Julien plans on enjoying Game 7 handshake

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Julien plans on enjoying Game 7 handshake

WILMINGTON Claude Julien was feeling confident and even a little comical the day before a Game 7 that could decide the fate of his hockey season. He couldnt resist when asked a question about the traditional handshakes on the ice after a playoff series has ended.

Its a Stanley Cup playoff tradition that the two teams put aside the hate, the animosity, the cheap shots and the head shots when a series has been clinched. Nearly everyone takes to the ice to say good job to the opposition, win or lose.

So the Bruins coach was asked his thoughts about the handshake prior to Game 7, and the instant smirk revealed that a punch line was coming.

I plan on being the happy one tomorrow, Julien said with the confidence of a coach thats won three straight Game 7 do-or-die matches and five straight elimination games behind the Boston bench.

But, as Julien often does, he took the time to answer the question with some thought and perspective. There is something to be said for playoff hockey as the only one of the major four sports that lines players up for handshakes at the end of each playoff round.

"It all depends on the series," Julien said. "There is animosity, but as the same time there comes a time when you have to put those things aside and congratulate the team for their good effort and moving forward. Thats what Im hoping happens to our team tomorrow."

Milan Lucic has been involved with his share of hockey hate over the years, and he appreciates what the gesture represents.

It is hard. But I think its one of the things that gets overlooked in this sport, said Lucic. There is a respect for your opponent and for everyone to man up and shake your opponents hand. It goes to show that theres a lot of class in this game.

Win, lose or draw there shouldnt be too many issues with the Bruins and Capitals conducting their postgame handshakes whether its Boston or Washington that finds itself advancing after Wednesdays Game 7 tilt.

After all, if Patrice Bergeron can shake the hand of Alex Burrows after last years Stanley Cup Finals without worrying about the hungry Canucks forward taking a nibble, then everybody else should be ready to join in as well.

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
 
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
 
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.

*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.

*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
 
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
 
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
 
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
 
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.
 

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins are going through a nice, little bountiful stretch of offense right now after a half-season of struggle.

The Bruins are averaging more than three goals per game in their last 12 contests, and have scored a whopping 22 goals in their last six games including dropping six scores on the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Combine that with the 7-for-25 performance on the power play during the month of January, and things are finally starting to catch up with a Bruins team that was all shoot/no score for months of frustrating hockey this season.

“If you want sustained success then you have to be good defensively, but you also have to score some goals. That’s definitely part of it and we have to keep it going,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has four goals and eight points in his last nine games after struggling out of the starting gate. “You’re not going to get rewarded every night like we did [against the Flyers], but you have to find that consistency where you’re close to having that every night.”

One thing nobody should expect out of the B’s, however, is to get outside of what they do well now that they’ve started slapping some numbers up on the board. Instead the Bruins are intent on their bedrock of disciplined defense and sensational goaltending with the added offense just making it much tougher to beat them these days.

“I don’t know if we can stand here and say we’re going to sustain that we’re scoring lots of goals. I think what we need to sustain here is winning more games than we lose,” said Claude Julien. “That’s what we’ve got to sustain. Whether it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game, or it’s a 5-2 or 5-3 game it doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning hockey games much more than it’s about how much you scored, and how much you don’t score.

“Overall when I look at the scoring chances we’re giving up per game, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Goals allowed may have changed a little bit lately, but overall I think we’ve been very steady in that area [of defense].”

So now the Bruins will again be looking for that ideal balance of offense/defense when they take the ice against the Islanders on Monday afternoon for their second straight matinee at TD Garden.