Bruins guarding against complacency while up 2-0

Bruins guarding against complacency while up 2-0
June 4, 2013, 6:45 pm
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The nucleus of Bruins have experienced all of the rarefied highs and disheartening lows that come along with the Stanley Cup playoffs over the last six years.

So there shouldn’t be any good reason for the Black and Gold to start taking things for granted now that they’re up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, or grow dispiritingly complacent after outscoring the Pittsburgh Penguins 9-1 over those aforementioned first two games of the series.

Claude Julien has guarded against that overconfidence at times in the past, and the Black and Gold have a good reminder from just a few weeks ago when they nearly blew a 3-1 lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. They proved that they’d learned their lessons in round two against the New York Rangers, and the Bruins coach isn’t worried about a malaise repeat.

“I would think not . . . not after everything we’ve been through, the ups and downs of playoff hockey,” said Julien. “We’ve had our share of downs, so we’ve got to make sure we stay up.”

That’s clearly music to the ears of those around the Bruins organization, just as is the “business atmosphere” around the Boston team on game days that B’s President Cam Neely has noticed in the last few rounds of the playoffs. Even if some of the Boston were to start getting a bit too overconfident about their stance in the series with a chance to close things out in a sweep of the two games set at TD Garden this week, there is enough healthy respect for the Penguins weapons to keep the Bruins in check.

They won’t be overlooking players like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang like they did with a Toronto team they’ve owned over the previous three years. Instead they’ll be expecting Pittsburgh’s best punch when both teams take the ice on Wednesday night in Boston.

“We have a group that’s been through a lot. Really good highs and also some tough series where we’ve let teams back in,” said Andrew Ference. “So I think that we have enough guys that they know when it’s the right time to get excited and when it’s time [for] business as normal.

“You learn a lot, obviously, from different situations that you’re in. A lot of us have [that experience] together, and one of the important things about this time of year is to have an even keel. It’s not the time of year to be playing purely off emotions, and you try to have a good balance of that. I think you can really only get that through experiencing good and bad . . . I think that’s where experience kicks in.”

But the Bruins and the Penguins both have those key experiences over the last few seasons, so it’s going to be interesting how both teams respond to some very different results from each hockey club over the first two games.