Julien happy with Bruins commitment to defense

Julien happy with Bruins commitment to defense
June 4, 2013, 2:00 pm
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BEDFORD, Mass. -- The Bruins did not practice on Tuesday, as they arrived home from Pittsburgh at 11 a.m.

But coach Claude Julien and several players stopped to talk about Monday night's 6-1 win over the Penguins before driving home from Hanscom Airport.

"Our team is really playing good hockey right now," Julien said. "Without a doubt, the best we've had this year. And that has to continue to beat these guys.

"I think we understand the situation here. We're not going to get ahead of ourselves here. We understand that these next games are crucial for us, just as much as it is for them."

The Bruins lead their Eastern Conference Finals series 2-0, with Game 3 at the TD Garden on Wednesday night.

And while they're pleased with the six-goal outburst in Game 2, the Bruins know they'll need to continue playing solid defense so the offense can produce.

"There's been a great commitment on the part of our team here to really play well defensively, and have layers, and take away some space from those guys, and some room to pick up speed," Julien said. "And the guys have really bought into that, and it's helped us a lot.

"I think it's pretty obvious that we have layers. Our guys are committed to coming back and just making sure that there's layer after layer and then making it hard for them to get to our net."

Defenseman Andrew Ference agreed, but he and Julien also pointed out the work of their goaltender, Tuukka Rask, allowing only one goal through the first two games.

"It's obviously our goal, and one of the strengths of our team is to play really good team defense," Ference said. "And when it's going well, you can really frustrate teams. And our goaltender obviously is a big component of that. He's made some pretty great saves when he's had to."

"Our team is playing probably its best hockey this year right now, but so is Tuukka," Julien said. "I think he's been unbelievable so far in this series. He's been good throughout the whole playoffs, but he seems to have brought his game up a notch here as well."