BOSTON, MA - After a day off on Sunday following their come-from-behind win in Game 2, the Bruins were back on the ice at TD Garden Monday for a full practice before jetting off to Montreal for the ensuing two games. Games 3 and 4 are set for Tuesday and Thursday.
From the confines of home, the Black & Gold will be bringing their confidence from the comeback victory with them to the hostile Bell Centre.
For many, it's a difficult place to play, with 21,000-plus fans showering their Habs with praise, and their opponent with boos.
"Being tied 1-1, we're definitely a confident group going in there, but it's going to be a different challenge going into Montreal, playing in the atmosphere there and the intensity that the crowd will bring," Daniel Paille said following Monday's practice at TD Garden.
For the Bruins, though, it's nothing too different than what they've experienced before. It's the playoffs, and every building is loud. It's about embracing that, whether at home, or on the road.
"I mean, that's how you get into the game. Our crowd is just as loud when we get going, and we just feed off of it," said Paille. "So as the road team, you just kind of tend to enjoy it and have a good time with it."
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins were off on Sunday, following their 5-3 comeback win over Montreal in Game 2 on Saturday that saw them rally for four straight goals in the third period.
During the availability, Julien gave the latest update on Chris Kelly’s recovery. The alternate captain has been out of game action since April 8.
“Chris Kelly is coming along. Every day’s a better day for him, so that’s basically all I can tell you about him,” said Julien.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli later issued an update through the team on defenseman Adam McQuaid, who has been sidelined since January 19.
“McQuaid underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on Thursday, May 1 on his right ankle,” Chiarelli said in the update. “His expected recovery time is eight weeks.”
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins don't make it easy.
They make it nail-biting, and dramatic. Just when you think it's maybe 'not their day' and luck isn't on their side and the fight isn't quite there, they'll make you wish those thoughts had never entered your mind.
If this was a first time affair, maybe those thoughts would have crept into their minds, too.
But we've seen the Black & Gold rally from deficits, time and time again. They had already done it twice, from down two goals, this postseason, though there's one comeback in 2013 that still sticks out the most and makes you think anything's actually possible.
As a result, Saturday's comeback at TD Garden that saw the Bruins fight from being down 3-1 midway through the third period to score four straight goals and take the 5-3 win from Montreal, shouldn't be too shocking.
"When we get that first goal, I think everyone knows that if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen again," said Dougie Hamilton, who started the comeback at 10:56 into the third to pull Boston to within one. The Habs still led 3-2.
"It just seemed like we got that life, and we knew we were going to come back and win the game," said Brad Marchand, who pulled up in the left wing circle and found Hamilton with a cross-ice pass for the crowd-awakening goal from the high slot.
WILMINGTON, MA - This time of year, you'll hear a familiar refrain from the Bruins.
One game at a time. Short-term memory. Don't get too high, don't get too low.
The refrain is there, because it works. In the playoffs, a win can put you over the moon, and every loss feels like losing a Game 7 in overtime. A player has to trick his mind into never being satisfied, while never being too hard on himself.
"It's never fun to lose, especially at this time of the year," said Patrice Bergeron, as the team gathered at their practice rink, Ristuccia Arena, following their 4-3 double overtime loss to Montreal in Game 1 on Thursday night. Most Bruins stayed off to rest, while a dozen opted to hit the ice. All regrouped.
"That being said, you've got to put it in the past. It's a series and it's one game, so we need to make sure we bounce back."
There was a calmness to the Bruins' locker room following the loss; not in a complacent sort of way, but stemming from the fact that while the OT loss stung, it was, after all, just one game.
That's why come Friday, the group's feeling towards its play on the ice was still a positive one.
"Of course it is," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. "I said it [Thursday] night, there was no panic after the game. It was only Game 1, and it's a long series."
BOSTON, MA - The feeling was disappointment.
It wasn't frustration, or anger, and it didn't result in careless words being thrown around in the locker room postgame. Amidst the disappointment, there was still a sense of calm.
"This is just game number one here. You don’t get frustrated after one game," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien.
At 4:17 into double overtime late Thursday night, P.K. Subban beat Tuukka Rask right off the faceoff on the power play with his lethal point shot.
The Bruins had first killed off a penalty to Daniel Paille to start the second OT, and were tasked with killing another, as Matt Bartkowski was sent to the box for a hold after trying to gain positioning with Brandon Prust in front of Rask.
They came up short, falling 4-3 as the Habs took Game 1 at TD Garden. The result stung.
"That’s pretty self-explanatory," said a solemn but calm Bartkowski, when asked about the disappointment following the loss.
The pain won't necessarily linger for long, though.
BostonBruins.com - Every day in the lead-up to their second round series against the Montreal Canadiens, the Bruins have been asked about the storied rivalry between the two franchises.
It's been 90 years of hockey in Black & Gold. The teams will be facing each other in a postseason series for a much talked about 34th time - the most in all of North American professional sports.
For the core of current Bruins, they've seen the Habs during the playoffs three times since 2008. In 2011, the collision course took them through Montreal to the Cup. That barrier stands in their way yet again.
"Well there's definitely a lot of history and it's always very special to play the Canadiens," Patrice Bergeron said on the morning of Game 1 from the Bruins' locker room at TD Garden.
"It's always an intense game and hard to play against type of games to win, so it's about making sure we take it up to another notch."
Countless reporters had streamed into the locker room for the media availability time slot following the team's routine pregame skate, routinely crowding around the Bruins' stalls to catch their every word.
David Krejci was asked earlier in the week what he thinks of when he hears Boston-Montreal. His easy response?
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins and Canadiens get the honor of kicking off the second round with Game 1 tonight at TD Garden.
In preparation, the Black & Gold hit the ice for their routine pregame skate Thursday morning, with Daniel Paille once again on the ice with the group.
Brad Marchand did not join in the skate (he skated Wednesday with the team after missing Tuesday's practice). "He took his option," Head Coach Claude Julien said of the winger's absence.
As for Paille, Julien said the forward would be a "game-time" decision to return to the lineup. He's been out of game action since the second to last regular season game on April 12 against Buffalo when he took a heavy hit.
"Yesterday, and going into this morning's skate, I feel like I'm back to where I need to be," Paille said following the skate.
It's been a somewhat frustrating few weeks for the forward, and while extremely proud of the team's performance in Round 1, he's been itching to get back into the lineup.
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins now have Game 1 against Montreal officially in their sights, with the NHL announcing Thursday's 7:30 p.m. game time.
The rest of the series' schedule will come sometime after the conclusion of the first round, which had three Games 7s on tap for Wednesday night.
Both Boston and Montreal were expecting the possibility of more time off, but regardless of what they were originally banking on, the Bruins and Habs will be ready to carry over their rivalry when the puck drops on Thursday night.
"You just try to focus on the day at hand and whatever you've got to do," said Tuukka Rask, following the Bruins' practice at TD Garden on Wednesday. It marked their second practice this week following two days off. "Our preparation is the same."
It doesn't allow as much time for pre-scout video sessions, but as Rask claimed, "we'll be ready for tomorrow."
"We had to make some adjustments," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. "Obviously at first, it looked more like a Friday, maybe Saturday. There was a lot of that talk, but there was never any talk of Thursday, so you plan accordingly and then you find out last night that you've got to kind of move a little quicker than expected, so that’s part of making adjustments as you go along."
BOSTON, MA - Four months ago, on December 30, a disheartened Dennis Seidenberg stood in the locker room of the Bruins' practice rink, speaking with reporters about the season-ending ACL/MCL tear in his right knee that would require surgery.
"Right now, I’m in good spirits, but I think it will start once I have the surgery and it’s going to be everyday rehab when it’s going to start getting tough," Seidenberg had said. "There’s going to be ups and downs but I'll be prepared for it and stay positive."
The expected recovery time was estimated at 6-8 months.
On April 8, Seidenberg began skating on his own at the same practice rink. Off and on for weeks, he and Adam McQuaid would hit the ice with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides going through the necessary recovery steps, building strength, and taking it a day at a time. They would filter off the ice long before the team filtered on for practice.
Seidenberg is still amidst that process, but now he gets the encouragement of doing it on the ice with his teammates.
On April 21, the trainers and Head Coach Claude Julien had the defenseman participate in the team's light optional skate. It consisted of simple drills, and no contact. "For encouragement reasons," Julien had said.
BOSTON, MA - On Tuesday, as the Bruins returned to work at TD Garden in advance of their second round series against Montreal, Daniel Paille got to take part in the full contact practice.
"It feels good to be out there with the guys in a full practice - I've skated for over a week now on my own, and a couple of optional skates - but definitely feels good to get a full contact practice going. I feel fresh," said Paille, speaking with media for the first time since his injury in the final regular season home game on April 12.
Paille had taken a heavy hit from Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe in the third period of that penultimate game, and has since been out of game action.
"I've been definitely watching the games with the guys that haven't played, and realize how good we've been, so it's definitely positive, especially going into the second round," said Paille.
"To have the opportunity to skate today and play with contact, you definitely take it for granted when you don't have it, so I felt very fortunate to come back and practice with the team."
Paille doesn't have any more testing, to his knowledge.