|Game 7 countdown, 6 p.m.: Wednesday’s game-winner could come from unlikely hero||06.15.11 at 5:47 pm ET|
With a series-high six points apiece, Michael Ryder, Mark Recchi and David Krejci have lead the way offensively for Boston, and the Bruins will certainly be counting on their big guns with the title on the line. However, Stanley Cup Game 7 history has shown that big plays often come from unexpected places. Here’s just a pair of examples.
The last time the Stanley Cup finals saw a Game 7 was in 2009, when the Penguins shocked the Red Wings in Detroit for their first title in 17 years. Marc-Andre Fleury stole the show in net, but it wasn’t Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin providing the offense. Instead, Maxime Talbot, a grinder who never had more than 13 goals in a season, scored twice for the Penguins in the 2-1 victory.
Back in 2003, the Devils relied on former benchwarmer Michael Rupp for all three points in their 3-0 title-clinching win over the Ducks. The forward had been a healthy scratch since March, and didn’t hit the ice until Game 4 of the finals when Joe Nieuwendyk went down with an injury. Rupp had one assist through his first three games, but erupted for a goal and two assists in the decisive Game 7.
So who might play that role for the Bruins? Rookie Tyler Seguin has been relatively quiet with just one assist after breaking out in the Eastern Conference finals against the Lightning, while Adam McQuaid, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton have stayed off the score sheet through the last six games.
A goal from Patrice Bergeron or Zdeno Chara wouldn’t qualify as unlikely, although neither player has lit the lamp this series.