BOSTON, MA - Following Wednesday night's 4-1 win over Toronto in Game 1, defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was asked how the Bruins flipped the switch from the regular season to their pounding playoff hockey on display.
"You know, we have one in the back. We just flipped it over," laughed Seidenberg, pointing behind him.
"We really focused on our strengths and for whatever reason we were able to go out on the ice and execute the way we wanted to," he added, in reference to the B's being able to turn the corner and find their game. "That’s the first step. It’s the first game and now we have to carry that on into the second game."
On Thursday, the Black & Gold were off with no practice, though, select players and Head Coach Claude Julien were available to the media.
Game 1 may have been a commanding win for the B's, but they're not underestimating just how tough it is to get to win No. 4.
"For us, it’s just playing game by game and we don’t even talk about, I guess the question you just asked," said Coach Julien, when asked if there was something the B's bench boss told his players to build their confidence, or if it was left up to them.
"It’s just about doing your job on a daily basis and it’s a pretty simple concept; that’s the way we’ve approached it every year and all the time."
While the Bruins could rightfully be proud of their effort, especially after the tough regular season, the focus remains on being even-keeled, and as alternate captain Patrice Bergeron said, "not getting too high or too low."
"I think, we know we played a better game, but this is a seven game series, it’s not a one game winner-takes-all here, so I don’t think there’s any reason to get overly excited or overly confident," said Coach Julien.
"There’s no doubt that they’re going to make some adjustments to their game and we’ll have to adjust as well, but it’s a seven-game series and we just have to remain grounded as we have in the past and just go out there and play hard. Hopefully, the way we did last night."
The game-by-game mantra is nothing new for the Bruins; since their playoff run, they have learned the importance of staying the course and not hitting the panic button, whether in a game, or from night to night. While their experience plays a role, Coach was quick to point out that in 2011, they barely had a handful of players who had won the Cup previously.
"It can be looked in so many different ways. We just played a good solid hockey game, whether that has to do with experienced or not experienced," said Coach, on whether their composure after falling down early to the Leafs in Game 1 was a result of a veteran attitude.
"I think there’s some teams that have done well also with a very less experienced. The year we won the Cup, we only had I think maybe two guys that had won the Cup so it doesn’t really matter. I think what matters is what’s out there on the ice, on that given night."
"Obviously, we’re trying to worry about us and what we can bring on the ice," added Bergeron, was asked similarly about playoff experience playing a role in the match-up.
"I think it’s about playing our game and we do have the experience and we got to take advantage of that but at the same time, they’re a good team and they give us a lot of problems with their offense. Obviously they have some great players so, we got to make sure we’re matching that every time."
"Last night was a good example of when we play our game and when we play our system, we rely I guess, on the experience that we have," said Bergeron.
"We can do some good things. It’s only one game though so we’ve got to keep that going, like I said, last game is behind us and we got to move forward for that second game."
Maintaining confidence from game to game is key, but almost more importantly, from shift to shift. The Bruins showed evidence of that in Game 1 after the power-play tally from Toronto just 1:54 into the game.
"I think it was about staying the course. It was early in the game, we had to obviously keep it going and step up and be better, but at the same time we stayed poised," said Bergeron.
"And it’s going to happen throughout the series that we’re going to get a lead, they’re going to get a lead, whatever. It’s about making sure the next shift is your best one."