BostonBruins.com – It’s the game that’s been circled on Bruins fans’ calendars since September. It’s undoubtedly the biggest regulation game of the season in terms of excitement.
|B's celebrated last Spring
On Saturday, the Vancouver Canucks (25-13-3) will visit the TD Garden for the first matchup between the two teams since the Stanley Cup Finals.
But for the Boston Bruins, it’s just another regular season game. That approach, which the team learned during last season’s playoff run, has helped the team keep an even-keeled focus for Saturday’s high-energy game.
“I’ve talked about it for the last couple days on how our team has matured,” Julien said. “In those playoffs, for two months, it was important we focus on one game at a time and didn’t look any further than the next game. We learned from that – that’s the best approach you can take as a group and it served us well. We just carried that into this year.
“Until the media started asking us about that Vancouver game, it was never really talked about in our dressing room and not purposely, but we just kept talking about the game coming up and that’s how we handle things with our club.”
A lot of attention has also focused around Bruins forward Nathan Horton, who was hit by Aaron Rome in Game 3 and missed the rest of the series with a concussion.
But Julien said he doesn’t anticipate any extra emotion because of that hit. The Bruins have all the emotion and motivation they need, and Julien said he doesn’t think the team will play any different against Vancouver with Horton in the lineup.
“I haven’t really thought about it that way because for me, we’ve kind of turned the page on series,” Julien said. “We’re looking at this year as a different year, I don’t know that it’s going to be a big difference to have Nathan back. He’s been back with our team – he’s been back for most of the year. “
Horton adopted the same mentality of Julien, and he isn’t worried his emotions will take over after last season’s incidents.
Nonetheless, he is still excited for the contest.
“We did play them last year in the Finals,” Horton said. “They’re still a good team, and we’re still a good team. It’s going to be a good game. I’m not really thinking too much about what happened, but I’m just getting excited for the game.”
The ‘one game at a time approach’ has helped the B’s pick up two decisive wins leading up to Saturday – a 6-1 win over New Jersey Wednesday and last night’s 9-0 win over Calgary.
Along with that, Julien has emphasized the importance of his team coming out with a strong start, and forward Patrice Bergeron believes that will be the decisive factor tomorrow.
“We’re going out there with one thing in mind, to win the game,” Bergeron said. “And obviously emotion, intensity, and energy are all key words to winning games so it’s going to be the same thing again Saturday.”
--- Anthony Gulizia