Motivational speeches may happen but Bruins ready to let play do talking in Game 7

Matt Kalman
June 11, 2019 - 5:07 pm

Patrice Bergeron got a lot of credit from his teammates for his pregame speech that preceded the Bruins’ 5-1 win in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Sunday. He reportedly elicited memories of each player’s childhood dreams of winning the Stanley Cup and their desire to not let that dream slip away in St. Louis.

Does he have something saved up for Game 7 against the Blues on Wednesday?

“I don’t know, we’ll see,” Bergeron said after practice on Tuesday at TD Garden.

One thing is certain. Any pregame words from Bergeron or any Bruins player or coach, even verbally-limited captain Zdeno Chara, will be spontaneous.

“I think we share that responsibility. It’s a great group of leaders we have. And it’s not like I’m going to be at a desk and trying to figure out a speech,” Chara said. “I think it just kind of goes by feel and I think that we all realize that it’s more about actions than words. But always you should be talking before the game and emphasize a few things.”

While you get over the vision in your head of 6-foot-9 Chara behind a large mahogany desk with his quill pen in hand doing his best Thomas Jefferson impersonation, remember that sometimes inspiration comes from the least likely places.

Brad Marchand recalled that Mark Recchi made a crucial speech before Game 7 of the 2011 Cup Final against Vancouver. That was no surprise because the future Hall of Famer wore an alternate captain’s A and had been a mentor to the rest of the Bruins from the moment he stepped in their dressing room after a trade with Tampa Bay in the winter of 2010.

But Bergeron remembered another speech from that night in Vancouver: one by assistant coach Geoff Ward.

“[He] gave a pretty deep speech before the game,” Bergeron said.

So who will speak up before Game 7 against the Blues? Chara deserves the chance to conserve his energy and be allowed to not try to speak through his obviously compromised mouth. Bergeron will obviously have something to say, although he may not be as vehement as Sunday. David Backes might speak up even if he’s not playing because nothing stops David Backes from talking. Could it be David Krejci? The center and alternate captain has been abiding by a personal media blackout for about a week, so he should have plenty of words saved up for his teammates.

Perhaps someone unlikely will take to the middle of the Bruins dressing room and follow in the footsteps of great Bruins leaders like Bergeron, Chara, Ray Bourque and Conor McGregor. One could easily envision Sean Kuraly, Jake DeBrusk or Brandon Carlo coming up with some words of inspiration. If any assistant coaches are going to follow Ward’s lead, Jay Pandolfo or Joe Sacco might decide it’s time to share something from their past that’s appropriate to this moment.

Of course, it might not matter who says what, or what’s said. There’s so much experience and talent residing in this Bruins team, the motivation won’t have to be encouraged to arrive, it’ll organically flow out of the players.

“So you know we’re not going to look for any kind of speech tomorrow. We all understand what’s at stake and what we need to do,” Marchand said. “We’re going to prepare the same way we have all year and that’s what we are going to rely on, we’re not going to rely on a speech of something like that to get us going.

“[Bergeron] may have felt like he wanted to share something with our group and that’s that, but we’re going to rely on the process, the way we prepare and our experiences to get prepared as a team.”

Sounds like Marchand has the makings of a pregame speech right there.

The Bruins will get their chance to make a statement Wednesday starting around 8:23 p.m.

 

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