WASHINGTON -- Prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between Boston and Washington on Monday night at Verizon Center, Bruins coach Claude Julien told his players that he wanted to see them play with a much higher level of emotion and get back to the style of game that makes them successful.
The message was heard and the team delivered a 4-3 victory over the Capitals and now lead the series, 2-1.
“The emotional level of that series wasn’t where I wanted it to be,” Julien said. “Knowing our hockey club, we had to elevate that and get a little more involved. When we’re emotional and more involved, we win battles and we create more things and that’s what happened [Monday].”
For their efforts, Julien decided to give his players the day off on Tuesday. They’ll be back on the practice ice on Wednesday to prepare for Game 4 on Thursday.
The scrums and physical play increased in Game 3 and the Bruins know when they play with that edge, they can have success. Meanwhile, the Capitals are trying to get under Boston’s skin, maybe a little too much, and that mentality is not the right one to take against the Bruins.
“I don’t think we want to be a team that plays after the whistle,” said Bruins forward Chris Kelly. “But we definitely want to play with that edge and that hunger between whistles. Sometimes there are shoving matches, but that’s just playoff hockey, and this group will never back down from that. We don’t want to be known as the team that after the whistle we get involved in things like that. We want to play hard between the whistles and be that big, physical and honest hockey team.”