BostonBruins.com -- Asked about the B's work ethic, and his team's ability to be on their game for nearly every game over the past five weeks, postgame on Monday Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said, "There's no reason why you can't give your best every night.
"I think our guys have gotten really good at that and so far it's been great," he added. "It's gotten us back where we wanted to be and certainly it kind of erases the tough start that we had."
That attitude might be even more important for the Bruins, who face off against the Winnipeg Jets in their third game in four nights.
Winnipeg (11-11-4, 11th in the Eastern Conference) presents a different challenge for Boston (17-7-1, 2nd) than did Pittsburgh (16-8-4, 1st), but for Julien the opponent isn't the most important thing.
Instead, the most important factor on which the B's to focus is staring back at them in the mirror.
"As I said the other day, when you win you have tendencies to get sometimes, some lazy habits, but when you play a team like that, you know that you have to be good and it kind of helps you refocus and I think if anything, it helps you sustain that," said Julien of the B's 3-1 win over the Penguins.
"I think this was a good challenge for us tonight. We knew they were a good team and we realized they had some injuries on the back end and we had to play hard in their own end and hang on to the puck.
"Our guys...did a great job of understanding the game plan and executed it well."
But Julien did look at the schedule and see a unique challenge for the Bruins when they face the Jets on Tuesday night.
"It’s not going to get any easier ...when we have to fly to Winnipeg and Winnipeg has been playing pretty well at home, too," said Julien on Sunday. "[It's] a big test there [with] the travel involved in that.
"In a way I’m really looking forward to it."
And why wouldn't the B's look forward to any game at this point. With a 14-0-1 record in their last 15 games, Boston has taken advantage of nearly every opportunity to garner points, which is a far cry from the opening month of the season and the B's 3-7 start.
"I just felt like, in the first four weeks we just weren't ready mentally," said Julien. "That switch hadn't been turned on yet for the season and what's been good about it is that we've found our game again and we seem like we're a group that's excited to play that way every night.
"It seems like we've gotten...that good feeling again and we're willing to do it night after night.
"So, that's the difference I've seen and the reason we were patient at the beginning of the year."