Fresh off the All-Star break, the Bruins look to defend their seventh place playoff position and hopefully move up in the standings tonight against the Nashville Predators.
“We’re a seventh place team. We shouldn’t be satisfied or comfortable with being a seventh place team,” said head coach Claude Julien. “We should be looking to move upwards.”
The conversation in the locker room this morning, as before the break, focused on strategies for achieving that goal.
“To have a good start tonight is extremely important,” said Coach Julien. “Hopefully we have our guys ready to go at the drop of the puck and get ourselves two points that are desperately needed.”
Optimistic as the team is, Nashville could prove a formidable out-of-conference opponent.
“We’ve got to keep up face…or try to, and it’s not going to be easy,” said goalie Tim Thomas
Although they are ranked in ninth place in the West, the Predators have a 25-20-5 record – nearly identical to the B’s record of 25-19-5.
“They’re a hard-working team,” Julien said. “Their base is the work ethic and then a team that’s really strong in a cycle.
“They’ve had their coaching staff together for quite a long time.”
“We watched some of the video (on Nashville),” Nokelainen said. “There are a couple of really good lines.”
“We have to play hard again.”
Center Glen Metropolit worried about playing an unfamiliar team.
“I like playing against guys that I’m familiar with [and] knowing their tendencies,” he said.
The B’s hold no illusions regarding the team they’re up against tonight, nor about what they’ll have to do to win.
“We have to be very aware in our own end,” Coach Julien said when asked about the hard-working Preds. “If you can’t master the work ethic, it’s going to be a long night.
Metropolit was confident, knowing the team is ready to work hard and earn their points.
“You’ve just got to play your own game, your style of game,” he said.
“I think the (Bruins) team that you saw against the [New York] Islanders will show up."