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. He had 21 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 71 regular-season games. In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he has five points (two goals, three assists) in 13 games.
Here is Kuraly's first entry, on the eve of Game 1 of the best-of-7 series at TD Garden on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). He talked the 2019 Stanley Cup Final Media Day on Sunday, the 10-day layoff between Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final and Game 1 of the Final and how excited he is to get things going.
[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Blues series coverage]
It really hit me today that we are in the Stanley Cup Final.
I arrived at TD Garden early before practice and media day and walked in before most of the people got here. You walk in before anyone is there this morning and you see all the murals that are on the wall, the lights and the pictures of the past Stanley Cup champions that the NHL events people put up for Stanley Cup Final Media Day, and that is when it all sunk in. That is when you saw that it is just not the normal Garden any more.
It was something so much different.
We had a good meeting and skate, did a few things with the linemates, last-minute tweaks, talked about a few things with Joakim Nordstrom and Noel Acciari. We talked about a few offensive things we would like to try tomorrow and throughout the series; nothing crazy, just last-minute adjustments. Then, we had a good skate and got off the ice and went right to media day.
I did some on-camera stuff with NHL Studios, some stuff for some dramatic video that they are making. I just needed to provide some stuff that they may add in there. I also did some sort of NHL Instagram video too. It was real quick. Then, I headed to my pod for some media and some questions. Definitely not your normal media day; a few more people, but nothing too crazy. I think they save that for Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand and guys like that. Not me.
It was all good. I got some questions from the kids for NHL Kids stuff, and that was kind of entertaining. Some Russian media asked me for any Russian words that I knew, and I actually did have a few for them from my time when I played World Juniors in Ufa, Russia. I knew spasibo (thank you), kak dela (how you doing?) and khorosho (good or OK), so I actually kind of nailed that part.
It's great that we finally get to play the Blues tomorrow in Game 1. It feels like the wait has been forever. We're just waiting to play and I'm anxious to play and not talk about it anymore and doing what we are comfortable with, which is playing hockey, enjoying it and having fun and competing and all that. That is going to be the fun part I think is, now we get to play, all bets are off.
Video: A new legend will rise in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final
Let's go, let's have some fun and get down to business!
As far as the long layoff, that was the hand we were dealt. Obviously, we tried to prepare the best we could to be ready for tomorrow. I think the scrimmage on Thursday was something that was good for us.
We are a team that follows our leaders, and those are the guys that have been coming to practice every day and giving it their all. We've just been right behind them doing the same thing, and hopefully it will be no different for the game on Monday.
Whatever happens, we are just going to stick with it and keep pushing. If it is good, if it's bad, if it's indifferent, it's just part of the journey here. We've just been taking it in stride for a month-and-a-half now, and I don't think you'll see anything different now.
The waiting has been hard for sure and not thinking about what is to come in the next little while is almost impossible. You have 10 days to physically rest, but mentally you can be thinking about the Final and be anxious and ready to play.
You definitely think about what it is going to be like and all that. I'm really excited because there are a lot of players that never get to play in the Final. It is going to be an amazing experience.
I've thought about the games and I've thought about scoring. I think every hockey player does. I've definitely celebrated a few times in my mind. Even in practice, if you watch me in practice the last few days, I'm celebrating like I scored a big goal.
One of the great parts of this experience is you get to share it with family. My mom, Jane, and my brothers, Nick and Chris, are on their way to Boston right now. I'll have some family in St. Louis, and for Game 5, the whole crew will be here in Boston. I'm looking forward to having them all here. It will be fun to get together.
Listen: Stanley Cup Final preview episode of NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast