BUFFALO, NY -- In the wake of the B's 4-2 win in St. Louis, Head Coach Claude Julien was asked about the play of all-star defenseman Zdeno Chara.
"People have been looking at the stats and obviously he’s been on for a lot of goals," said Julien. But, you know we’ve been going through this funk as a team and I don’t think there were too many guys in that dressing room that were happy with their game."
But the win made everyone in the Bruins locker room pretty happy - especially the captain.
"Well, that’s what a big win and beating a really good team does to the spirit and morale of the team," he said, following the B's practice in Buffalo on Thursday. "We were really tired and worked extremely hard yesterday, but it felt so good after the game when we won the game.
"We played really well throughout our whole game, were really responsible defensively. We scored some good goals we are known for."
That return to Bruins hockey helped propel the B's through the last full non-game day in the B's six-game, 11-day road trip through North America.
"Today was a travel day, and you can tell everyone was in a positive mood," said Chara. "We had a really good energetic practice.
"Sometimes the little things and even one game like that can turn the whole team around and hopefully that’s the case. We know there’s a big game tomorrow so we just have to get ready for it and carry the performance form last game to tomorrow’s game."
Although Chara doesn't generally show too much emotion on the ice or in front of the camera, the stoic blueliner admitted that he takes it very hard when the Bruins aren't playing well.
"I mean that’s pretty natural when you’re captain and leader of the team, you feel the responsibility," said Chara. "Of course, you don’t want to see your team struggle and be in a winning and losing rut, but at the same time there’s only so much you can do.
"You just have to really focus on what you can do and not try to do too much, but at the same time like I said, you feel responsibility to address some things and we did that."
Chara, known for putting a big arm around the shoulder of a teammate going through a tough time, said he appreciated the support of his fellow players in Black & Gold during the B's recent downturn.
"I know I have support from everybody," said Chara. "It’s funny, sometimes little things, a couple words and a few nice comments can make a difference in everyone’s mind – doesn’t matter if you’re a 15-year veteran or a first year guy.
"You always have to hear the nice words and the right words, and it’s that time of year that when you need that, you need it the most.
"I thought it’s good when you see the guys trying hard and maybe its not happening for him, you give him encouragement, give him a little tap on the back and he feels better. Maybe it will help him a lot," he said.
And the B's burgeoning rivalry with the Sabres certainly won't hurt the Bruins efforts to carry the momentum from Missouri to Western New York.
"We want to carry our performance from [St. Louis] to [Friday] nights game and from that point go forward," said Chara. "We know last time we played here, we didn’t play well and we got embarrassed and we have to better and we have to be ready."