The Boston Bruins enjoy the home-ice advantage they earned for Game 7, but it might not be so bad for the Washington Capitals, either. The road team is 4-2 in this series, and the Caps have won four of their five games at TD Garden dating to the regular season.
“Our game, I think, is suited to a road game right now,” forward Brooks Laich said. “We played a couple good road games in this series, even going back to March in that building we played a couple good road games. We’re not going to change anything. We’re not going to reinvent the wheel.”
It’s fascinating a team that endured such trying times away from Verizon Center for much of the year is now thriving in those pressure situations. A lot of it has to do with an emphasis on trying to prevent chances and keeping games low-scoring.
But the us-against-the-world philosophy doesn’t hurt, either.
“It will be nice to go into that rink with a little less pressure, I guess,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “Just go in there with kind of a ‘Screw you guys’ attitude [to] everybody in the building. It’s just go out there and play some hockey. I think that’s going to be good for us.”
Laich said the Caps won’t be overconfident given their success in Boston in the past couple of months.
“It’s not something where we’ll say, ‘Oh, we’re gonna beat them because we’ve beat them before on their rink.’ Every game is going to be different,” he said. “We just really have to remember the simple things and play that simple game.”
Maybe it’s a road-ice advantage, but veteran Mike Knuble pointed out that given the way this series has transpired (the first six games decided by one goal for the first time in NHL history), it doesn’t matter that this game is in Boston.
“I think some teams go into Game 7 on the road and feel like the ice is already tilted right from your first shift and I don’t think we feel that way at all,” Knuble said. “We feel like we’re dead even and you could play this game in St. Louis, you could play it in the middle of the United States, in Nebraska, and it would be an even game.”
As coach Dale Hunter pointed out, the Caps would have been happy with a winner-take-all Game 7 against the defending Stanley Cup champions if that situation was presented before this series.
“For us to be in this position, other than winning in our rink, we’ll take a Game 7,” Knuble said. “Roll the dice, see what happens.”