Claude Julien: Capitals ‘were the better team’
|04.25.12 at 11:56 pm ET|
After the Bruins failed to make it out of the first round for the first time in four years, Bruins coach Claude Julien gave credit where credit was due by commending the defensively tight and shot-blocking Capitals.
“At the end of the series, when you look at their team and you look at ours, they were the better team,” Julien said. “They had more guys going than we did and they played us tough.”
The Bruins became the second-consecutive defending Stanley Cup champions to be eliminated in the first round, as the Blackhawks were bounced by the Canucks to open last postseason. Julien mentioned the difficulty with putting together a successful season following the Bruins’ 2011 championship, but ultimately said the series came down to the Bruins being outplayed.
“Right now, I’m not going to stand here and nitpick at our team because when I look at this hockey club ad what it went through last year, and you look at teams that have been through that situation and how they struggled throughout the year, we still finished at the top of our division,” he said. “We still finished second in the conference and we had really grind it out. It was a challenging year for our guys and it was a challenging series as well.
“They made it tough on us, and they deserve a lot of credit for the way they played and the number of shots they blocked and how they helped their goaltender through it. The young goaltender played extremely well, so let’s not forget to give them a lot of credit for how they handled us. At the end of the day, when you look at your team, your team wasn’t playing its best hockey in the series.
“Before this day started, you’d just hope that they could get through this Game 7 and hope to pick some momentum up as you move forward in the playoffs, but you have to get through this game, and we weren’t able to.”