USA Today Sports

Hockey expert Hanley Ramirez says Bruins will win Game 7 in 'House of Pain'

Rob Bradford
April 24, 2018 - 4:36 pm

TORONTO -- Hanley Ramirez had never been to a hockey game before Monday night's Bruins loss to the Maple Leafs. Now he's hooked.

"First time in my life and I loved it," Ramirez said before his team's game against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. "The passion. Everyone is really into it. Every shot. Every glove from whatever you call him, the goalie. It was fun. You cannot move. You’re really into the game for 20 minutes. I got that one right. There’s a lot of motion."

Ramirez, evidently, is all in. He likes the sport, and he loves his new team, the Bruins.

That's why when asked for a prediction for Game 7 of the Bruins-Maple Leafs' series, the Red Sox slugger didn't hesitate.

"Oh, Bruins," he said. "Playing in Boston. House of the pain. You cannot go to Boston without getting hurt. That’s what we do in Boston, hurt people … on the field."

Ramirez wasn't difficult to pick out in the suite occupied by a majority of the Red Sox roster, wearing a Bruins sweater that Abby Murphy of Red Sox media relations made sure he had for the big game. There was also that shot of the first baseman turning down an ice cream bar, proving his resistance to the flurry of food given to the players.

"There was a lot of ice cream, chicken wings, quesadillas. It was pretty good food, but not for me," Ramirez said.

Did anyone recognize the group?

"A couple did and after the game walking back to the hotel I see a guy screaming, yelling, ‘Wooo! Wooo!’ He gave me a high-five and then he turned around and said, ‘Hanley?’ I was like ‘Oh, Jesus.’ But it was good after that," Ramirez said. "I high-fived him and he just kept walking and screaming all the way down the street."

Hockey aside, the presence of the players was another example of how close this team finds itself a month into the season.

"We’re doing everything as a team, just trying to stay together as much as we can," Ramirez said. "We spend the day together, and go to the game and watch the game. But at the same time we are talking about the game, the series with the Blue Jays. That’s what we want to do, talk about baseball and keep winning.

"Everything starts with the manager. We’ve been together for three or four years now. I’ve spent more time with them then I spend with my kids. It’s unbelievable. We feel like a family. Everything is good. Like I said at the beginning of the year, we’re stronger. We just want to win."