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No Room to Get Comfortable

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- The B's went 12-0-1 through the month of November, but after their 6-3 victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto's Air Canada Centre, Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said his club is not taking anything for granted.

"Not so far, because we know what kind of a situation we’re in and although we’ve moved up, it’s a pretty tight division—it’s a pretty tight conference," said Julien. "I don’t think there is any room for us to get comfortable here.

"Our schedule is getting harder in these next few weeks. Until Christmas we’ve got a pretty heavy schedule and a tough schedule.

"So that will probably tell a little bit more about what we are."

Right now, the Bruins are the top team in the Northeast Division and stand second in the Eastern Conference. Julien explained that the B's work ethic boosted the Bruins climb up the standings.

"I think the guys were willing to do the dirty work that needs to be done on a nightly basis — to grind it out, win battles, go to the net, screen, back-check hard and not get too many out-numbered situations, commit to better defensive play in our own end.

"Because we did that, we had the puck a lot more and quicker and we were able to take advantage of our offense."

Also helpful is the scoring that has come from throughout the lineup. On Thursday versus Toronto, it was center David Krejci (1 goal, 2 assists) and wingers Milan Lucic (2 goals) and Nathan Horton (2 assists) who stepped to the fore.

"I’d like to see them build on it and I thought they were doing a good job in coming towards tonight’s game and creating some chances," said Julien. "They found a way to finish around the net and score some big goals for us. It’s nice to see.

But Julien again cautioned against complacency.

"I don’t want them to relax," said Julien. "You don’t relax, you build on it.

"I think it’s important for them to build on that. They’ve got the confidence now and they’ve got to make the most of it more than they can relax about 'well now we’re getting points.'"

Krecji, who this morning signed a three-year extension with Boston, said as much to NESN's Naoko Funayama postgame.

"It's a pretty good feeling," began the center. "It's so much fun in the room and, you know, it was a good month for us.

"But it doesn't stop there. The season's long and there's lots of hockey in front of us so, hopefully we can keep it going."

Boston hosts Toronto on Saturday night and Julien said the Maple Leafs remain a dangerous opponent.

"They’ve got good speed. I just didn’t think that we closed the gaps quick enough tonight and gave them that extra speed," said Julien. "I think it was more our team that was doing too much watching versus reacting.

"I think we gave them a lot of time in our own end to make plays and that’s the part of our game that I think I wasn’t necessarily happy with and thought we could have been better."

For the moment, Toronto remains just one point behind Boston.

"They’re a good team. They’re a team that’s been rebuilding, they’ve got some good young players and they’ve got some good skill level--good speed--and they’re making the most out of it," said Julien. "It’s about giving those guys an opportunity to grow and I think that’s happening right now.

"They’re a legit, good team and I think the reason we’ve been successful is that we’ve never lost respect for them and we come prepared to play them."
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