"I think this whole week is about that," said Boston Bruins Claude Julien. "We have [the Devils], we have Calgary who also plays a heavy game, and Vancouver at the end of the week [in a game that] will represent a real fun challenge for both teams.
"This is a tough week for us and it will be important how we respond."
Thus far this season, the Bruins, who stand fourth in the league's standings, have responded well to whatever adversity has appeared on their schedule, but with 12 contests in 21 days, the schedule itself could put the B's behind the eight ball.
However, Coach Julien prefers to take a wait-and-see approach to the club's heavy workload and might even prefer the crowded calendar as opposed to the sporadic schedule to start the season.
"I don’t know if I have concerns right now, I think it’s good for us to be playing a little bit more," said Julien of his B's, who are tied for the lightest schedule (35 games played) thus far this season.
"We had an easy schedule on the first half and I think we’ve acknowledged that, we realize it and we understand the challenges that lie ahead of us in the second half," added Julien. "We just have to get ourselves ready and stay fresh and stay focused.
"The one thing we learned last game was if we don’t bring our 'A' game, we’re going to see the 'A' game from other teams and we’re going to have our hands full if we don’t realize that sooner than later."
That is especially so versus New Jersey who are 7-2-1 over their last 10.
"Well they’re a pretty heavy team - size wise they play a heavy game," said Julien. "You don’t say that quite a bit, but they’re a team that really makes it hard to get to their net."Benoit Pouliot
broke a 3-3 tie with 3:01 remaining in regulation on Nov. 15, but the B's certainly don't take New Jersey lightly.
"When we played them here this year I thought they played a real good game, they had us for quite a while until we scored a few goals," said Julien. "They’ve been good at home lately, they’re certainly going to give us a good game.
"They lost a tough one in overtime [last night, 3-2 to Ottawa], so I expect them to want to bounce back like we do."