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Game 7 preview; It All Comes Down To This

May 27, 2011

After letting in three power-play goals and losing Game 6 5-4 in Tampa Bay, the Lightning forced a Game 7 in Boston with a Stanley Cup Finals appearance on the line. Whoever wins will go on to play the Canucks in the Cup Final. If the Bruins will the story will be about their ability to rebound from losses, if they lose it will be about missed opportunities.

The Bruins had a chance to go up 3-1 in the series in Game 4 but blew a three-goal lead and lost 5-3. With a win there the Bruins likely would have been in the Cup Final already. The Bruins have never been a team to sulk on losses this playoff season and are 3-1 following losses this playoff season. For some strange reason they always play better when facing adversity. They respond well when giving up the first goal and when down or tied in a series. The troubling thing is that they can’t hold big leads in either games or series.

Tonight, as in all Game 7’s is a coin flip. They’re often impossible to predict because they are so many variables. With each team playing each other six times in a row the advantages at the beginning of the series are lessened and the game is tighter in all facets. Typically, referees swallow their whistles in Game 7’s which is obviously an advantage for the Bruins who are the better team 5-on-5. The quick strike attack of the Lightning always poses a huge threat as a quick goal to start the game or a period could wildly swing momentum.

Tonight is a game that will define the Claude Julien/Peter Chiarelli era. They’re either still Game 7 chokers or they’re the real deal. 60 minutes determines a legacy.

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