It's been ten long days since the Penguins swept the Bruins. At least they're well-rested.
"We got to heal, sort of lick our wounds and get some rest," Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli said. "And then we went pretty hard. So I think we're well-prepared. We're ready to go. Our guys are excited they're fresh."
"We had a few days off, rest some bumps and bruises and we had a few hard practices," Tom Kostopoulos added. "So we're looking forward to getting back at it."
Against a rival. After a ten day layoff, it's Penguins-Bears in the Calder Cup Eastern Conference Semifinals. Does it get any better?
"It's gonna be a great game, great series," Carter Rowney said. "I think all year you can see, you know, the rivalry and games get heating up a little bit during the season and when the playoffs come, every game's going to be heated."
All signs point to this being a close series. Each rival won six of the twelve regular season meetings. But this is the Calder Cup Playoffs and the loser goes home."
"Every little thing's going to matter and it doesn't matter that we're playing Hershey. That's our rival. But it's just a matter of us going out and executing our gameplan better than theirs," Donatelli explained.
"I just think everything's magnified," the captain, Kostopoulos added. "I think mistakes are magnified, big plays are magnified. So we'll have to bring our best game."
To beat their biggest rival, on the biggest stage.
"These teams have been going at it here for a long time and they know each other," Donatelli said. "There's a rich history there. We're gonna block out all the noise and we're gonna concentrate on the X's and O's and what our team needs to do to win."
"If anyone's knew to hockey, I'd say definitely come out and watch a playoff game," Kostopoulos said. "It's probably the most fun you'll have at a hockey game and I know the players in here are excited to get it going."
Game one is Wednesday.