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B's Focus on Themselves

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- B's Head Coach Claude Julien believes that the Tampa Bay Lightning represent yet another challenge for the streaking Boston Bruins.

"Yeah, they are a good team, obviously," said Julien to the gathered media after the B's morning skate on Thursday. "They’re where they are at right now because of their consistency from the start of the season.

"They’ve improved themselves also with some deals along the way. Right now that’s not so much about them as it is about us continuing to play the way we have.

"I think our focus has to be on that more than it has to be on the end result tonight," he said.

With the Black & Gold back in TD Garden, Julien said that he is not concerned with the B's being able to transfer the club's momentum to the ice on Causeway Street.

"No, that’s not something we’ve talked about," said Julien. "Again, you hope that being out West and coming out East in Ottawa, hopefully if there was any hangover hopefully it was there and we got through that

"We talked about continuing to put our emphasis on the way we played and the attention to details and that kind of stuff.

"That’s where the focus has to be right now more than anything else. Win or lose tonight, it’s not the end of the world," added Julien. "But the way you play has to be more important than that."

Lightning struck the last time Boston faced Tampa Bay in TD Garden and it didn't go well for the Bolts.

The B's dropped a touchdown and a two point conversion on Tampa as the B's won 8-1 on Dec. 2.

However, Julien expects a different Tampa Bay team to grace the Garden ice tonight.

"Well we saw them react to that when we went back to their building and they certainly had a lot of jump but we were obviously ready for that," said Julien of the B's 4-3 win in Florida on Dec. 28. "We pushed hard and then found a way to win.

"So I don’t think there’s anything different from that. They obviously know what’s happened here, we obviously know. But that’s a long time ago and I don’t think we should hang out hats on that part of it.

"And again if we start worrying about how hard they’re going to come out then that means we’re not focusing on how we got to play and how well we got to play. So I keep going back to the same thing," he said.

Although Julien tried to keep the focus on the here and now, the B's bench boss was asked if there are any similarities between this years team and the B's powerful 2008-09 squad.

"We always want to make comparisons, right?" asked Julien, rhetorically. "But the one thing I like about this team right now, I think the depth is probably a little better.

"If you look at what we have here and if we run into certain injuries, we got a lot of guys that we can move around. And I think that’s a part of our team.

"I think that might be a little further ahead from a few years ago. And hopefully that pays off in the end, and only time will tell," he said.
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