The Bruins in a Game 7? What else did you expect?
Since forcing Game 7 against the Canadiens in the 2008 first round, after the wildest postseason game the new Garden has ever seen, the Bruins will play in their seventh Game 7 tonight out of their past 10 playoff series, and fifth in the past six. How will Game 7 No. 7 go tonight at the Garden? Here are three keys for the Bruins tonight:
Old man and the crease
Not to go all Luongo here, but if Tim Thomas had come out of the crease any further on Sunday, the Bruins would have been called for offsides. Look, Thomas doesn't need to be told how to approach a Game 7, especially after pitching two shutouts in the Bruins' first two 7s last year, then winning the biggest Game 7 of them all. But, please, Tim, take it easy on our hearts and stay just a wee bit closer to home tonight. At the other end, can Braden Holtby keep up his 1986 Patrick Roy/1994 Martin Brodeur imitation, as rookies who stood on their heads in the postseason? In a series where every game has been decided by one goal, the first mistake by either goaltender will probably be the last of 2012.
Turn Tyler's Power Up
Tyler Seguin came to life in Game 6, saving his first goal of the postseason for the perfect time, scoring the overtime game-winner. Beyond his golden goal, Seguin's young speedy legs were a factor for much of the game, and he could be a difference-maker tonight -- if Claude Julien lets him. If the Bruins can get over their fear of Seguin allowing a short-handed goal, he could make a real contribution to a power play that still needs a boost.
Shut up and play
The officiating in this series - and throughout the league - has been spotty, at best, during these playoffs. The Bruins cannot let it bother them tonight, and that means not trying to embellish a call, as Brad Marchand appeared to do on Washington's game-tying goal in Game 6. There is little doubt the B's will be the intimidators tonight on home ice. As long as they play their game, whistles be damned, another Game 7 victory should be theirs.
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