It seems like the Boston Bruins may be headed into the Stanley Cup Final with a rather significant disadvantage according to many, including members of the Boston Bruins roster themselves.
On Sunday a number on TSN insiders touched on the topic of "rust" and how much of a factor that could prove to be for a Boston Bruins team that is looking at a massive 11 day gap between their win in the Eastern Conference Final and the star of the Stanley Cup Final. Although this may seem like a topic that could be manufactured by the media to create discussion before the Stanley Cup Final, there were some extremely well respected names from around the National Hockey League that actually suggested this could be a significant problem for the Bruins.
"I think it has a chance to be a story line in this series," said NHL insider Pierre LeBrun as per TSN.
Now it is one thing when a reporter says it, it is another matter entirely when a member of the team that is playing in the Stanley Cup Final acknowledges it could be a problem. According to LeBrun that is exactly what Bruins star Brad Marchand did when he was asked about the possibility of rust for Game 1.
"I asked Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins what would be the ideal time off for him between the two series and he said 'Play right away, we don not like practicing at this time of year and we want to get right back at it' and acknowledged that the rust factor could be one in Game 1."
There is a precedent here as well that should concern any fan of the Boston Bruins. Of course the Bruins are a different team than the ones that have come before them, but the trend that was mentioned by TSN insider Frank Seravalli is actually quite stunning.
"I think it is certainly going to be a factor... history would bear that out. 13 of the last 16 teams that had more rest in the Stanley Cup Playoffs went on to lose their series"
NHL legend Chris Pronger has personal experience in this department, suffering through a 9 day layoff before playing in a Stanley Cup Final as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. Pronger informed Seravalli that he felt that was too much time and that his body was never able to get back into the rhythm and momentum the Oilers had built for themselves up until that point.
It will be very interesting to see if the Bruins do indeed look a little flat in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.