BOSTON -- Despite a slow start, Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said he felt his team was "there" throughout the Black & Gold's 5-3 victory on Tuesday night versus Ottawa.
"Our compete level was better, and our focus seemed to be there," said Julien. "When you look at the way they scored that first goal, it was a little bit snake bitten right there, but tonight, we looked like a group that wasn’t going to let those kind of things beat us."
Julien said he saw a better all-around game from the Bruins, who had 13 different names end up on the scoresheet.
"I thought we were better defensively, and I think it just kind of reinforces what we talked about the last few days, that our team’s offense feeds off our team’s defense," he said. "I thought we competed and battled harder in our own end, and because of that, we were able to turn the pucks over and then go back on the attack.
"A lot of it was just straightforward," added Julien. "Taking the puck wide and then taking it to the net. Our guys did a great job. Our third man high tonight was better, which resulted in [Chris] Kelly’s goal. I thought our net-front presence – I look at [Jordan] Caron on both go-ahead goals, the third one and the fourth one, Kelly’s goal and [Johnny] Boychuk’s – he did a great job of screening the goaltender, and that’s what we need.
"Those kind of things are what create more goals, and we got that from our team tonight," he said.
Julien's Bruins received offensive contributions from all four lines and the blueline.
"That’s what you want," said the coach. "That’s what made our team successful last year, and I think it’s important to get some of that and obviously help guys get their confidence, too.
"When everybody goes out there and contributes in the fashion that they did tonight, it’s a lot better for the confidence of the whole team."
The B's bench boss also said that his group's performance looked as close to Spring 2010 as it had during the new season, but felt as if the team's burgeoning self esteem wasn't quite at the Stanley Cup championship level.
"I think so, and I think the difference is our confidence," said Julien. "Even the first power play we had, we made some great plays, but we kind of mishandled the puck. It was jumping everywhere, and again, that’s just maybe a little lack of confidence, after going through what we’ve gone through.
"I think it’s getting there, and the more confidence we get, the better we’ll be at handling the puck and then, basically finishing around the net, too. I think the fact that we were better at putting pucks behind their Ds and chasing and forechecking was a lot more like our team was last year."