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That's More Like It...

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Boston, MA -- The Bruins returned to the United States early Monday, but before they left Prague, Boston Head Coach Claude Julien admitted that the B's 3-0 win over Phoenix in the Czech Republic's O2 Arena had put a positive spin on the clubs season opening European tour.

Tyler Seguin, right, of Boston Bruins shoots to score past Ilya Bryzgalov, left, of Phoenix Coyotes during the NHL hockey match in Prague, Czech Republic, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. Boston won the match 3-0. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
"I’m not sure...I would have been happy with this trip had we not won a game," said Julien. "It would have been a real disappointment because, you know, we came here with a purpose in mind, and, although...we wanted to enjoy the experience that was given to us, we also felt that these games were really important for us, especially getting off to a good start.

"The last thing you want to do is go home down 0-2 and start the season, so this meant a lot to us, and definitely coming back .500 is a lot better than the other scenario."

After Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Coyotes, Julien had expressed disappointment with a number of aspects to the B's attack. But Sunday's effort erased those sentiments.

"I think when you look at our team [on Saturday] and you look at it [Sunday], I think you saw two different teams," said Julien. "We hope to see the team that played the second game more than the team that played the first one, and, you know, I think we’re a team that really feels that we can be really competitive this year in the league, and all we have to do is play the way we did tonight.

"That’s something that we hope to build on and that you hope you can go back home and continue doing because it felt good all around, from the coaching staff to the players, everyone. You know, I’m sure you liked the effort that was given tonight."

There were many highlights, but Tyler Seguin's breakaway goal at 9:14 of the third period remained chief amongst the memories.

"It’s always fun to see those guys score their first goal," said Julien of the rookie's first NHL tally. "And you know...he can remember one, that one as being a real nice one as well.

"I thought it was a great move and, you know, it was nice to see him score that [off a] great play by [Michael] Ryder."

B's goalie Tim Thomas, who earned an assist on Seguin's goal, was often spectacular in his season debut. He made 25 saves en route to the shutout.

"I think we saw a lot of Timmy [Tim Thomas] that we were used to seeing," said Julien of the 2008 Vezina Trophy winner's acrobatic performance versus the Coyotes on Sunday. "I thought he had a real solid game.

"I’m sure Tuukka [Rask] is standing there wishing he had the same team in from of him as Timmy had tonight because our guys played well.

"But [Thomas] still had to come up and make some big saves and keep us in there."

After he assisted on Milan Lucic's first goal of the season in the first period on Sunday, Nathan Horton notched his third goal of the season (at 19:27 of the second) in only his second game with the Bruins.

"It’s something we’ve been looking for -- having guys that can produce on a consistent basis, and I think Horton so far hasn’t disappointed us," said Julien, who also noted that the rest of the B's offensive attack had improved over nigh. "There’s a lot of guys...that I thought had some great scoring chances.

"Obviously you saw much from our whole team," added Julien. "More aggressive.

"[The] forecheck we were going in hard, and we were putting pressure on them. Our gap was...much better tonight between the D’s and the forwards...and puck management was much, much better."

"It made a difference."

That difference allowed Julien to be able to place the trip in its proper perspective.

"I think it’s been a great experience," repeated Julien. "It’s been a positive experience.

"I think it’s been great for our team."
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