The Bruins’ 5-4 overtime victory over the Maple Leafs will be hailed as an improbable win when the odds were against them on their home ice.
But this veteran group, banged up and tired, managed to snatch the win right out of Toronto’s clutches and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“I think the guys were pretty focused and determined to finish it off,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “The only thing a coach says — and I said that before — is you can’t pass up on shots. You have to shoot everything you can, and you have to play on your toes, not on your heels.
“You have to play to win, and if you do that, you’re giving yourself a chance. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s not a very complicated thing as you’ve seen, and in overtime, any shot on net is a good shot. Our guys did a great job.”
For Julien, this is a special group of players. But he can do without the excitement of a Game 7. He’s now 5-4 in Game 7s with the Bruins while the team is 4-1 in their last five do-or-die games.
“Like I said earlier, they certainly keep you in check. I’m a tired coach, I can tell you that much,” said Julien. “Trying to really find a way to get these guys to give us what we want out of them. And we make it tough on ourselves.
“We’re being honest here, not being able to close it in Game 5; we’ve had trouble. We’ve always had trouble with the killer instinct. But that’s maybe a fault of ours. But a strength of ours is the character you saw tonight. There’s that fault, and then there’s that character. Somewhere along the way, you try to fix the faults, and hopefully keep that character going.
“That’s the biggest challenge for me right now.”
Julien couldn’t provide an update on Dennis Seidenberg, who was injured in the first period.
“We’ll know better tomorrow whether it’s a short-term or long-term [injury].”