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B's Carry a Playoff Mentality into Saturday

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA -- Despite victories in their last three games against the Islanders, and despite New York's 14th place standing in the Eastern Conference (61 points), the second place Bruins (79 points) know that they can't dial back their intensity in TD Garden on Saturday.

Unfortunately, however, that's been the B's pattern this year as Boston looks to earn their first consecutive wins since they defeated New Jersey and Calgary on January 4-5.

"Yeah, Ottawa’s [76 points] catching us now, and its something we have to look at," said Bruins forward Daniel Paille. "I think most of our losses are against teams that are out of the playoffs right now, and that just cant happen for us.

"For us to be a great team, we have to take advantage of that.

"They’re a team that’s fighting right now and they might be just outside, but they’re still pushing," he said.

Former Islander Mike Mottau, who could return to action on the B's blueline versus his old club due to injuries to defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Andrew Ference, said that New York's roster has tons of talent.

"I mean from the top line to the fourth line, they can hurt you offensively," said Mottau. "Unfortunately, consistency was a problem throughout the year when I was there, but on any given night they can be one of the most explosive offenses in the league.

"As far as the talent on both sides, there’s a lot of offensive talent, but on this side there’s a little bit more structure as far as rolling the shifts and doing the same thing over and over again and that could be one of the factors to success."

Mottau said he had run into some of his former teammates as recently as Friday morning.

"I was actually talking to some of the guys over there and they’re actually staying in the same hotel I’m staying in," said Mottau, who has yet to set up shop in Boston. "It’s part of the business, I have some really good friends over there but once the puck drops, it’s the same game and you go out and do your thing.

"You might know some tendencies of their forward play, or their D and what they try to do - their systems and stuff." added the new B's D-man. "But overall it’s just the same game and no friends out there."

That kind of mentality could help the Bruins, who have started talking about playing playoff-style hockey as early as this afternoon.

"I think it’s necessary," said Paille. "Once we get that mentality I think we’re going to start playing the way we need to."

"You hope it’s going to start happening," said Head Coach Claude Julien. "I’m hoping [Thursday] was a good start to that.

"I thought we played two good periods, and you know we had a let down in the second, but we bounced back in the third [against] a tough team to play against – they’re a good team.

"So you know hopefully our guys are getting into that mindset," added Julien. "I feel around the dressing room, it’s heading in that direction."
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