BOSTON The Bruins know the cornered-animal mentality theyll be dealing with Wednesday night when they play the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3 at TD Garden.
They know because, only two weeks ago, they themselves were in the same position the Flyers are in now: Down 2-0 after dropping the first two at home, and facing two games on the road.
The Bruins, of course, came back to win that first-round series against Montreal. That, coupled with the memory of last year's fold after going up 3-0 on the Flyers, ensures the B's aren't taking anything for granted. In addition, Philly coach Peter Laviolette has started the pressure-is-on-Boston mantra with the media,
Thus, there's plenty of motivation for the Bruins to keep stomping on the weakened Flyers.
If we play well, well be up by another game, said coach Claude Julien, shedding some light onto the approach in the Bs dressing room. I dont think theres anyone in that dressing room, including coaching staff and players, that are certainly sitting comfortable. This is going to be a tough task, and theyre a good team, and were ready to face that challenge.
Last year, that one-game-at-a-time mentality completely eluded the still-maturing Bruins in their series against Philly. But the B's say they've learned their lesson.
Were just going out and playing our game, said Johnny Boychuk. Well take the game as it is and not worry about games 4, 5, 6 or 7. Just take it as Game 3 and play our game without worrying about any other games.
Its a tried-and-true sports axiom that teams need to learn how to win in the playoffs, and it sometimes players only understand what it takes to win after the pain and anxiety of a horrendous defeat.
The Bruins know the Flyers will bring the same kind of quick-punch attack in the first period that they showed at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night, when Philly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the first period. But the B's have shown the ability to fight back during these playoffs, be it on the road or at home.
For us, its about taking all the emotion and energy from the crowd and use it to give us everything that we need, said Patrice Bergeron. We need to take whatever we can to do the job at home because thats going to be huge going down the stretch.
There were reports out of Philadelphia that Flyers captain Mike Richards was chirping at Adam McQuaid as the Bruins defenseman was lying motionless on the ice after being injured in the first period on Monday night. Richards is the same player who was thought to have uttered some menacing remarks to Marc Savard last year when Savard was struggling to play despite suffering from post-concussion syndrome.
Julien said that the 52-save performance from Tim Thomas in Game 2 looked just as good on film, 24 hours later, as it was while it was happening.
In reviewing the game tape, he was outstanding. He was in control. He just followed the puck so well, said Julien of Thomas. His confidence was great and the confidence he gave to our hockey club was even more so. In playoff hockey, as youve seen in the past, teams that succeed always have a great goaltender. And right now, were getting that kind of contribution from Tim.
For those pining for Tyler Seguin to get a chance on the power play thats gone 0-for-28, Bruins president Cam Neely was on 98.5 the Sports Hub with Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti and indicated the Bs would be highly unlikely to make roster changes while theyre winning the series.