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Ready for the Rematch

Bruins and Blues set to face off for first time since Stanley Cup Final

by Eric Russo @erusso22 /

BOSTON - There is nothing that the Bruins can do on Saturday night to change the outcome of Game 7. And they all know it.

That's why when the Black & Gold take the ice at TD Garden for a Stanley Cup Final rematch against the St. Louis Blues, they won't be thinking much about that Wednesday night in June. That page has long been turned, the focus shifted to a new chapter.

"It's just another game," Brad Marchand said following Friday morning's practice at Warrior Ice Arena. "Doesn't change anything that's happened in the past. You're not going to get any retribution by winning the game tomorrow.

"At the end of the day, it's 2 points. I'm sure the fans are excited; I think it will be more for them than it will us. Again, it's 2 points, that's what we have to worry about…that's over and done with."

The Bruins came into training camp with that very mindset. Dwelling on the past was not going to help them accomplish their goal - which is to finish the job this time around. It's an approach that's served them well, as they've taken points from eight of nine games (6-1-2) to start the 2019-20 campaign.

"I think we're already to the point of moving past it," said Brandon Carlo. "It's a team that we have to face every single year at different portions [of the schedule] and you can't hang on to the past. I feel like we've done a really good job of remaining positive in this room.

"The start of this season has shown our commitment level and tenacity to win. Overall, I think we're feeling pretty good in here and I don't think it will affect us anymore."

Video: Carlo talks with media about game mentality for Blues

For the Black & Gold, the hype and excitement surrounding Saturday's national televised showdown is just outside noise. Their preparation will be no different than any of the other 81 games on the schedule.

"I think a lot of people look way more into the playoffs series and the rivalries than we do," said Marchand, who carries an eight-game point streak into Saturday night. "I don't think anyone prepared last game any differently than any other game…we don't care that we're playing Tampa or Toronto or St. Louis.

"It's a game. There's 82 of them this year. We're gonna play 82 of them the same way and prepare the same way. However people want to blow it up around us, that's how they're gonna blow it up."

The groundwork leading up to contest is a bit easier for the coaching staff, however, as both teams enter the game with much of the same rosters that went head-to-head for seven straight games just over four months ago.

"Nothing should surprise us," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. Every team makes some adjustments, so we're watching a little bit of what they're doing right now. It doesn't look a whole lot different, why would it, right?

"But in terms of preparation, motivation, I'm not going in there telling the guys [anything different] - that ship's sailed. We're out to get two points and I think our guys will be ready to go, simply because we've been playing good hockey."

Despite the Bruins downplaying the gravity of the early-season rematch, having that many familiar faces renewing acquaintances will, no doubt, lead to some sort of an uptick in intensity when the teams hit the ice at just after 7 o'clock.

"It's whatever each individual guy makes of it…they're obviously a good team. Much of their roster carried over, same with ours. It will be a good game," said Krug. "Maybe some of the matchup rivalries that we had, whether it's guys that you seemed to be on the ice against every single shift. Little things like that carry over.

"Maybe a guy that you have a little more distaste for than other guys. Once again, once we get out there, we just try to win the hockey game."

Video: Krug talks with media following Friday's practice

Practice Notes

  • David Krejci practiced with the group, donning a maroon non-contact jersey, but was termed by Cassidy as doubtful for Saturday's game against St. Louis. Krejci has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury. "I put him as doubtful for tomorrow, but at least he's on the ice with the team, so that's step one," said Cassidy. "Then it becomes, does he travel to New York after the game, will he be ready for that quick turnaround or will it be Tuesday?"
  • Joakim Nordstrom, who missed the last two contests with an upper-body injury, will return against the Blues.
  • Tuukka Rask will be between the pipes against St. Louis, marking his first back-to-back starts of the season. Jaroslav Halak will play against the Rangers on Sunday in New York.
  • Anders Bjork was once again recalled from Providence on an emergency basis.
  • Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko will not play on Saturday night as he deals with an upper-body injury.

Friday's Practice Lines looked like this:

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - Par Lindholm/David Krejci - Brett Ritchie

Anders Bjork - Charlie Coyle - Danton Heinen

Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Chris Wagner/David Backes


Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton/Steven Kampfer


Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Video: Cassidy addresses media following Friday's practice

Seidenberg Retires

Former Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg has announced his retirement. The 38-year-old spent seven seasons in Boston and was a crucial member of the B's 2011 Stanley Cup championship.

Seidenberg teamed up with Zdeno Chara early in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, forming a fierce shutdown pairing. The blue liner played in all 25 games that postseason, notching a goal and 10 assists.

Overall, the Germany native played 15 seasons between Philadelphia, Phoenix, Carolina, Florida, Boston, and the New York Islanders. He suited up for 859 games, compiling 44 goals and 207 assists.

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