The Bruins tonight will be entering the hockey cauldron of the Air Canada Centre, where close to 19,000 blue-and-white clad, success-starved Maple Leafs fans will be rocking the Bay Street building. And that’s after the B’s make it through the thousands more on the street who are even more rabid fans than the moneyed, martini-slurping crowd that can actually afford tickets.

Well, big deal.

That is the only conclusion you can come to when you look at this series. The Bruins took the two games played at the ACC, while the Leafs won two out of three in Boston. That kind of home-building disadvantage would be difficult to explain in any sport, but perhaps even more so in hockey when such tangible advantages are given to the home team with the last change and in the faceoff circle, where the visitor must put his stick down first.

“You often think that it should work to your advantage, but somehow it hasn’t in this series and it’s really hard to explain why,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “I think both teams are playing hard. We’ve played extremely well in Toronto and they’ve played pretty well in our building as well. I don’t know what it is . . . but we hope that trend continues (tonight).”

When the series first shifted to Toronto, Milan Lucic was asked about the B’s relatively poor road record in the regular season (12-9-3). But when the games get more important, the tension can affect a home team more adversely.

“It even happened last year in the Washington series. We were only able to win one home game, which is unfortunate because you’re supposed to have the home-ice advantage,” Lucic said. “And if you look at this year, our home record was a lot better than our road record. I wish I had an answer. Maybe there’s less pressure on the road to perform in front of your crowd, but that’s the million-dollar question right now.”

Despite their success at the ACC, the reasonable belief is that they’ll be facing a more confident Leafs team, which very well could have been the one looking to close out the series if it had gotten better bounces in the Bruins’ Game 4 overtime victory.