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The Postseason Begins

Boston held their first practice of the playoffs today in Wilmington

Monday, 04.09.2012 / 2:53 PM / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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."

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Krejci 80 19 50 39 69
P. Bergeron 80 30 32 38 62
J. Iginla 78 30 31 34 61
M. Lucic 80 24 35 30 59
B. Marchand 82 25 28 36 53
R. Smith 82 20 31 28 51
C. Soderberg 73 16 32 4 48
Z. Chara 77 17 23 25 40
T. Krug 79 14 26 18 40
L. Eriksson 61 10 27 14 37
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 36 15 6 .930 2.04
C. Johnson 17 4 3 .925 2.10
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