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The Postseason Begins

Boston held their first practice of the playoffs today in Wilmington

Monday, 04.9.2012 / 2:53 PM ET / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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The Postseason Begins
WILMINGTON, MA -- With the regular season in the rear-view mirror, Boston Bruins Head Coach put his charges through a high-paced, 45-minute practice at Ristuccia Memorial Arena.

Afterward, Julien talked about the necessary mental transition into the postseason after a grueling 82-game campaign.

"Obviously, there’s a lot of little things," said Julien of the differences between the two mentalities. "First of all there’s the excitement of being in the playoffs is a little bit different than getting excited for 82 games. I think everybody knows that.

"But at the same time, the mental approach is – you know that one mistake can cost you a game, one mistake can cost you a series. You minimize it into those kind of things and understand how important it is to be ready to play every game to be focused, but also to have the energy to play through those. You can’t let the pressure crush you, but you’ve got to thrive on it.

"That’s what we, as a team I think have learned, the most from last years’ experience was that going into Game 7 - I thought our guys did such a great job of just going in there and playing versus being afraid to lose that game," explained Julien. "We went out there determined to win, so I think our mindset and our maturity in that area grew a lot last year."

Yesterday, in Peter Chiarelli's availability, the Bruins general manager said that he wasn't going to divulge the B's entire gameplan versus the Caps, but that it was obvious that Zdeno Chara would figure prominently.

"I think it’s pretty hard to deny that he’s not going to play against [their] best players, but at the same time, I really feel that there’s a lot more than Ovechkin on that team and let’s not get caught up in looking at one player," said Julien, who noted that the B's own style of defensive responsibility was pervasive in the locker room and has been since his first season as the head coach in Boston.

"You know, we had a young team, we had a lot of players that aren’t here anymore, and we still made the playoffs and brought Montreal to Game 7 because our team played the system and worked hard at it and gave Montreal all it could handle," said Julien. "So, I really felt that our guys right from the get-go, guys like Zdeno and those kind of guys that were good leaders, really bought into it and just kind of made sure that the whole team followed suit.

"And I really felt good about that first year because our goals against went down and obviously we weren’t a team that had a lot of fire-power but we still managed to score enough goals to make the playoffs."

But now, the roles are reversed and Boston goes into the series with home-ice advantage against a lower-ranked opponent.

Julien, however, cautioned against overlooking the complete package that Washington will bring to the TD Garden on Thursday.

"They’re a team that’s very capable of playing solid two-way hockey," said Julien. "They’ve got their guys scoring and they’ve done a good job of defending as well. They never got enough credit for how good their defensive game has gotten over the year and they’ve been a lot better at that.

"As we all know, they’ve given us some tough games...but lately the games that we’ve played against them they’ve been tight and they’ve been close, and they’ve been well-played."

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
2 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
3 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
4 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
5 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
6 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
7 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
8 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 80 32 36 12 68
L. Eriksson 82 30 33 13 63
D. Krejci 72 17 46 4 63
B. Marchand 77 37 24 21 61
R. Spooner 80 13 36 -9 49
T. Krug 81 4 40 9 44
M. Beleskey 80 15 22 6 37
Z. Chara 80 9 28 12 37
J. Hayes 75 13 16 -12 29
D. Pastrnak 51 15 11 3 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 31 22 8 .915 2.56
J. Gustavsson 11 9 1 .908 2.72
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