BOSTON -- Ever since Nov. 12 when Bruins winger Milan Lucic barreled over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller in a race to the puck and Lucic wasn’t suspended, there has been extra bad blood between the Sabres and Bruins. The two teams have long been division rivals, but it hit another level this season. So with the Bruins -- locked in as the second seed in the Eastern Conference for the Stanley Cup playoffs -- and the Sabres -- who were eliminated from playoff contention Thursday night -- having nothing to play for except pride, does Boston expect Buffalo to take any runs at Bruins players Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams and try to hurt Boston’s playoff chances?
“You have to give them credit. Their organization, their coaching staff, they’re classier than that,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. “They don’t do that. I don’t think that they’d send messages because they’re eliminated and go after a team and try to take away their chances. I don’t think they’d do that. I trust my knowledge of Lindy and his crew to be pretty accurate.”
Bruins winger Brad Marchand agreed. He said he expects the same hard-fought game as ever.
“I don’t think so, but I think they’ll play strong and physical because they always do,” Marchand said. “They always play hard against us, but with regards to taking runs at guys and cheap shots, I don’t think they’ll play that kind of game. There’s also the fear of getting suspended for next year, so this should be just a strong, physical game.”
But as Marchand pointed out, with that expected physicality the Bruins need to come to play even though the game is meaningless.
“It’s definitely dangerous when you play a team like that,” Marchand said. “They have nothing to lose and basically they’re just trying to be a spoiler. They usually play a very strong game and they want to finish their season on a good note. We have to be prepared to counter that and come prepared to play.”