BOSTON -- The Bruins didn’t play their best until it counted most in their dramatic seven-game series win over the Maple Leafs that propelled them into a second-round matchup with the Rangers that starts tonight. But while some are pointing out the negatives in that series and saying the Bruins need to be better against the Rangers if they are to advance, coach Claude Julien is approaching it differently.
When asked if this series is a chance for a fresh start for some of his players, Julien seemed a bit defensive and stressed the character his team showed in the first round, specifically in their miraculous comeback win in Game 7.
“It depends who you are,” Julien said. “For some reason, this last series seems to have been looked upon as negative for some people. For us, it was a great character win, we’re looking forward to moving ahead and we’re not looking at it the way a lot of people are looking at it. It’s not a chance to redeem yourself, because we’re in the second round -- we don’t have to redeem ourselves for anything. What we have to do here is look forward to this series and do whatever we can to move ahead. The character win that this team showed in Game 7 should be looked upon as a positive. That’s the way I look at it.”
One player who has repeatedly acknowledged he can be better is Tyler Seguin, who had just an assist in the Toronto series. While Seguin and his teammates will try to build off the momentum of that comeback win in Game 7, they realize a new opponent and series is upon them and they can’t rest on their laurels.
“You try to take the momentum [from Game 7], but I think our team does really well trying to keep an even keel game to game,” Seguin said. “Obviously you can’t look past how much emotion was put into the last game but walking out of here [Monday] we wanted to make sure we enjoyed it but we knew that we had to turn right around here and get ready for tonight.”
Seguin and the Bruins also know that they can’t expect to pull off a comeback like that every game. While the Bruins have been able to dig deep, use some luck, and come back to win after tough starts, he says things would be a lot easier if they used their desperation mentality earlier in the game.
“Well, we seem to win when we do it that way,” Seguin joked of the slow starts. “But of course you don’t want to play that way and be inconsistent. It’d be nice to go out there and pop a couple goals in early and play our game. We need to not always get down two goals and have to fight back. I think if we can find that team that we are when we get down two goals in a game but not be down two goals, and stay consistent with that, we’ll be a lot better.”