BOSTON -- It’s not unusual for teams during this stretch of the playoffs to play mind games with opponents. Some coaches are very good at it. Others stay away from it.
During the Eastern Conference finals, Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher has attempted to draw Bruins coach Claude Julien into some gamesmanship, and it wasn’t until after Game 6 when Julien finally responded in regards to the on-ice officials.
Time and again during this series Boucher has tried to create some bulletin board material for his players, but the Bruins haven’t responded to any of them.
“Everyone does a pretty good job staying pretty vanilla this time of year,” said Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said. “You don’t want to give the other side any ammo.
“To tell you the truth, our team has done a good job all year not reading that stuff. Unless [media] brings it up, it’s not mentioned in here about what they’re saying on that side. We’re only worried about what’s going on in this room and what we have to do over here. Some people do it, some people don’t.”
At one point during the series Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said quite harmlessly that the Bruins, if they played the type of game they can, should win the series. Well of course a player is going to say that. It’s not like he’ll say the team is going to lose.
Boucher took that comment and turned it into Thomas guaranteeing a Bruins victory in this series.
Either way, once the puck drops on Game 7 Friday night, it’s all about what happens on the ice.
“We do a pretty good job of keeping it even-keeled,” Thornton said. “The outside stuff doesn’t matter.”