|Claude Julien: Bruins ‘don’t have to redeem themselves for anything’||05.16.13 at 1:39 pm ET|
Claude Julien isn’t apologizing for his team’s miracle in Game 7 Monday night that has them opening an Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Rangers.
He also doesn’t want his team apologizing for being there either.
“For some reason, this last series seems to have been looked upon as negative for some people,” Julien said after Thursday’s pre-game skate at TD Garden, hours before Game 1 with the Rangers.
“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 Seven should be looked upon as a positive. That’s the way I look at it.”
One thing is for certain, no one is going to feel sorry for the Bruins having three injured defenseman heading into the series. With Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden all missing Thursday’s skate, it’s high likely that Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski will all play in Game 1 against the Rangers Thursday night.
The one advantage of it all, though, is the fact that two of the three, Krug and Bartkowski, have played the same defensive system with AHL Providence this year.
“It helps everybody because [Providence Head Coach] Bruce Cassidy and his coaching staff seem to see the game the same way we do,” Julien said. “There’s a good connection there in the way we coach our teams, very much the same approach. I know I’ve talked to Bruce; the things we do, he does as well.
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|Leafs’ Phil Kessel: ‘You can’t blow a lead like that’||05.14.13 at 3:26 am ET|
In the immediate moments after the worst Game 7 collapse in Stanley Cup playoff history, Phil Kessel, a man of few words to begin with, need few words to describe his emotions.
“It’s pretty tough,” Kessel said. “Obviously, we were up 4-1 with 10 minutes left or something. You can’t blow a lead like that.”
What did coach Randy Carlyle tell the Leafs in the intermission before overtime after his team self-destructed?
“Obviously, he just said if we put ourselves in this position, we take it,” Kessel said. “Obviously it’s disappointing. I don’t know what happened to us. 4-1, you can’t lose that game.”
How will the Leafs possibly bounce back from this next season?
“Obviously we’ll have the summer to think about it, work hard and get back at it next year,” Kessel said. “It’s pretty tough — 4-1, you can’t lose.”
Kessel kept repeating 4-1 over and over. Did the Leafs fall into a shell and take their foot off the gas?
“I don’t know. I don’t think so, they kind of took it to us and we sat back,” Kessel said. “We can’t do that. I think, we didn’t do things we needed to do right? We sat back and they came at us.
“I don’t know. I can’t look at the positive after a game like that, it’s pretty tough.”
|Milan Lucic: ‘Screw it, you just have to leave it all out there’||05.14.13 at 3:10 am ET|
How desperate were the Bruins in the last 11 minutes of the third period of Game 7, down three goals?
“I just said, ‘Screw it, you just have to leave it all out there and anything can happen.’ And that’s what happened,” Milan Lucic said after the greatest Game 7 comeback in Stanley Cup playoff history Monday night.
“That’s all it took, especially when you’re down. You do whatever you can to give yourself a chance, and we were finally able to have a clean break out into a rush, which we haven’t had in three games until [Nathan Horton's] goal. And then it seemed like we started to play more reckless and taking pucks to the net and everything like that.
“That’s where I talk about, ‘Screw it, leave everything on the line and everything hopefully will take care of itself.’ ”
Lucic said Patrice Bergeron helped lift a weight off the shoulders of his team by lifting a weight off his own shoulders, scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals in the 5-4 Miracle on Causeway.
“Definitely, it’s a weight lifted off the shoulder and it creates momentum, and hopefully that’s the case this year as well. You need guys to step up at key times,” Lucic said. “Things aren’t always going to go smoothly for you, just like things didn’t go smoothly at all for Bergy, Marchy [Brad Marchand] and Segs [Tyler Seguin]. But all said and done, it doesn’t matter. They were still able to step up and get a goal when it mattered the most. Hopefully, they can gain some momentum off that and the team can gain momentum off the win.
“Hopefully, it builds momentum. Two years ago, it definitely built a lot of momentum for our team. We have a lot to look forward to. We know it gets tougher as each round goes on.”
Another great aspect of the win is that it gives Boston and New York fans one more chance to go face-to-face in the playoffs. It was the Red Sox-Yankees in 1999, 2003 and ’04. It was the Patriots and Jets in 2006 and 2010. The Knicks just dispatched the Celtics in six games. And now, it’s Bruins-Rangers in the 2013 Eastern Conference semifinals.
“Here we go, Boston-New York, Red Sox-Yankees, Giants-Patriots, Knicks-Celtics this year and now we have Bruins-Rangers. Two cities there’s a lot hatred between in sports. I think from a fans perspective, and a players’ perspective, there’s a lot to look forward to,” Lucic said.
|Bruins open against Rangers on Thursday at TD Garden||05.13.13 at 11:59 pm ET|
Fresh from their miraculous Game 7 win over the Maple Leafs, the Bruins will open the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Rangers on Thursday night, the NHL announced Monday night. The Bruins, as the No. 4 seed, have home-ice advantage for the series against the Rangers, who finished as the No. 6 seed and eliminated the Capitals, 5-0, in Game 7 Monday night in Washington.
The Bruins will play Game 1 at TD Garden at 7:30, and that will be followed up by Game 2 on Sunday at 3 p.m., also at TD Garden.
The series will shift to Madison Square Garden for Games 3 and 4. Game 3 will be next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. followed by Game 4 Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m.
Game 5, if necessary will be back in Boston on Saturday, May 25. Game 6 would be Monday, May 27, at MSG and Game 7 would be back in Boston on Wednesday, May 29.
|Claude Julien: ‘We make it tough on ourselves’||05.13.13 at 11:51 pm ET|
Claude Julien spoke for Bruins fans everywhere and certainly those in his own organization when he was asked what it was like to survive the most miraculous Game 7 comeback in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs Monday night.
“They certainly keep you in check,” Julien said. “I’m a tired coach, I’ll you that much, trying to find a way to get these guys to give us what we want out of them. We make it tough on ourselves. We’re being honest here, not being able to close it in Game 5. We’ve had trouble, we’ve always had trouble with the killer instinct.”
Down 4-1 and the their season all but over, the Bruins managed to score three times, including twice with an extra attacker in the final 1:22 of regulation to force overtime in Game 7. Patrice Bergeron scored the game-tying and game-winning goals as the Bruins prevailed, 5-4, in Game 7 and now get to face the Rangers starting Thursday at TD Garden.
“That’s maybe a fault of ours but the strength of ours is the character that you saw tonight,” Julien said. “There’s that fault and that character and somewhere along the way you try to fix the faults and keep the character going. That’s the biggest challenge for me.”
|Shawn Thornton on Game 7: ‘Obviously, we didn’t want to be here’||05.13.13 at 5:42 pm ET|
Leave it to Shawn Thornton to lighten the mood heading into a winner-take-all Game 7 against the Leafs at TD Garden. Asked what was the biggest advantage to flying back to Boston on the morning of Game 7 instead of flying back right after the Game 6 loss, Thornton had an immediate response.
“I didn’t have my dogs kicking me in the back in the middle of the night,” Thornton said. “I probably got more sleep last night staying over than I would have coming in. I think we got some more rest. We didn’t fly out at an atrocious time this morning. Everyone got their sleep, got in, had a good meal. I don’t know. I feel pretty good.”
The Bruins flew back to Boston mid-morning, after being grounded in Toronto Sunday night due to a “malfunction” with their charter plane. Thornton said the key for the Bruins in Game 7 will be attitude.
“Try not to get too high before the game and try to keep it fairly even keel,” he said. “If you get too ramped up, everyone can start looking like they have my hands, bobbling pucks. We have a lot of experience but they’re going to be pretty fired up over there, too. You have to try and keep it even keel but we have to be ready for them.”
Thornton also said the mood in the dressing room is not one of nervousness.
“Not uneasiness,” Thornton said. “Obviously, we didn’t want to be here but we are so you turn the page and get ready for tonight and embrace it. Game 7s are pretty fun for everyone so just have fun with it.”
“This is a great opportunity,” added Chris Kelly. “Play in Game 7 at home. We’ve worked hard all year to put ourselves in this situation. Obviously, it’s not the ideal situation but I don’t think it is for them, too. I’m sure they wouldn’t have wanted to play a Game 7 at the start of the series. But we are where we are and I’m excited.”
Kelly has been centering the third line with Jaromir Jagr and Rich Peverley. Kelly is confident that face-off wins can finally result in goals in Game 7.
“I think we’ve done a good job in the face-off circle, not ony the center men but a five-man unit getting in there and helping out,” Kelly said. “It’d be nice to manage the puck a little bit better than we have, putting it in better situations than where we can retrieve it after those face-off wins.”
|Game 7 setup, Bruins vs. Maple Leafs||05.13.13 at 12:43 am ET|
The Bruins, on Monday night, will be playing their 24th lifetime Game 7, and this is the 19th of those games played on their home ice.
Here, thanks to the Bruins media relations department, are some other nuggets to consider.
This is the 13th time that the Bruins have been taken to a Game 7 after leading in a series by a 3-2 margin. This is their sixth Game 7 in their last seven series played and is the ninth in their last 12 series.
They are 12-11 overall in Game 7s and are 11-7 on home ice. They are 3-3 lifetime in Game 7s decided in overtime. They became the first team in NHL history to win three Game 7s in one playoff year in 2011.
They have shut out their opponent in two of their last three Game 7s. This is their third lifetime Game 7 vs. Toronto, with each team winning one of the previous two.
As for the Maple Leafs, they are playing the 22nd lifetime Game 7 in their franchise history and this is the 14th of these games they will play on the road. This is the 11th time that they have forced a Game 7 after trailing in a series by a 3-2 margin. This is their sixth Game 7 in their last eight series played. They are 12-9 overall in Game 7 and are 5-8 on the road. They are 2-1 lifetime in Game 7s decided in overtime. This is their third lifetime Game 7 vs. the Bruins, with each team winning one of the previous two.
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