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Julien Liked What He Saw on Tuesday

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- Before the Boston Bruins (16-8-4) left Wilmington for the airport and a date with the Buffalo Sabres (12-4-4) B's head coach Claude Julien spoke to the press about his club's upcoming action.

"I think it is a big week for us," said Julien, whose Bruins face the Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals over the next five days. "And I think we've kind of approached the last couple of weeks the same way."

Boston has garnered 10 points out of their last two weeks, but is still in a fight for playoff positioning.

Boston Bruins right wing Mark Recchi, right, is congratulated by teammates Dennis Seidenberg, center, and Patrice Bergeron after scoring the game-winning goal off Buffalo Sabres Ryan Miller during overtime of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010. The Bruins beat the Sabres 3-2.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
#, Team, Games Played, Points
1. *Pittsburgh, 31, 44 
2. *Washington, 32, 39 
3. *Montreal, 30, 38 
4. Philadelphia, 31, 43 
5. Atlanta, 31, 37 
6. NY Rangers, 32, 37 
7. Boston, 28, 36 
8. Tampa Bay, 30, 36
*Division Leader

"It's pretty amazing that you look at the fact that you got 10 out of 12 points in the last two weeks and you're still battling with fifth, sixth, seventh and it just goes to show you how tight the standings are."

Although there is a dogfight for the top spots in the Eastern Conference, Boston has a 5-3-2 record in their last 10 games and could catch Montreal for first place in the Northeast Division should the Philadelphia Flyers give the B's some help on Wednesday.

But Julien cautioned that the Bruins can't be thinking ahead.

"Although you are trying to catch up to Montreal, you have to get through Buffalo," said JUlien. "Our focus really has to be on the game tomorrow night before we even think about the game...Thursday.

"But the Montreal games is going to be an important one if we make it an important one.

"And that will depend on how we do in Buffalo," he said.

With that in mind, Julien worked made sure to give his Bruins the rest they needed on Sunday and Monday.

Julien said that the Bruins looked like they had a lot of energy on Tuesday morning.

"Sometimes a couple of days off is good for you," said Julien, who also acknowledged, surely with a nod to the Slice the Ice and Holiday Shopping events on Sunday and Monday respectively, that "they were busy doing other things.

"But it's one of a few times that we're able to help them out in a way where they can get their rest away...from practice."

And now, the Bruins just have to help themselves stay in the East's top eight.

"Right now, you hope that our goal is more than that," said Julien of the B's fight for a spot in next spring's playoffs. "You want to keep winning your hockey games and keep moving up in the standings.

"We want to be a better...than a team just trying to survive."
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