OTTAWA, ON If the Bruins planned on coasting into the playoffs after securing their place in the Eastern Conference, they had a funny way of showing it.
The Bruins watched fourth string goaltender Anton Khudobin shut down the Ottawa Senators with a 44-save performance in their 3-1 win at Scotiabank Place, and they observed plenty of players throwing caution to the wind so close to the playoffs.
To win a game against the Sens without Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Johnny Boychuk and Tim Thomas and to do while Ottawa still had something to play for was an impressive enough statement by the Bs that did make the one last trip to Ottawa.
Will Chara, Bergeron and Thomas sit if the Bruins play the Senators in the playoffs?
Could be . . . theyll have to go out and prove themselves, said a smiling Claude Julien, well aware that will never happen.
But how to explain the game-high and season-high 10 blocked shots for Greg Zanon against the Senators with the game seemingly meaningless for the Black and Gold?
Zanon said it was about preparing for the playoffs and hitting the century mark with the points for the season something they did a year ago during the regular season with 103 total points when en route to winning the Cup.
We wanted to make a statement to ourselves that were ready for the playoffs, and that were ready for playoff hockey, said Zanon. We wanted that 100-point mark and tonight we got there. That was big for us, and now theres one game left to take care of before were running on all cylinders for the playoffs.
To hear Claude Julien tell it, thats the kind of focused intensity the Bruins have planned Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres in game No. 82.
Ive asked our players to play the same way and to get our good habits going so they become second nature. We need to get our good habits going. If you only do it when you feel like it then its not second nature, said Julien. Zanon played the same game that he always plays for us. Unfortunately injuries are a part of the game. They could happen crossing the street as much as they could playing in the game.
You just have to believe and hope that things will go well, and things will unfold the way they should. Injuries happen when theyre not playing the way they should, and they get a little soft when theyre letting up.