“I don’t think we acted very well,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien this morning after the pregame skate. “The second period, things kind of turned around on us, and once you’re in that mode, it’s hard to turn the switch on.”
The loss was especially disappointing because of the 2-0 lead the Bruins took into the second period of the game on October 23rd.
“We just let them take over,” said forward Milan Lucic
. “We just lost all battles to them.
“Ultimately, that’s what it’s going to come down to tonight -- who’s going to be hungrier to win those little battles.”
The Bruins, like many other teams in the league, have learned the hard way that these Maple Leafs are not a team to be taken lightly.
“They don’t have very big stars on their team, but they work extremely hard, and I think a lot of teams underestimate that,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
. “We just have to make sure that we don’t fall into that trap.”
As Coach Julien said, “more than what you’ve got on paper, it’s what you’ve got on the ice” that matters.
Much like the Bruins, the Leafs are a scrappy group.
“In the ‘hard-work’ area, that’s where I see the parallel,” said Tim Thomas
. “They’re getting a reputation as a team that shows up and never quits.”
As the B’s have said all season, it’s about playing a full 60-minutes and, thanks to its continued repetition in the Boston locker room, the phrase might sound a little trite.
However, the sentiment is especially true this evening as Toronto is currently one point behind the B’s in the standings – a note that has not escaped the Black & Gold. A good 60-minute effort should stave off any worries about trying to catch the Leafs.
“We should have a little bit of motivation going into this,” said Lucic. “They’re going to play hard.
“So, it’s (about) how hard are we willing to push back?”
Coach Julien, who saw his club work and muscle through a big win on Saturday versus Dallas, was cautiously optimistic.
“Hopefully we learned our lesson,” he said with a smile. “I guess we’ll find out tonight.”