Boston Bruins forward Sean Kuraly will be keeping his own blog throughout the 2019 Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues. He will check in regularly with behind-the-scenes access.
Kuraly, 26, was traded by the San Jose Sharks to the Bruins on June 30, 2015, as part of the deal that sent goalie Martin Jones to San Jose. Kuraly had 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 71 regular-season games. In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he has eight points (three goals, five assists) in 15 games.
Here is Kuraly's latest entry, the day before Game 3 of the best-of-7 series at Enterprise Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS). The series is tied. Kuraly talks about what it is like playing on the road, what he expects from St. Louis fans experiencing a Final game for the first time in 49 years and some of his memories from hostile crowds earlier in this playoff run.
We know it is going to be loud with it being the first Stanley Cup Final game here in 49 years. But both teams get to play in front of the crowd and it can be just as fun to silence a crowd as to get them on their feet. I think both teams can use the energy that is in the building. Anyone can use that energy, not just the home team.
When you are on the road, you feel like it is just your team. We're in the hotel together all the time, just us, and you are kind of up against it. Those are the moments when you can really come together. You relish those moments and you look at the guy beside you, to the right and to the left, and realize this is who you have going into this battle tomorrow night.
I think we feel pretty confident in the team we have because we have been doing it for a while. It's just about sticking together and enjoying the moment because these things don't come along often.
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You can definitely hear the crowd when you are sitting in the dressing room. It's exciting. When you were a kid, you wished that more people come to your game and be there cheering, and now is the time when you get that. You don't want to shy away from that, you just want to enjoy it because it is what it is.
We'll be huddled in this little room here and we'll definitely hear the stomping feet and the clapping hands and the cheering crowds. It's something to relish and we need to use that energy.
The noise is obvious when you are on the road, but I'm not sure that it affects the game. It's a misnomer that being home is an advantage. The ice sheet is the same size, everything is the same inside the glass. If the noise is an issue, it's an issue for both teams because we are both playing offense at the same time.
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I think we just look at it as another game. It's just a change of scenery for us, it shakes things up a bit and that can make a team feel better about itself. It's just another hockey game; 10 skaters on the ice, two goalies, four officials. Let's go.
When we were in Carolina to play the Hurricanes last round, we would get flipped off by the fans as we were driving in. They would be out there tailgating, and when they figured out it was our bus, they would be all over us.
That almost feels as good as a cheer sometimes. You're just sitting on a bus and you can upset people. That's easy. It's fun. If I was a fan, I would probably be doing the same stuff. That's what it is all about as a fan: love your team. You love your team to death. That's the best part of hockey is how much these fans love their teams.
This should be amazing tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to a heck of an atmosphere because it has been so long since they have played in the Final.