Bruins head coach Claude Julien said he was happy the wait is over.
"Everybody knows that it was quite an ending," said Julien of the New Jersey vs. Carolina series. "It makes you go 'wow.'
"When it's those Game 7's that are that close, you never know what is going to happen."
Julien said that we was not surprised at the Hurricane comeback, however.
"The one thing that was at the back of my mind was that Carolina has always been good at those last minute rallies," said the B's head coach. "They've been doing that quite a bit -- not just this year, but other years."
Julien agreed with one reporter that Carolina's comeback emphasizes how little the regular season can mean during the playoffs.
"I think more than that, they've played really well down the stretch after we played them four times," he said. "We never saw them at their best -- to be honest with you -- and they're a much different team than we played during the regular season.
"They compete so hard and they play well as a group. They believe in themselves and they have a lot of confidence.
"We're in for a good challenge and a good series, here."
It is extraordinarily encouraging to see how many Bruins stay after practice to work on stuff before they hit the showers.
And this is a consistent pattern, by the way.
Boston Bruins right wing Michael Ryder will chat with fans today at 3:00 p.m. as part of Covidien's Rinkside Chat series. Going into the second round, Ryder leads the B's in points with a 4-3-7 line ...more
It's a very intense practice on the Ristuccia ice. Tim Thomas
is in excellent form, and continues to battle as if every goal is a personal affront.
Everyone who should be on the ice IS on the ice.
A bunch of players came out early to work early with assistant coaches Doug Houda and Geoff Ward.
"Oh, I hate it," was David Krejci
's joking, but deadpan, response when he was asked about playoff hockey earlier this week.
"It’s awesome," said Krejci with a big smile. "Look at the weather outside.
"There’s nothing better than to wake up in the morning, look at the outside and it’s 70-80 degrees, grab a short sleeve shirt and go to practice and have fun with the guys – off the ice, too."
Up until now, the second round was a theoretical exercise -- but two late goals by the Carolina Hurricanes have made everyone's schedule a little clearer.
And judging by his statements prior to the Hurricane heroics, Krejci couldn't be happier.
"Playoff hockey is the most exciting time of the year," reiterated Krejci. "That’s why we play this game.
"You don’t dream about winning 10 games in December or whatever. All you think about in your head is the Stanley Cup and playoff hockey.
"That’s all you dream about."
And with the B's sweep of the Canadiens, the B's spirits remain very high.
"It’s an awesome feeling – it’s like living a dream right now," said Krejci. "It feels so great…and guys are great in the room and everything is going so well, right now."
However, Krejci, who is known for his stoic nature, quickly switched back to statue mode.
"But we have to come back…and start our routine and get ready for the second round," said Krejci.
But the smile crept back -- for just a second -- when David started to think about coming out of the tunnel for the start of Game 1.
"It was awesome what they’ve done in the first round," said the forward of the noise and excitement level of the Garden faithful. "I can’t wait [to hear] what’s going to happen in the second round."
Neither can we.