BostonBruins.com – For the second straight series, the Bruins hold a three-games-to-none lead. Last round against the New York Rangers, the B’s dropped Game Four at Madison Square Garden, before finishing off the Blueshirts in Game Five. The B’s don’t want a repeat performance; they want to end things tonight and move on to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in three years.
“We've been through it with the Rangers, we were up 3-0 and we know how hard that last game was to win,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien during his media availability at TD Garden on Thursday, as his team stayed off the ice to rest following the 2-1 double overtime win that crept into the morning.
“That has to continue to be our belief, and the one thing we do know is we've got to play a better game than we did [Wednesday] night. We might have won the game, but we're certainly not pleased with the way we played. We know they played better but I don't think we did, and we've got to make sure we're at the top of our game [tonight].”
The Black & Gold also had a 3-1 lead against Toronto in the first round and were forced to a seventh game, in which they had to make a historic third period comeback to advance. The B’s hope to use their experiences from both prior series this postseason as they try to close out the Penguins.
BOSTON, MA – With the amount of talent that the Penguins possess, the Bruins are aware that Pittsburgh can break out at any time. But as much as they need to be cognizant of Pittsburgh’s potential for an offensive breakthrough, the Bruins will be focused on their own game tonight and making sure they don’t take a step back when the two teams meet at TD Garden for Game Three of the Eastern Conference finals.
“I think our guys are mature enough to understand that whatever we went through, whatever the situation is right now, we have to be a good team in order to win at
this stage of the season,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien, following the team’s pre-game skate this morning.
“We can’t afford to let our guard down, whether it’s the respect for a team you’re playing, and the ability of that team to take advantage of you if you’re not ready, or whether it’s just from within our group to want to be a good team every night.
“That’s what’s important right now, that we stay focused on the present and don’t live in the past, don’t look in the future. I’ve said that before, we’ve been good when we’ve kept our eye on what’s going on right now. That’s what we’ve got to do.”
BostonBruins.com – The Bruins know what it’s like to overcome a two-games-to-none deficit. They also know what it’s like to blow series leads. So it is for that reason that the Black & Gold aren’t ready to write off their Eastern Conference finals series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The B’s may have won the first two games of the series by a combined score of 9-1 – both on the road – but they aren’t getting too excited.
“Any time you can come back from a road trip like that, having won both games, it’s encouraging,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien, while speaking to reporters at Hanscom Field after the team arrived back home on Tuesday.
“Our team is really playing good hockey right now, without a doubt the best we’ve had this year. That has to continue to beat these guys. Like I said [Monday] night, we were in the same position as Pittsburgh a few years ago and we worked our way back into it. I think we understand the situation here.
“We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves here. We need to understand that these next games are crucial for us, just as much as it is for them.”
BostonBruins.com – Claude Julien remembers the teenage Patrice Bergeron. Julien was the Head Coach of the Montreal Canadiens in 2003-04, but even then, he noticed the 18-year-old Bergeron making an impact as a rookie for the Boston Bruins.
Now, all these years later, Julien has a front row seat to witness all that Bergeron brings to the Black & Gold, game in and game out.
“As an 18-year-old, I was extremely impressed with his maturity level as a person, but also as a player on the ice. He really impressed me,” said Julien following B’s practice earlier this week at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington.
“To me, at the time, this kid came out of nowhere. He just played one year of junior before he got drafted and made that jump. It was pretty impressive. And having the chance to coach him over the years, you can understand why he was what he was. He’s mature beyond his years.”
Throughout his six years at the helm of the Bruins, Julien has seen firsthand how much Bergeron has grown as a player.
The line of Seguin, Kelly and Rich Peverley has had trouble getting on the board during the postseason, combining for just two goals and three assists. But Seguin’s tally in Game Four against the New York Rangers and a strong performance by the entire line in Game Five has everybody feeling much better about the state of the trio heading into the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Julien thinks that Seguin heating up and skating alongside Kelly and Peverley could rekindle some of the magic those two had with goal-scorer Michael Ryder during the Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup two years ago.
“I think Richard can, offensively, have better numbers-there’s no doubt there-and so can Kells. They’ve shown that in the past,” said the B’s Head Coach, following his team’s practice at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday morning.
BostonBruins.com – It was just one game. That’s the Bruins’ mentality after their 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Black & Gold are moving on, shifting their focus to closing out the series in Game Five this afternoon at TD Garden.
“We have to,” said David Krejci, the league’s leading scorer in the playoffs, when asked if the team staying positive. “We have to stay the same way if we win or lose. The playoffs are a really short kind of season. You've got to live in the moment and always get ready for the next game, no matter what happened the game before.
“[Today] is another game, it's a new day. We're up 3-1, we have a chance to get another win at home [today]. We're going to try to do everything we can to get a win.”
For the first time in the series it seemed the bounces were going against the Bruins. They were not free of mistakes, but Boston didn't feel they got outworked in Game Four and, by cleaning up that part of their game, feels it is in good position for Game Five.
BostonBruins.com - The last time the Bruins swept a postseason series was during their 2011 Stanley Cup run. They took down the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round that season, just a year after the Flyers completed a historic comeback against Boston.
There is no revenge on the line tonight when the Bruins take on the New York Rangers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but there is motivation for the B’s to end things quickly. It was less than two weeks ago that Toronto surged back, after Boston had held the 3-1 series lead.
They want to put to bed the idea any sort of idea they have trouble closing out series and do not want to return to Boston after the game, unless it is to prepare for the Eastern Conference Finals.
“It would be nice [to close out the series],” said Bruins center David Krejci prior to Game Four. “But we know, we learned that the last one is the hardest in past years and even in the last series. Just got to get ready for [tonight] and play just like it's a Game One.”
BostonBruins.com - Even though they hold a 2-0 series lead, the Bruins know they can’t let up. They learned that during their first round series against Toronto, in which they had a 3-1 lead in the series, but allowed the Maple Leafs to force a seventh game.
“I think we need to be aware with them being down 2-0 and realize that they're going to be a lot better,” said Daniel Paille, after the B’s optional morning skate Tuesday morning. “We felt that we had two strong games, but we can always improve. We don't want to do too much, just add a little bit more effort, a little more grit.”
The Rangers have recent experience being down 2-0, having won their first round series against the Washington Capitals by coming back to win the final four out five games and advance.
“We obviously know what happened against Washington, them being down 2-0 again,” said Brad Marchand. “We want to make sure that we don't take it for granted. They played an extremely hard game. This series could be in a completely different situation right now if we didn't get a couple lucky bounces.
“We want to make sure we bring our best game tonight and hope for the best.”
BOSTON, MA – "Don’t be afraid to make mistakes." That was B’s Head Coach Claude Julien’s message to Torey Krug when the young blueliner was recalled from Providence before Game One against New York.
And that has been the focus that Julien wants all of his defensemen to have, including Krug’s fellow rookie teammates on the blueline, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski, as they get their first taste of postseason play.
“I said, ‘Don’t be afraid to make mistakes,’” Julien told reporters, of his message to Krug. “I don’t want him playing on his heels. In other words, I told him, ‘Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and play your game.’ So that was basically what I told him when he first got here."
"I said, ‘You know, I know how good you are, I know what you can bring to this team, just go out there and do it.’ I think it’s important, but the last thing you want to do is get those guys to play on their heels or play afraid to make a mistake."
BostonBruins.com – The Bruins and Rangers resume their second round series on Sunday afternoon on TD Garden, and after their 3-2 overtime win in Game One that saw Brad Marchand net the winner 15:40 into OT, the B’s are expecting the Blue Shirts to come out hungry in an attempt to tie the series at a game a piece.
“We expect them to come hard at us,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien following Bruins practice on Saturday. “We expected them to come hard at us last game, too. Our D’s handled it well, our forwards did a great job of coming back. It’s just a matter of being ready to up your game because the other team is going to be better.
“That should be something that you know automatically. We saw some things in our game that we talked about in our dressing room that we’ve got to improve on. That’s the adjustments you make game to game in these kinds of series.”
Game time is 3:00 p.m. ET. Catch the action on NBC, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and as always, the Bruins official Twitter feed @NHLBruins will post live updates from TD Garden.