!” chant late in the third period, followed up by another chant as the Prince of Wales Trophy was being presented.
For the players, the desire is mutual.
“It’s a great feeling, especially how it went throughout the regular season; it was all up and down,” said Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who played a game high 27-plus minutes and seven blocked shots in Game Four. “We came through again in the playoffs, but our job's not done."
“We still have one series to go and hopefully we’ll be going just as much.”