Round One Goes to Boston
The Garden will host the second half of the home and home on Thursday
Wednesday, 12.31.2008 / 10:36 AM / Features
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
Bruins head coach Claude Julien wouldn't admit it, but the Bruins 5-2 take down of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night felt like one of those wins.
"It's hard to compare," said Julien. "But I can tell you that it was a really good game and I thought we had a really good effort all around.
"From start to finish I think we stuck with it and there weren't any soft moments or soft shifts.
"That's kind of what we talked about yesterday. We thought our game had to get back to getting our work ethic back to where it used to be where it was our pride and our forte," he said.
With their 60-minute effort the Bruins did that and worked through some tough moments to power through to a victory.
"I know we keep saying that through the course of 82 games you can have some tougher games than others, but the fact that we still manage to win those games was a good sign -- but you didn't wan to get complacent and stay in that mode," explained Julien. "For us to play against what I consider to be a real good team and play the way we did tonight, was certainly encouraging."
Lost in the firepower displayed by the Bruins was a spectacular performance by goalie Tim Thomas, who held the line until the Boston offense broke out.
"Timmy was making those point blank saves," said Julien. "They've got some good shooters and...I thought he was very, very good."
Thomas' defense had to allow the veteran goalie to see those shots coming in and that was not an easy task.
"I think that's something that [the Penguins] do extremely well," said Julien. "They cycle the puck and they find those guys in the slot area and we had to address that before the game.
"I was really about making sure we took that part of the game away and making sure our guys collapsed [to protect the net].
"They had a couple of chances in the first from the corner to the slot area, but we tightened up after that," he said.
Julien cautioned, however, that with the Penguins set to return to Boston on Thursday evening anything but a solid 60-minute effort that night will result in a defeat.
"We talked about that," said Julien. "This is going to be a rematch on New Year's Day and they are a proud team.
"They are certainly not going to roll over and die. They are going to come into [the TD Banknorth Garden] and want revenge.
"They are going to come out hard and I think that's what we expect," he said.
Boston will take Wednesday off from practice and will return to action on Thursday night.