Boston opened a five-game home stand with a clear cut victory over the young, but talented Isles and postgame B’s Head Coach Claude Julien spoke about the importance of the win.
“We’d won a couple of games in a row, and this was an opportunity to start the week off on the right foot and build through it,” said Julien. “That’s stage one of the three stages we have to go through this week.
“So we need to focus, again, on a young team [in the Edmonton Oilers] that has a lot of explosiveness coming in on Thursday, and a team that’s off to a really good start.
Many Bruins have battled through many of the first dozen or so games of the 2011-12 games, but last night’s all-around effort saw many Bruins contribute on both sides of the puck.Benoit Pouliot
, Nathan Horton
and Tuukka Rask
were chief amongst the B’s heroes.
Pouliot entered Monday night with a 0-0-0 line in eight games for Boston and having been a healthy scratch against the Senators and Maple Leafs.
“It was nice to see,” said Julien. “He was in the right place. He was right there, put on the breaks, and banged it in.
“Second period, almost had another identical one, with [Jordan] Caron throwing it across the crease.
“Like I said, he’s a guy that’s working hard, he’s trying to find his way on this hockey club, trying to adapt. His work ethic and compete level is there, so, again, we’ve just got to keep working with him and see how far we can go.”
Last week Horton said he simply wasn’t feeling himself since returning from a concussion suffered during last spring’s Stanley Cup Final.
With a 2-1-3 line, Horton looked himself against the Isles.
“The tough times are not easy, but tonight I felt better,” said Horton. “It makes you feel better getting points and feeling good out there.
“I still want work on my game and keep getting better and do anything I can to help my team.”
Rask has lived by those words throughout the last two seasons. But going into Monday, the young goaltender has earned a 2.71 goals against average and a .906 save percentage.
Decent numbers, but all for naught as the B’s had only scored three goals during starts against Colorado, Carolina and Montreal.
“I think it was just a matter of time,” said Julien. “I don’t think we ever questioned his play, and even in those games we lost, it was pretty obvious that his game was fine.
“It was it was us in front of him that weren’t doing a very good job, so tonight the players played much better in front of him and gave him some cushion as well, and he was able to play his game comfortably.”
But Julien doesn’t want to see his Bruins get too comfortable.
“No reason for us to kind of put ourselves in cruise [control] now. We’ve just got to keep going and battling through it,” he said.