And as the Bruins practice this morning, en route to Buffalo and their tussle with the Sabres aboard Bear Force One, there looks to be a bit of a different attitude around the club.
Beyond the simple happy feeling given the team by Marco Sturm’s heroics, there was a certain air of resignation and of purpose around the B’s late Monday. The team is resigned to the fact that nothing is ever going to come easy for this edition of the Black & Gold and that the Boston Bruins must play with an inherent sense of purpose, in each game, for the rest of the season.
Moreover, there was no surprise in Our Boys as the Bruins seemed to be intimating that they knew that they could play like that and the real surprise for the Boston squad is that they have not found ways to play, like they had against the Sabres, more consistently.
"We had twenty guys on a mission tonight," said emotional catalyst, Marc Savard
, in an a matter of fact way. "We got the job done…we got the two points."
Captain Zdeno Chara
was ready to bottle up the emotion and intensity that the B’s showed during the Buffalo game and move on to New York State -- immediately.
"Obviously we can enjoy it now," said Big Z. "But we have to get up in the morning and realize that it was only one game.
"We have to practice with that attitude
and go into Buffalo with that attitude
"We have to play for 60, 65-minutes, if that is what it takes, with the same poise, structure and momentum," he said.
Goalie-turned-folk-hero, Tim Thomas
, employed a bit of the Yankee straightforwardness that rubbed off on him when he was at UVM, and brought everyone back down to Earth.
He was happy, but not celebratory. And if anyone deserved to jump up and down, it was Thomas -- who stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout.
"Not to take too much of the celebration out of this," said Thomas, "but we need to be prepared to do this every night, because that is the situation we’re in."
He continued, explaining that beyond the win, hanging with the Buffalo Sabres was important -- it proved something to the Bruins and their fans.
"It’s important to us because we needed the points," said Tank. "It’s (was) important to us because (we) played a really good game against, arguably, the best team in hockey right now…it’s a very, very, very talented lineup.
"You add up all those things -- we hadn’t been playing well, the most talented team in the league…with a hot goalie.
"And to come out with two points? That’s about as much as you can ask for," he said.
Thomas’ implied message: If the Bruins play the way they are capable of playing, they are capable of beating the best team in the league. If Boston gives all that they can give, who knows what the rewards would be.
Now they just have to do it again -- Wednesday.