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Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final blog: Sean Kuraly

Bruins forward discusses ways to relax, refocus on road to prepare for Game 3

by Sean Kuraly / Special to NHL.com

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 after the Bruins lost 3-2 in overtime at TD Garden on Wednesday. Kuraly had an assist on Boston's second goal, by Joakim Nordstrom, and has one goal and two assists in the Final. He talked about the sting of that loss and how the Bruins will rebound for Game 3 at Enterprise Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

We had put ourselves in a good spot after Game 1 and were looking to put ourselves in an even better spot after Game 2, but St. Louis is a good team and they know that is not a good spot to be in if they are down two games. 

They played really well in Game 2. We think we did some things well, but there are some things we can get better at. You have to give them credit, they played a heck of a game. They have a good team and they played hard.

 

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We know that when we are skating and playing with pace we are a good team, and that is where we want to be with our game. It's the Final; it's going to be tough. Nobody said this was going to be easy. I think what we want to do now is relish this challenge and this opportunity and just make the best of it and try to enjoy it because it is not every day that you get to be here and be playing hockey this late in the summer.

That was the focus today, coming over and on the bus. Zdeno Chara kind of got the boys together and said, "Hey, let's keep our heads up and move forward because it's a long series and there is a lot of hockey left to be played."

Video: STL@BOS, Gm2: Nordstrom goes five-hole on Binnington

So today we got up and it was a new day. We got to sleep in and then head to the airport for a 2 o'clock flight. Got on the plane and had some sushi for lunch; your standard travel-day stuff. 

It was nice to have some family in town for Game 1 and my dad, Rick, is making the trip to St. Louis, as is my uncle and aunt and their kids, my cousins. My older brother Chris is going to drive in from Columbus. That will be good to have them in town for Games 3 and 4.

The next couple of days are about relaxing, getting prepared, taking time to take a break and just get focused for Game 3. We are already excited to do that. Over the next 48 hours we get to spend some time with our teammates here at the hotel. As a team, we like these times when we get to hang out in our team room and play some games, whatever it is, video games, cards.

When we were in Carolina, we had a ping-pong table in the team room. Noel Acciari was my coach so he really got me going and I was able to take down Danton Heinen in a big match. Danton is a better player than me, but I got coached up well by Noel. We had some hard, smart practices in Carolina on the ping-pong table. Noel doesn't really play, but there was a bucket of 100 balls and he would just keep tossing them to me and I would hit them over the net over and over again. 

Danton's not going to be happy I'm saying this, but I beat him. I'm secretly hoping there is not a ping-pong table here so he can't get his revenge. I'm not that good a ping-pong player so I have to beat them with mind games and hard work.

Usually we might go out and get some dinner when we are on the road like this, but during the playoffs we tend to have our meals at the hotel. I kind of like staying around the hotel.

I have had a couple of points in the first two games, but it doesn't really matter in the playoffs. I'm not saying that because I am trying to be humble. It just really hurts when you lose in the playoffs. You are trying to do the best for your team. Even when you do your best and you lose, you want to do more. I think all of our guys are like that, and that is why we are here. 

I'm obviously trying to play as hard as I can and I'm happy with some of the personal results, but a loss takes it all away. You just keep trying to do it and contribute any way you can to put your team in a better position.

The loss last night was a good reminder of the sting it feels like in the playoffs. We had won eight games in a row, so it's been a while and you kind of forget that feeling. Man, when you come out with the L, that stings.

Tomorrow we start preparing for Game 3. Our goal is to always elevate our game and we don't think we necessarily did that last night. When we don't do that, it hurts. The good news is there is a lot of hockey left. 

That's the way it is and that is the reason it's so darn fun in the playoffs, because those wins feel so darn good.

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