BOSTON, MA – The Bruins finally inched closer to the full 60-minute effort they have searching for on Saturday afternoon, in a physical, high-powered 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals.
“Yeah, it’s pretty close to it,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien, when asked if the win was a complete effort. “I think we played with a lot more emotion in our game. Physically, determination was a lot better tonight.
“That’s what we strive for. We wanted a complete game, we got more of a complete game, more of the type of game that our team’s looking for.”
Julien said the Caps’ lone goal was just an unlucky bounce and something that the B’s had no reason to get down about.
“None,” Julien said bluntly, when asked what reaction the team had after the goal. “It was one of those bad bounces. David was making the right play by trying to put it in the corner, and it happened to hit a skate and go in. Those are things you can overcome when you know you’re playing the type of game you want to play.”
Khudobin, who made 32 saves and improved his record to 5-2-0 on the year, said the team was glad to put forth a full game after struggling in that department all season – including when the B’s blew a 3-0 lead against the Caps last week, ultimately falling, 4-3, in overtime.
But if there's one aspect about this team, it's that they don't like to make the same mistakes twice. So with another go at the Capitals today, they were expecting more from themselves.
"We’ve had a couple of meetings just talking amongst ourselves and making sure that we just stay accountable and be aware of the situation," forward Daniel Paille had said the morning of Saturday's game, on addressing the blown leads this season.
"As soon as someone lets down, we’ve got to get on each other and be hard on each other because unfortunately the last few games kind of bit us in the end and we don’t want that to happen again so we’re going to try to do everything we can to stop it."
The B's jumped out to a 2-0 lead again - and this time, they extended it, getting a combined nine-point production from Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and David Krejci, a power-play goal just nine seconds into the man-advantage from Rich Peverley, and Andrew Ference's first of the season (he also helped start the rush that led to Krejci's goal).
“Of course it’s great, it obviously feels good after games like that,” said Khudobin, following the win that gave him a 5-2-0 record in starts this season. “We played awesome, maybe we gave up a little bit more shots than we usually do, but most of them pretty much were from our outside. And we scored four goals, I think that’s good enough to win.”
Even with the complete effort, the B’s still feel that there are areas for some upgrades. That attitude of never being satisfied and always striving to be better has defined this group of Bruins over the past few seasons.
“It’s been an area that we’ve wanted to get better,” said Adam McQuaid – who fought the Caps’ Matt Hendricks, and racked up seven penalty minutes – when asked about the team’s 60 minute effort. “We’ve had our good periods and we’ve had our lapses. Dobby came up with some good saves as well tonight.
“Maybe it’s a good start, so there’s still room for improvement for sure.”