Claude Julien: ‘We’ve got to bring our game with us’
|06.09.11 at 12:16 pm ET|
Now comes the hard part.
The Bruins have turned the 2011 Stanley Cup finals upside down. They have overcome two remarkably heartbreaking losses in Vancouver by not just beating the Canucks on their Garden home ice but running the Sedin twins and the rest of the Western Conference champs right out of the building.
The Bruins dominated in every way possible, outscoring the Canucks, 12-1, in the two wins to even the series and turn it into a best-of-3.
Now, the Bruins have to carry that momentum with them on their cross-continent flight and translate it enough on the Rogers Arena ice on Friday night to give them a chance to win the Cup on that same Garden ice on Monday night.
How do they do it?
“I think we’ve got to bring our game with us, simple as that,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “We have to bring our game. That has to continue in Vancouver. It doesn’t matter where you are, you got to play the same way whether you’re at home or on the road.”
And that mean laying out the hits, doing everything possible to keep the aggressive Tim Thomas in his comfort zone between the pipes, and continuing an amazing run on the penalty kill.
In the two wins, the Bruins outhit the Canucks 67-58 and Thomas stopped a remarkable 78 of 79 shots on goal, primarily because he saw nearly every single one of them. That’s where it gets tricky. The Canucks will no doubt run more bodies at Thomas in front and the Bruins defenseman must continue to clear bodies away.
“I think we just need to be consistent,” added Tyler Seguin. “You saw a game like [Game 3] where many people were saying what if we left all our goals in that one game. But we came out and stayed consistent and we want to keep doing that for the next couple of games.”
The Canucks – who came into the series with the No. 3 power play unit in the playoffs – all of sudden can’t solve the Bruins penalty kill. After six more failed attempts in Game 4, they are 1-for-22 on the man advantage in the series, including a shorthander by Brad Marchand in Game 3.
“It’s going to be very, very important,” Rich Peverley said the need to maintain discipline on the road. “You want to keep them off the power play. Their power play is still one of the best in the league in the playoffs and you want to give them [as few] power plays as you can. At the the same time, if we keep our emotions in check, hopefully, we’ll get our power plays.”
For the Canucks, they appear – from the looks of the last two games – as a talented and gifted team in complete disarray. Their Vezina Trophy candidate – Roberto Luongo – has been torched for 12 goals in just over five periods of play. The Sedin twins left Boston with the same amount of points they had as when they came to town Sunday evening.
But their coach Alain Vigneault – the man who allowed Luongo to get lit up for four third-period goals in Game 3 – is playing the psychological game the best he can. He believes his team’s mental state is fine, and will benefit from home ice in Game 5 Friday night.
“It’s real good,” Vigneault said of his team’s confidence. “You know, if somebody would have told me at the beginning of the year that we could play for the Stanley Cup, best two-out-of-three series with home ice advantage in front of our fans, I would have taken those odds, I would have taken that anytime to play for the big prize.
“That’s what we’ve got right now. We’re going to put these last two games behind us. We play real well at home. We’re going to go and feed off the energy from our fans and give it our best shot.”