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Bruins Ready for the Stretch Run

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- With the All-Star break behind them, and with much of New England braving their own winter storm, this morning all of the B's found themselves in Raleigh, NC preparing to take on the Hurricanes.

"I think we’re certainly striving for consistency, but at the same time we’re in third place," said Julien this morning after the team's pregame skate in Carolina.

"I know this has been a topic and I’m not saying we’re not striving for it," he continued. "I think we want to be more consistent if we want to be successful, but at the same time I think...the second half is more about being ready to play every night.

"There’s teams that are pushing to make the playoffs and there’s teams that are fighting to stay in the playoffs and we’re no different.

"If we’re going to be where we want to be, we need to be one of those teams pushing as well," he said.

But the last 32 games of the season can be the most fun.

"Yeah," said Julien. "It’s when those guys start getting excited because I just feel those last thirty games have always gone fast in the past.

"Before you know it, playoffs are right around the corner, so you always hope to be a part of that group."

Julien was asked if the B's needed to raise their level of play in the stretch run.

"Well, I guess you could say that, and then that’s like saying we haven’t tried that hard in the first part [of the season] and I don’t think that’s true," said Julien. "There’s more at stake, obviously, [when] you’ve played 50 games, and you’re finding your stride.

"You should be a better team as you move forward here you have more competition and I keep saying there’s parity in this league.

"There was a time maybe where you play a bottom team and you win. Now, you have to play a really good game to beat those teams. Every night is a challenge and there is no such thing any more as an easy game, it doesn’t exist."
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