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The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

The Blog: April 15th

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
[ B's Playoff Hub ]

9:05 p.m.
A (very) late update
If you are like me, you are warming up for tomorrow night’s game by watching either Versus (Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh) or NESN (Bruins Classics).

And I have to say that I am sorry for the late update – but better late than never.

The Bruins worked on special teams this morning, but even the drills did little to mask the fact that the club was chomping at the bit.

During his interactive chat with Bruins fans on, winger Mark Recchi alluded to that fact what the general atmosphere in the locker room has been like.

“Excited and edgy, which is good,” he said. “It's a positive vibe right now, but not overconfident.”

And defenseman Dennis Wideman admitted that keeping within yourself is often one of the first battles to be overcome in the playoffs.

“[You’ve got] to keep yourself within the team system and not start running around,” said Wideman. “We want to play a tough game, and we want to finish a lot of checks, but we also want to make sure that we don’t [skate] out of position to finish checks.”

However, the youth of the team is very much looking forward to a new experience.

Rookie forward Blake Wheeler, for one, is excited to knock yet another item off his list of NHL dreams.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun to get out there,” said Wheeler. “It’s just going to be kind’ve cool just to see the atmosphere.

“I’m expecting it to be something I’ve never seen before.”

Center Marc Savard has seen it before, but says that the Bruins have “added another dimension” to their team.

However, he reminded everyone that “Montreal is a good hockey club and they’ve got some good players too, so it’s going to be a good series.

“But the guys have proven this year that we have a skilled group and a tough group to play against.

“And you know, we can play it any way you want to play it.”

Bruins head coach Claude Julien spoke about last season’s series.

“We learned a lot last year,” said Julien. “We were a young team and a depleted team.

“We just plugged away…and you couldn’t have asked for a better situation for those young guys to be put in.

“We grew from that series.”

There's plenty more...
Go here to watch more of today’s interviews. Check out Mark Recchi's chat transcript, here.

10:55 a.m.
One eye north...'s Dave Stubbs writes this morning: Almost 10 am in Brossard. Francis Bouillon is on the ice working with Canadiens strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Livingston. No sign of Andrei Markov.

Practice is at 11. You'd think that Markov would skate on his own before he works out with the full team. But then, there was Mathieu Schneider.

By the way, Dave had a nice piece on Mike Komisarek in this morning's Montreal Gazette.

Meanwhile, a large group of Bruins worked out prior to their own practice at 11 a.m.

9:30 a.m.
A nice treat
Alan Sullivan, who has contributed photos to both this website and the P-Bruins, was in Wilmington on Tuesday and he shot a bunch of photographs of practice.

Click here to catch a glimpse of what was happening on and off the ice.

9:27 a.m.
Julien on Ryder
Claude Julien also spoke about Boston right winger, Michael Ryder. The Coach reiterated that he was not surprised at Ryder's success this season.

"When we first got him and everybody made a big story about the bad year he had: nobody ever talked about the good years he had before," said Julien.  "Even though people keep saying that I’ve had him at all different levels: juniors, American League and NHL, our people in our organization always liked him as well.

"[The Bruins] felt that this kind of guy here could help our hockey club.

"And when you score 27-28 goals, it means you’ve had a decent year, and despite his slow start and his injury half way...the year, I think he could have hit the 30 goal mark," he said.

9:23 a.m.
Andrew Ference Update

"He continues to be day-to-day guys," said B's head coach Claude Julien, Tuesday. "That’s his situation and as long as you don’t see him on the ice, that means he’s not ready to come back.

"I think when you see him on the ice for the first time it’ll be a good sign."

9:02 a.m.
And we're baaaaaaaaaaack...
...and so is Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien's playoff game face.

The Bruins head coach seemed to tire, quickly, when many of the questions he answered on Tuesday seemed to focus on the B's discipline and the Canadiens ability to disturb that discipline.

"You guys have this whole game, this whole series kind of figured out, right?" said Julien. "They’re going to get under our skin; we’re going to take a lot of penalties."

"Why don’t we just drop the puck and see what happens."

Previous to that, Coach had talked about some of the B's keys to success.

"We need to compete hard for sixty minutes," he sadi. "We need to respect our game plan and just go out and play hard.

"I’m not going to stand here and give you guys anything different than in the regular season because we believe that what we did in the regular season.  We just have to do it as well as we can in the playoffs.

"Obviously...the level of competition will go up a notch -- that’s for both teams -- so we just have to make sure we’re ready to elevate that to that notch that is needed in the playoffs and continue to play the same kind of game we’ve played all year," he said.

Julien said that it was important for his club to stay out of the penalty box.

" I think we all know it’s important to be disciplined no matter what team you are," he said. "A skilled team may not be physical but it may be hooking and tripping.

A physical team may cross the line, which is what we did in the second period [against Montreal 4/09].

"We crossed the line, in the second period, but we are what we are.  We’re going to play our game, but we’ve got to stay out of the box.  We know that," he said.

Julien talked about his penalty killers, P.J. Axelsson and Stephane Yelle in particular, and what they do to mitigate any penalty situation.

"Well, the best penalty killers I’ve always worked with are guys that have great instinct," he said.  "You know, [they] read the plays and see things ahead of time.  We used to talk about Gretzky offensively on how he was able to see what was going to happen before it happened.

"I think those guys defensively see the same thing, but in defending.  That’s why I think Yelle and Axelsson have been excellent penalty killers this year," he said.

Perhaps the most informative moment of the day was when Coach Julien spoke about Patrice Bergeron and Chuck Kobasew.

"Well, there’s no doubt that had we had him last year, and even Chuck Kobasew, who missed the playoffs, we might have gotten past the first round," said Julien.

"Our young guys had a chance to develop much better because of the absence of those guys," continued Julien.  "But having them this year, [means] there’s probably our best two-way player [Bergeron] in the last month or so."

As Bruins fans have seen previously, a healthy Bergeron is a force.

"He’s a very reliable player and although he’s just a young man still, I think he’s got enough experience in this league that he’s going to give us that much more depth," said Julien.
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