As the Black & Gold filtered in this afternoon, Shawn Thornton and Brad Marchand, along with Torey Krug, offered their thoughts prior to the matchup.
Thornton was up first for player availability, entertainingly firing back and forth, as usual, with the reporters gathered in advance of the game.
"We're excited to get going here," said Thornton, of the mood in the room the past two days. "It was a close one last game - I think we could have been better, everyone knows that. So today's the day. We've kind of left the last one behind, and now we're just focusing on three o'clock today."
"Or 3:05, or 3:10, whenever the puck's dropping," he smiled. Puck drop is set for 3:20 p.m., with the game nationally televised on NBC.
The Bruins' are an experienced group, and Thornton brings 90 career playoff games into Sunday's game.
"It helps," he said. "We've been through a lot in that room the past seven years. I've been on both sides of the coin, so it helps, but having experience doesn't guarantee you a W either - we've still got to go out there and perform."
"But I think for the majority of the group that's been here before, we know how to prepare."
As for motivation, Thornton doesn't think that the Bruins need animosity towards the opponent to get fired up.
"You don't need that. Everyone talks about it, because of the way we're built, that we play better when we're a little [ticked] off, but it's playoff hockey," he said. "If you can't get yourself going, there's something wrong. So you shouldn't need a ton of animosity to motivate yourself at this time of year."
Marchand was up next, and also spoke about the experience of the team, down a game in the series, and not wanting to be down by two heading to Detroit for Games 3 and 4.
"It's huge, and I think we can definitely look at our playoff experience from the past," said Marchand. "But we know how big of a game it is. We don't want to go there down 2-0. You know, we've been through that before. So I think the biggest thing is - it's always tough to lose the first game at home, but we were pretty calm after the game, and I think we realized that we had to to really focus on tonight."
"We don't want to be too tight out there. We want to make sure we go out and we play confident, and that's not in the back of our minds."
"We have great leaders who are able to lead the way out there like they have all year, so hopefully we can do that and play a great game."
Maintain Defensive Game; Create More Offense
After a 1-0 loss that didn't go in Boston's favor last game, thanks to Pavel Datsyuk's magic, it's no secret that both teams' defensive structure stood pat.
"I think both teams played unbelievably defensively, and we'll both probably be looking for ways to create more offense," said Thornton. "But they're a highly skilled team over there, and I thought we played a strong game defensively - guys were blocking shots when they had to - and I thought it was a good game, other than the fact that the outcome wasn't what we wanted. It was a definitely a positive on the D side of it."
Now, it's about creating offense. For the Bruins, that involves finding ways to play with the puck more and establish their possession game. They need to place pucks in areas where they can retrieve them, hang on to them by winning the 1-on-1 battles, and then sustaining that momentum and pressure from shift to shift.
"I think the biggest thing is we can get the puck in their end, it allows us to forecheck and finish our hits a little bit more," said Marchand. "And if we can do that - just try to wear them down down there - it will benefit us."
Both teams play patient, sticking with their systems that have led to success. Both teams are confident in their abilities, and don't often fall back on their heels. It's about which team can impose their game more on the other.
"This is a huge game for both teams. We really have to make sure that we're able to find a way to push our style of play a little more out there," said Marchand. "And I think the biggest thing we can do is focus on our game, and not get roped into playing their kind of hockey."
"They do sit back a lot, they're a pretty a defensive team and I they're very opportunistic so I think that forces us to play a little more defense and worry about that a little more."
"But I think that's the best thing we can do is just try and push our game upon them and play physical and trust our system - and I think if if we do that, then we should be able to create more."
Carl Soderberg may have encapsulated the mindset of the Bruins heading into Game 2 better than anyone, when he was asked on Saturday after practice if this team was 'discouraged.'
"I don't know what that means, but I don't think so," the Sweden native had smiled through his accent.
'Are you frustrated?' a reporter had followed up.
On to Game 2….