Check out the video above for postgame reaction from Boston’s Aaron Ward, PJ Axelsson, and Tim Thomas, as they react to San Jose’s 5-2 triumph over the Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden.
The theme of the night: A lesson learned for the Bruins, who watched the Sharks score four third-period goals to emerge with a win in a matchup of the two top teams in the NHL.
“That’s the way our players react: They look at it as lesson learned,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “I think they were disappointed because when we went into the third period with a lead and thought we could continue to compete. But it took a few mistakes and again just not having enough, I guess enough energy to push back, having to play with a short bench and they just didn’t have it tonight.
“And unfortunately against a team like that it’s already pretty hard to play against them with a full lineup and when you have to shorten your bench because of injuries, [that] certainly doesn’t help matters. Give them credit, guys, they played a real good game, they played a patient game. We had a good first period, but as the game went on they started picking up their game and we had our hands full.
Thomas made 26 stops, but knows there’s room for improvement after a rough third stanza.
“We learn something every game the whole year,” said Thomas. “I think overall we’ve done very well so there’s a lot of positive things, but obviously we can play better because we have earlier this year so there’s good, but there’s room for improvement.”
So where do the Bruins stack up against the elite of the NHL?
“I think we’re there, but obviously there’s room for improvement if you’re always looking at it as potential to get better,” said Ward. “It’s a positive sign. I think that obviously with our youth, we’re still learning. With our team, we’ve got some lessons to learn with our competition. Big game against Jersey coming up and we have to realize that every game is important whether or not it’s on a national level like it was today or it’s a game against a conference foe that means a lot more in the standings.”