BOSTON -- After watching his team blow two straight third-period leads, it would have only been natural for Claude Julien and his staff to have gotten the "here we go again" feeling when Leafs forward Jay McClement cut the Bruins' lead to 3-2 with 5:08 left in regulation Thursday, before Tyler Seguin eventually added an empty-netter with 15 seconds left to help the Bruins hold on for the 4-2 win. But Julien simply said he was impressed with the team's attitude on the bench.
"I think their whole attitude was, 'Listen, we're here to win, let's not play on our heels. Let's go get the next one.'" Julien said. "We had a couple good scoring chances after they made it 3-2. Like I said before, we even scored that empty-netter. At least we didn't sit back; we didn't panic. Our guys responded well, we looked more like the team of before, when they made it 3-2, than we did the last couple games."
Julien wasn't about to bring up the past two games during the second intermission as his team prepared to defend a 3-1 lead. As far as he was concerned, there was no point in bringing up the past. This team has built itself on a mantra of moving on from each game, win or lose. Julien intended to focus on the details of the game, what exactly needed to be done to keep the lead.
"There wasn't much more," Julien said. "Sometimes you bring that up and it hurts you more than helps so we didn't bring that up, we just talked about what do we need to do in this third period. ... Never talked about let's make sure we don't blow the lead for a third time in a row here. That's certainly not a good message for your team going into a third period with a 3-1 lead."
Through 21 games, the Bruins are 15-3-3 with 33 points. They trail Northeast Division and Eastern Conference leader Montreal by a point with three games in hand. Julien likes the fact his team is working through the peaks and valleys.
"We're certainly not perfect right now. We're certainly not, as I mentioned earlier, firing on all cylinders," Julien said. "I think right now, we're laboring through it. But, the work ethic was there tonight. The peaks and valleys of a season are pretty obvious that watching us play, nothing is real easy right now. The fact that we're working through it -- if we keep working like that, it will come back."