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.
In his latest entry, Kuraly talks about what the atmosphere has been like in Boston throughout the postseason and the how the recent culture of winning in the region, with the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots each winning a championship in the past nine months, and the Bruins two wins from their first title since 2011, has affected fan response. Game 5 of the best-of-7 series is at TD Garden on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).
Everyone thinks Boston has won all the time and everyone here is a bit jaded by it. But as we play in the Final it's a new group of guys here. A few guys have won, but a lot of us feel like we still have to prove ourselves.
But it's cool to have the whole city behind you. The other day I was driving to the game and I saw a guy on rollerblades skating through the streets with a jersey on and carrying a Stanley Cup flag. I think it was a David Pastrnak jersey. It wasn't a Kuraly one. I have only seen one of those and it was a T-shirt. Usually when I see one of those I have to check if it is a family member. You have to be related somehow if you are wearing a Kuraly jersey.
I went across the street to get a Gatorade before Game 2 here in Boston. It was like 3 o'clock and I had just woken up from my nap and headed over there. The guy at the store knows me and he was like, "Good game last night. Really nice goal." Then he puts my credit card in and he mentions that there is a $5 minimum to use the credit card and that I should just take the Gatorade and says I'll owe him the $2. It's a lot of little things like that, where people from around the city are rallying behind us and really pulling for us to win.
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Personally I don't get recognized a lot. Not a ton, just every now and again. I think the beard is a giveaway, especially if you are out now with a beard like mine. If you go to dinner after the game, you definitely are asked to get a few pictures. The people of Boston have a lot of respect for the city's athletes. They cheer us on really hard, but they realize we are just people too. They are veterans at this.
That said, the whole city has seemed to rally behind us. You think maybe they are tired because they keep winning and there have been so many title runs recently around this city that you think maybe they are letting this one slip through the cracks.
I think it is just the opposite. You can't walk outside without seeing someone with a Bruins shirt or hat or sign. It says a lot about how much this city loves its hockey. It's a blue-collar city that loves a team that works hard.
It's motivation for us and we can use it as an advantage. I don't think we get to this point if we feel like the bar being set so high is a burden. We're inspired by it. We're using the crowds and we are using the city. If we were thinking about it any other way, we wouldn't be here right now.
You can see the other pro sports teams in New England getting behind us on social media and things like that. It says a lot. It's a tight-knit sports community that we have here. We realize we are all on each other's teams and trying to push each other to win because it is a culture that we all want to be champions. If we can do anything to help each other become successful, that's the goal.
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