The Bruins were all business at TD Garden for their morning skate ahead of Friday night's opening playoff game against the Detroit Red Wings. Of course, the one question that kept creeping up was whether the Bruins intended to make any adjustments after going 1-3 in the regular season against the Red Wings.
"It doesn’t change anything," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "It doesn’t matter what the season record was — playoffs is a whole new ballgame. Same for us — it doesn’t matter that we finished atop the league. That doesn’t matter anymore. All that gave us is home-ice advantage. Now we start from scratch, and same thing is going to apply to this series here. So we haven’t looked at the finishes or — because, you know, we lost a game we felt we could have won. Game 2 here, we totally dominated, but at the end of the night, the score wasn’t what it should have been. So you can spend a lot of time looking at those, or you can focus on what you need to do moving forward and that’s what we’ve chosen to do."
Julien's players were a little more forthcoming.
"They're obviously a team that doesn't quit," said Milan Lucic. "They've been in a playoff mode now for a long, long time. But from our standpoint, obviously, everyone talks about their speed and the way that they're able to skate. But it seems like the times that we've kept up with them and used our speed as well, that's when we've been able to play our game. So moving our feet and trying to use our speed is going to be key for us in this series."
There were no updates on Chris Kelly or Daniel Paille though Paille did skate this morning for the first time since Saturday April 12 against the Buffalo Sabres.
For Patrice Bergeron, much like his teammates, the extra few days off before Friday's game has been a bit of a blessing thanks to the breakneck pace of the NHL's regular season schedule.
"I think it was good for everyone just with the schedule we've had, after the break it was pretty crazy," Bergeron said. "It was good for everyone to get ready and now we're looking forward to it."
Bergeron caught some of the playoff games last night, putting him in the right mood for tonight's Red Wings showdown.
"It was great to actually have those games and to get in the mode of playoff hockey," he said. "I was getting antsy just watching it for sure."
Julien's playoff time drumbeat may be the team's key message for tonight's game: Don't take the Red Wings for granted.
"We never get comfortable," Julien said. "We always talked about that. No matter what we’ve accomplished the good things happen from hard work. The minute we stop working hard and then focusing on the things we need to focus on, things can change. That’s always been our approach."
There's no pressure for the players that they aren't putting on themselves.
"I think we have high expectations of ourselves," Bergeron said. "So the outside pressure is not something we should really worry about. It's about us right now and making sure we only worry about what's in this room. We know we're a good team and we'll take it a game at a time."