Julien: 'We don't have to redeem ourselves'

Julien: 'We don't have to redeem ourselves'
May 16, 2013, 1:45 pm
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BOSTON – Claude Julien has heard about enough of the criticism surrounding the erratic, sometimes disinterested level of play that the Bruins exhibited in their first round playoff series against the Maple Leafs.

The Bruins coach has admitted himself the Bruins can be a “Jekyll and Hyde” bunch that’s too difficult to predict how they’ll play in certain situations, but he also feels his players deserve some credit for advancing in the postseason. The Toronto Maple Leafs gave the Bruins everything they could handle, and the Black and Gold managed to break NHL records in a Game 7 comeback for the ages.

So the Bruins head coach is tired of hearing the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing that’s gone on with his hockey club. With Game 1 against the New York Rangers set for Thursday night at TD Garden, Julien is moving on from the bipolar series against the Maple Leafs and accentuating the positive against a gritty, no nonsense Blueshirts club.

“For some reason this last series seems to have been looked upon as negative for some people,” said an incredulous Julien. “For us, it was a great character win. We’re looking forward to moving ahead and we’re not looking at it the way a lot of people are looking at it.

“It’s not a chance to redeem yourself because we’re in the second round. We don’t have to redeem ourselves for anything. What we have done here is look forward to this series, and do whatever we can to move ahead. The character win this team showed in Game 7 should be looked upon as a positive. That’s the way I look at it.”

Julien is 100 percent correct about one thing: the Game 7 victory was a stirring character win for key franchise players like Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara and even Tuukka Rask as they seemed to push the Bruins ahead of Toronto by sheer force of will. But at the end of the day the Bruins should have beaten the Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. They’d probably have at least one or two fewer injuries among their defensemen corps if they’d closed things out in Game 5 instead of Game 7, but now they ready for the Rangers with a depleted defensemen corps that will have them battling from Thursday night’s puck drop.