BOSTON — The Canes' Scott Walker and Jussi Jokinen aren't expecting a warm reception tonight by Bruins fans at TD Banknorth Garden. It could be loud, and it could be rude and crude.
Not a problem, they say.
"I don't know," Walker said today, smiling. "Really, the game is played between the glass and the boards. I'm not worried about that. It's Game 7."
The last time they were on the Bruins' home ice, in Game 5, Walker nailed Boston defenseman Aaron Ward with a punch late in the game. Walker was fined $2,500 but not suspended by the league — a decision that still has the Bruins and their fans steaming about a "sucker punch."
Jokinen hit defenseman Zdeno Chara on the back of the foot with his stick late in the second period. Chara went down in pain — the B's claimed it was a slash and Jokinen called it a "tap" — but returned to play the third.
"I'm sure the crowd will be great," Jokinen said, also smiling. "I don't care. It should be fun."
In Game 7 against the New Jersey Devils, Jokinen's goal with 1:20 left tied the score 3-3 with the Devils on the verge of victory. Eric Staal then won it with a score with 31.7 seconds left.
"These games are what you always dream about as a young kid," Jokinen said. "I'm been fortunate to be in one in these playoffs and hopefully we can win another.
"You have to take the good things you have done in the playoffs and learn from the bad things you have done. It's one game and the stakes are high."
Walker assisted on Matt Cullen's second-period goal in Game 6 that pulled the Canes within 2-1 after the B's scored twice in the first five minutes of the game. But the Bruins then added a pair of goals in the second period and won 4-2 for their second straight victory after trailing 3-1 in the series.
"They were playing for their lives and we were trying to win," Walker said of the two losses. "Obviously we would have liked to end it, but they were more desperate and it showed.
"Tonight you will see two desperate teams. We just need to skate and be the team we usually are."
What needs to improve the most from the losses in Games 5 and 6?
"We have to get out of our end a little better and our coverage has to be a little better," Walker said. "But it will be more about the team being a little more desperate and winning the puck more tonight."
"These games are what you always dream about as a young kid. I'm been fortunate to be in one this playoff and hopefully we can win another. You have to take the good things you have done in the playoffs and learn from the bad things you have done. It's one game, stakes are high.