"I don't think it can 'not' be there," admitted Julien. "But I don't think the whole focus of tonight was on that, more than it was that we needed to win a hockey game and we certainly weren't pleased with our games as of late."
"And my comment [to the team] was, 'If you guys want to use that as extra motivation, go ahead. There's nothing wrong with it.'
"But the bottom line was that we really focused on winning this game for the right reasons, more than for reasons that happened last year."
Goals from Patrice Bergeron
, Tyler Seguin
and Milan Lucic
punctuated a stellar 41-save performance by Tim Thomas
, who shut the door on the Flyers time after time.
"Timmy stood tall from start to finish," said Julien, simply. "He really did play big.
"Had he let one sneak in it might've been a different game. And we know that. But your goaltender is part of your team, I mean, he's got to do his share and he took a big of the responsibility tonight and helped us win this hockey "
On this night, plenty of Bruins earned their own share of credit for the victory.
Bergeron's unassisted power play goal at 5:40 of the first got top billing from Julien.
"I think scoring that first goal definitely took some pressure off," said Julien. "I thought the first shift they came at us pretty hard, but I thought we settled down.
"I thought we played well and were making better passes, better plays and our commit and determination was better."
|Boston Bruins Patrice Bergeron, right, and Zdeno Chara celebrate after Bergeron's goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010, in Philadelphia. Boston won 3-0. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) |
Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
and the Bruins defensive corps earned high praise as well.
"I think he played a big game," said Julien. "He played the type of game that we know Zee can play.
"And when he plays that way he's the best shutdown D in the league. Bar none."
But the blueline contributions didn't stop there.
"When you look at our 'D' group tonight...I thought brought the puck up well and moved it well," added Julien. "We have to create some offense with some good puck movement from the back end.
"And if we don't have a rushing D we need some good puck moving D's and we feel that...since we've had these guys, they've shown that they can move the puck well.
"Whether it's Zee, [Dennis] Seidenberg -- all of the above -- they are capable of doing it and it's about encouraging them to be at their best in that area because we need that."
Speaking of moving the puck, Seguin showed again why he was the second overall pick in last summer's draft.
"He didn't quite get 10-minutes of ice time," said Julien. "It was a tough game to slide him in when you have three potent lines on the other side, so, I thought he played really well and I thought he played one of his better games.
"He forchecked, skated well, and, obviously, scored that big goal.
"But he's up to five goals and when you look at where we are in the season, at this pace, he could be a twenty goal scorer in his first year. so you can't be disappointed with him at all."
On this night, the same could be said about the entire Bruins team.
"Well, you know...that you're slipping as a team and you're not playing as well," said Julien. "And sometimes to get yourself back on track you have to show some desperation and commitment -- I thought we did that tonight.
"The guys looked committed and it was important, for each other, to show that they were going to do whatever it took to win this hockey game.
"I like the way they showed up tonight and for our guys it was an important win," he said.