|Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward, right, hangs on to the stick of Boston Bruins center Stephane Yelle during the first period during Game 2 of an NHL hockey Eastern Conference semifinal series Sunday, May 3, 2009, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) |
Bear Force One landed safely and the B's are settling in for some food and rest in preparation for their big Game 3 tilt with Carolina on Wednesday.
Prior to the flight, I caught up with Stephane Yelle, who has actually played in even bigger games with the Stanley Cup Champion Avalanche, and asked him about the science of the bounce-back.
"When you win you can't get too high on yourself and when you lose you can't get too low," said the veteran center. "You have to look forward to the next game and correcting what didn't work."
Yelle said that Game 3 was a good reminder to "the young guys...that it's a long series.
"You can't get too excited and you can't get too down on yourself."
After all, Yelle was on teams like the Cup champions in Colorado, which boasted Ray Bourque and Patrick Roy amongst other future Hockey Hall of Famers -- and even they didn't win 16 games in a row.
"As a team, all year, we've approached [the season] on game at a time," said Yelle. "The playoffs aren't any different.
"You know you need 16 wins, but I think if you approach it one game at a time it's easier to keep your focus and it doesn't seem like such a big task."
|Bear Force One |
We're on the plane waiting for the doors to close so we can start our trip to NC.
After practice, Coach Julien was asked about the B's performance in Game 2.
He said: "Let's turn the page. We have."
Well said, Coach.
Chuck Kobasew was feeling a little under the weather and that is why he missed practice this morning. Coach Julien said that Kobasew should be good to go for Game 3.
...but there is not a heck of a lot to report.
Chuck Kobasew is not on the ice, but he was the lone face missing.
It's funny how together the Bruins are at times. Just listening to 2nd year power forward Milan Lucic
, you would swear that we was reading a script provided by the coaching staff.
However, going around the locker room, hearing comments and seeing interviews on TV, you see a team that has one heart, one pulse, one mindset and one set of rules.
"Obviously, we know we need to get better," said Lucic of the B's loss in Game 2. "You have to give them credit, too, they played a real good game.
"We expect that from them [but] come Game 3 but for sure we need to be better."
Boston took the day off from the ice and instead paid attention to what had happened the previous evening. So in meetings and by watching video, the club fully grasped what could be characterized as the Black & Gold's first missed opportunity of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"I think it was evident watching video and those type of things that they won more puck battles, they were hungrier," said Lucic. "We need to get back to that and be better in those areas. Getting in front of [Carolina goalie Cam Ward will] create some more scoring chances."
Creating scoring chances is a terrific idea, but so is capitalizing on the ones you already had.
"We can't make it easy for him at all," said Lucic of Ward. "There was really no traffic in front of him last game and that's one thing we have to improve on.
"He's a big time goalie in the playoffs and it's a challenge for us to beat him."
Lucic was able to talk eloquently about a major, and consistent, positive for the club: discipline.
"I think it's just the mindset.," said Lucic. "We give ourselves more of a chance to win when we ware being diciplined.
"So, we have to keep that up -- just having good sticks. We've been just keeping our sticks on the ice and we haven't been taking any hooking or slashing penalties because of that."
Now, maybe the B's can add some straight ahead, head down hockey to the mix. Boston's fourth line used those tactics successfully on Sunday.
"I think they did a good job getting in there and retrieving the puck," said Lucic. "You know, the biggest thing about them, all season long, is that they kept things simple and have been driving the net.
"think that's why they've had success and I think that's why we've had success.
"It's good when they're doing those types of things and we need them to keep that up and we need [those of] us in the other lines to follow their lead," he said.
Lucic finished his statements by sounding a lot more like the girzzled NHL-vet
"It's the playoffs," said Lucic. "You're not going to sweep the playoffs by going 16-0.
"You are going to face some adversity during the playoffs, so I think for us we just have to refocus, recharge and have have a big effort and good start in Game 3."