BOSTON – Having played for Peter Laviolette during Carolina’s run to the 2006 Stanley Cup championship and having seen a lot of motivational tactics by different coaches over his more than two decades in the game, Mark Recchi isn’t surprised by the Flyers bench boss’s Game 2 postgame comments.
After Boston won Game 2 in Philadelphia Monday night to take a 2-0 lead, Laviolette alluded back to the Bruins’ inability to close out Philadelphia last spring with a 3-0 lead when asked about pressure heading back to Boston for Game 3 and 4.
“It relives us of the pressure, I believe, a little bit to just go in and play a game in Boston,” said the coach. “And while that relieves us of the pressure, it certainly mounts onto them to be successful now that they have a 2-0 lead.”
Game 3 is tomorrow night at the TD Garden. As for which team carries more pressure into it, Recchi respects Laviolette’s opinion but begs to differ.
“He’s very intelligent. He’s a good coach and he’s very intelligent and he’ll try to take the pressure off his hockey club,” said Recchi today at the TD Garden, where the Bruins went through some off-ice workouts. “That’s why he’s a good coach and that’s why he’s won a Cup. He’s good at it and I have a lot of respect for him as a coach. He’s going to do whatever he can. That’s what he’s good at. …
“But we can’t worry about what he says. We worry about what happens in this dressing room. We’ll be ready to play and we believe in each other and we trust each other and that’s all you can do.”
Recchi’s fellow alternate captain Patrice Bergeron also isn’t worried his team will get caught up in any verbal or mental warfare with the Flyers, regardless of who says what.
“Obviously he’s trying to do whatever it takes and play head games and we can’t worry about that, to be honest with you,” said the veteran center. “We’re feeling good about ourselves and all we have to worry about is winning Game 3, don’t worry about what they’re saying and what they’re thinking.”
The Bruins are banking on the notion that they’re a totally different hockey team than the one that lost that 3-0 lead last spring and that they proved that by vanquishing their Game 7 demons against Montreal in the first round. Compared to playing and winning a Game 7 in overtime against the hated Habs, the Bruins’ current situation should be less stressful.
“Well, I mean there’s no pressure. We have to focus on what we do,” he said. “Again … we get in our bubble and we worry about what we have to do and not what people are saying and obviously there’s a lot of pessimism about the past. And hey, we got rid of one in the first series and we’ve just got to go play.”
We’ll find out if the Bruins are feeling any of the heat when they take the ice Wednesday evening.