Given the magnitude of the stage, it feels as though we’ve waited an eternity for the Stanley Cup Final to arrive.
The conclusive series of 2018-19 NHL season finally will kick off Monday night when the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues meet for Game 1 at TD Garden. For the Bruins, the series opener will snap a lengthy rest period which was granted after they completed an Eastern Conference Final sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes on May 16.
The extended break has the potential to adversely affect Boston. While the Black and Gold certainly welcomed ample time to refresh and recharge, there’s a chance the momentum of their seven-game win streak has all but evaporated after not taking the ice for a competitive game in well over a week. Torey Krug isn’t very worried about the B’s losing their juice, but he knows how critical the opening frame will be Monday night.
“I believe in momentum swings for sure. I think especially within a game. Game to game it’s tough. I don’t know how much I would believe in that,” Krug said Sunday at Stanley Cup Final Media Day. “I think for sure it’s something we’re going to have to recapture, but I would have said that, you know, if we were playing three days after a seven-game winning streak. I would have said we have to go out there in the first period in that next game and recapture the momentum as well. So I don’t think that the layoff is anything to be too concerned with. Obviously with us as players, we’re trying to be as prepared as we can be and go out there and try to make it a thing of the past. So regardless of how many days in between games, that first period is a big period for both teams.”
For what it’s worth, the Blues have had quite a bit of time off as well after they wrapped up the Western Conference Final on May 21. Both teams will be tasked with trying to jump back into a rhythm, but the B’s will have the benefit of doing so on home ice. The long break surely has heightened the buildup for the best-of-seven set, so there’s no doubt diehard Boston fans will bring the energy for the series opener.
The sides also both pride themselves on resiliency, so don’t expect a less-than-stellar first period to dictate the rest of the contest. We’re in for a slugfest in the Cup Final, right from the opening puck drop until the very last horn sounds.
Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports Images