Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
TD Bank
Bruins Blog
Get the latest from the Bruins Beat with Caryn Switaj & Jess Isner and follow on Twitter at @NHLBruins

Bruins Relishing Challenge of Facing Pens

Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 9:41 AM
By Caryn Switaj - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog
X
Share with your Friends


Bruins Blog
Bruins Relishing Challenge of Facing Pens

BostonBruins.com - On Tuesday afternoon following the Bruins' high-tempo, high-intensity practice - the first in a four-day prep before facing the Penguins in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night in Pittsburgh - the players filtered off the ice at Ristuccia Arena, into the locker room and began to speak with a hoard of reporters.

It felt like just another practice back out in Wilmington. While the sun was beating down with the playoff-weather temperature of around 80 degrees outside, the inside of the infamously cold arena half an hour outside the city, was just as freezing as ever.

Only, it was so different.

The intensity was higher, the mood jovial but focused. Never was there a time during the regular season where the Black & Gold had seven days to rest, recover, refocus.

Was it really 16 days ago that the season was on the ropes, in Game Seven, down by three goals with the phantoms of summer closing in?

On Tuesday, there were the Bruins, speaking in front of their stalls, excited, ready, chomping at the bit, to face the Eastern Conference's most highly-touted team in the Penguins.

"It’s great - that’s why we play is to play against the best," said Bruins alternate captain Patrice Bergeron, ever so cooly.

"And this series is going to be the same thing, so it’s a good challenge and it’s a lot of fun. That’s what playoff hockey is all about, so we’re looking forward to it."

It's been well-documented just how strong Pittsburgh's offense is, with their 4.27 goals-per-game average that leads the playoffs (the highest since the 1985 Edmonton Oilers at 5.44 goals-per-game). Behind the NHL's playoff scoring leader in David Krejci (5-12=17) sits Evgeni Malkin (4-12=16), Kris Letang (3-13=16) and Sidney Crosby (7-8=15) in the No. 2-4 slots.

"I think, anytime in hockey you want to face the best, play against the best players, play the best teams and obviously that's what you have to go through in the playoffs, is to go against the best teams," said Bergeron. "And I think the Penguins are a team that's ahead of us right now to get to our goal - and it's a good challenge."

Going up against one of the best teams in the NHL means that for the first time this postseason, the B's may be the "underdogs."

"We're fine with it," said Bergeron, of the label. "We've been through that before in previous years. I think hockey's always, it doesn't matter until you get on the ice."

"They are a great team, we respect them but at the same time, we believe in our abilities and we know we have the confidence."

"It's going to be exciting, it's going to be a good challenge. Definitely looking forward to it and we'll be ready."

Tuukka Rask is also welcoming the pressure of having to step up his game in the Eastern Conference Finals.

"I’m one of those guys where you’ve got to relish the challenges. You can’t fear them, ‘Bring it on,'" said Coach Julien, of Rask and his team being up for the challenge.

"That’s what [Tuukka's] telling me right now, ‘Bring it on. I’m ready for it.’ That’s what our whole team’s demeanor is going to be, ‘Hey, we know it’s going to be a big challenge, bring it on.’"

"We’re ready for it and we’ll give it everything we have."

TD Bank

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 60 39 16 5 162 133 83
2 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
3 DET 59 33 15 11 173 154 77
4 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
5 FLA 60 26 21 13 145 169 65
6 OTT 58 25 23 10 166 161 60
7 TOR 60 24 31 5 167 183 53
8 BUF 61 18 38 5 114 204 41

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 59 17 25 2 42
L. Eriksson 59 14 20 1 34
D. Hamilton 60 10 24 -1 34
C. Soderberg 60 10 24 5 34
B. Marchand 55 17 15 6 32
R. Smith 60 12 20 8 32
M. Lucic 59 12 20 10 32
T. Krug 56 11 19 4 30
D. Krejci 38 7 19 7 26
C. Kelly 58 7 18 8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 24 16 9 .919 2.37
N. Svedberg 5 5 0 .915 2.43
Hallmark Health System
BRUINS FAN POLL
 
Friendly's - Official Family Restaurant and Ice Cream of the Boston Bruins
Jack Links
NHL Ticket Exchange
Dunkin' Donuts Ultimate Bruins Experience Sweepstakes   AMI Graphics   Geico - Aim for savings

Click the instant ticket and enter to win Second Chance Drawings