Q. We all know what’s at stake, but what does it say with hockey players this time of the year, that they play through certain injuries, and do what they need to do?
BRAD MARCHAND: You work your entire life to be in this situation, like we’re all in right now. When you put the work in that we’ve all put in to be here, you’re going to do anything to play and to try to help your team win.
I’m sure they have guys with injuries. It happens with every team at the end of the series, the year. Guys are playing with broken bones, torn muscles. So it’s no different in this series. Guys are playing through bumps and bruises. It’s Playoff hockey.
Q. If you should be without a couple of guys on the back end, you’re somehow able to get through it, can you do that in the Playoffs, as well, have that extra focus to raise your level?
BRAD MARCHAND: Yeah, I think so. It kind of brings you closer together at times where you need to rely on each other a little bit more. Those things bring you closer together.
I think the amount that we’ve had to do that through the last couple years, we’ve really grown to be able to come together in those situations.
I don’t know how things are playing out for next game. The next couple days, kind of unwind and we’ll see how it’s going to play out. This time of year, there’s no excuses. You can’t look at that. Missing a player or two, you got to come together, do whatever you can to make it work. They’re not going to stop trying, so we have to do the same.
Q. Were you surprised to see Chara on the bench in the third period?
BRAD MARCHAND: No, not at all. I mean, he’s an absolute warrior. I think if it wasn’t for the doctor, he would have played that game. He’s an absolute leader.
Those things, you gain respect for him every single day with what he’s willing to go through, be part of the group, lead this team. He’s an incredible person.
Q. I know it worked out to the team’s benefit getting that shorthanded goal last night. What did you think of the call on Connor (Clifton)?
BRAD MARCHAND: Can’t really comment on it because I didn’t see the replay. It is what it is. I mean, you’re going to get calls your way, you’re going to get calls against you. You got to take advantage of those situations, try to score when you get them, got to try to kill them off when you don’t. That’s hockey.
I mean, it’s very easy to pick apart missed calls by the referees. Again, that’s part of what happens. Start bringing in the video review on everything, everything gets picked apart more and more.
Again, it’s part of hockey. It’s going to happen to both teams. Got to play through.
Q. Bruce (Cassidy) was talking about a couple goals scored, rushing the net, closing in on Tuukka (Rask). Any way you can diagnose why they were getting those opportunities this game?
BRAD MARCHAND: That’s what they do. They shoot pucks. They all converge. Sometimes the puck bounces in different directions. Sometimes they land in front of the net, sometimes they go in the corner. Never going to be the same.
With them going hard to the net, we have to be tighter defensively. We should win more battles in front of the net, compete. We’ll look at that more the next couple days and get ready for the next one.
Q. Fact of the matter is it’s a best-of-three for the Stanley Cup. That’s still a pretty good place to be. What is the mindset of the group going forward knowing the position you’re in?
BRAD MARCHAND: I think we’re in a great position. They’re in a great position. We’re in a great position. Best-of-three for the Stanley Cup. I think we’re all excited. I think if you give any team in the league that opportunity at the start of the year, every team’s going to jump on that.
We’re not going to sit back on that and rely on it. We’re excited about the opportunity. Three games left in the season. We’re going to give it our all, and hopefully it goes in our favor.
Q. So far it looks like the Bruins take one, the Blues respond. Is that how it seemed to you, responses back and forth? What do you guys have to do now?
BRAD MARCHAND: Respond (laughter).
I think that’s been part of why both teams are in the Finals, because we’ve both been able to respond, have good bounce-back games whenever we have a loss or a bad game. You need that this time of year. Once you go multiple games with bad games, nothing you can put together, that’s when you find yourself in a tight spot.
That’s why they’re a good team. They’ve been resilient. We’ve been able to do the same. We got to make sure we regroup and get back to work next one.