Published November 20, 2014
VANCOUVER -- A 1-0 series deficit during this year's playoffs is nothing new for the Boston Bruins, so facing that scenario for a third time in four series after Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final has done nothing to shake their confidence.
Only twice in 34 chances has a team lost the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final on the road and rallied to win the series. But if the Bruins fall into a 2-0 hole following Saturday night's Game 2 at Rogers Arena, that's not going to be the end of the world, either.
"We lost the game, but it could've gone either way," center David Krejci said Friday. "Today, we had a good time in the room. We're excited. Tomorrow can go either way. It's not over until it's really over."
"It's never over until you get that fourth win, right?" Patrice Bergeron added.
That confidence is based on the Bruins overcoming a 2-0 series deficit in the first round against the Montreal Canadiens, who won the first two games at TD Garden in Boston. The Bruins won that series in seven games.
After sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Bruins opened the conference finals with a home loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Once again, the Bruins overcame the setback to win the series in seven games.
Rookie Tyler Seguin, a healthy scratch throughout the first two rounds, said Friday he felt the team's confidence grow following the comeback against the archrival Canadiens.
"That feels like it was a long time ago," Seguin said, "but it just shows we want to be a bounce-back team. It doesn't matter how many games or goals we're down. That seems to be working, so hopefully we can do the same for Game 2."
Pinpointing the reasons for an intangible like the ability to overcome adversity is like trying to catch the wind. Is that something most of these players had all along? Did it grow with the first-round win against Montreal? Rookie Brad Marchand says it's all about the team's experience and coming together when things weren't going well at the start of the postseason.
"I think it's a little bit of both," Marchand said. "We've got a lot of experience in the room who have been through situations like this before. It seems like we have a lot of character right now. We have a lot of depth on our team. At the right time, the right guys are stepping up and that's big for us."
According to coach Claude Julien, that mentality didn't start during the playoffs -- it began during the regular season.
On March 3, the Bruins were 38-19-7 and three points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for first place in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins were a popular pick at that point to reach the Stanley Cup Final, but they finished the season 8-6-4, leading to many questions about whether they were hitting the playoffs playing their best.
The Bruins also had four stretches earlier in the season where they lost four of five. Julien said battling through those stretches is what made it possible to combat the tough times in these playoffs.
"That's the way we've approached it all year," Julien said. "Throughout the season, you get your ups and downs. When we had our downs, we know a lot of people were disappointed, we were criticized. Inside that dressing room, we knew it was a long year, we could right the ship with time. We did that. We got into the playoffs.
"Having done that all year, you don't change your approach. You lose a game. We know how important that loss becomes. But right now what's more important is not (the Game 1) loss but how we're going to react to it on Saturday."
Despite all this confidence and recent evidence that there isn't a deficit the Bruins can't handle, they aren't looking to make history and overcome another two-game hole in the playoffs.
"We want to get back in this series. It's very important," Bergeron said. "We'll approach the next game always as the most important one. Now it's about Game 2. It's the biggest game right now of the series. It's always like that.
"Now we're just concentrating on making sure we're coming out of here with a great game. Obviously we want the win."
Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo