Bruins Take Off for Montreal, Ready to Embrace Bell Centre Crowd
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."
Being prepared for what to expect is one way to alleviate pressure. Having actually been through it before eliminates the pressure altogether.
"Yeah, exactly. We've been there before," said Johnny Boychuk.
"Well, we've played in lots of rinks in playoffs now and against lots of teams," he added, underlying the fact that this core group of Bruins has experienced it all.
"We know what to expect, and we don't expect anything else. It's going to be tough. It is a tough series, and it's going to continue to be a tough series, whether you're home or away, and you expect that."
However, for an opposing goaltender, it can admittedly be a tougher place to play, especially when he's as vocal between the pipes as Tuukka Rask. The crowd can make it tough to speak, and hear his teammates around him.
"But it's a great place to play," said Rask. "Because the fans are so loud and the atmosphere is great."
"Then again, if you dig yourself a hole there in the first period, then it becomes tough, but I like it there because you can feed off the energy of the crowd."
The key is to embrace it, but also be able to push it aside.
"At the end of the day, we've just got to go out there and play our game," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. "It’s important for us to think about what we need to do to win and not let those kind of distractions get in our heads."
That mentality has served the Bruins well all year, and to start the postseason. They believe that they can overcome any challenge.
"Well, we don’t get rattled as a team," said Julien. "I've said that before and it sounds like I keep repeating myself with the same answers. But we don’t get rattled, we just stick with our game and maybe that is why we are able to make those kinds of comebacks, because we don’t get rattled."
"Do we get frustrated at times? Yes, that doesn’t always mean it’s about the game, it’s about different things. At the same time, we don’t get rattled, we believe in ourselves, we believe in our team."
"You've just got to go out there and put your mind into the game you have to play and not worry too much about fans or anything else going on around you," said David Krejci.
Paille's Speed Adds to Third Line
In the third period of Game 1, Daniel Paille moved up to the third line with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. Justin Florek shifted to the "Merlot Line" with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton, and in Game 2, Jordan Caron slotted in for Florek.
The trio of Paille, Soderberg and Eriksson played together at times during the regular season, when Thornton and Chris Kelly were out of the lineup.
At practice on Monday, Paille stayed skating with the pair.
"He’s an experienced player. He’s a guy that can skate, he’s a guy that I think is underrated for the level of skill he’s got, and right now, we thought that was the right move to make to put him there and to give that line even more experience and more speed," said Julien.
For Paille, it's a situation he's found himself in before.
"I want to continue to use my speed like I have and as long as we do that and I do that, we'll be in good shape," said Paille.
Caron Earning Spot
Jordan Caron played all five games of the Detroit series, and notched his first postseason goal, before sitting out Game 1 against Montreal when Paille returned to the lineup. Caron found himself back in for Game 2, playing with Campbell and Thornton, after Paille was moved to the third line.
"[Jordan] played well. I thought he worked hard, he competed hard along the boards, he’s been going to the net hard," said Julien. "So it’s just one of those things that you feel that he’s earned the opportunity to get back in there, and no matter how much ice he gets, whenever he’s out there, he’s giving everything he’s got."