However, the B's best breaks in the important victory -- a win that gave Boston the Northeast Division crown and the 2nd overall seed in the Eastern Coference Playoffs -- happened to be highlight reel saves from goaltender Tim Thomas
"Yeah he saved his best for the end, there’s no doubt about that," said Julien of his goalie's late game heroics. "For two periods, I think we did a pretty good on in front of him and limiting the shots, but they were a desperate team in the third and they’re going to do whatever they had to do to try and tie it up and win it."
But Thomas was there 29 times in the second and third period (33 times overall) as the B's outlasted the Rangers.
"This is a tough building to play in," admitted Thomas. "It’s dark, there’s funny bounces all over the place, and plus they’re a good team - they play solid hockey.
We have a chance to seal it up and to take all the hope out of Ottawa...so it's nice to do that. - Tim Thomas
"Anytime you can come in here towards the end of the year; we need a win to seal up top in the division, I think it’s a good thing."
It was a very good thing as the B's goalie probably earned himself a day or two off beyond Monday's respite. But beyond the rest and the B's 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, Thomas also admitted he is happy that the B's earned another division title.
"It feels good," he said. "Theoretically, we’d have plenty of time to get that extra two points, but why wait?
"We have a chance to seal it up and to take all the hope out of Ottawa...so it’s nice to do that."
As such, Thomas laid it all on the line as the Rangers pressed for a tying goal.
"I felt pretty good, so from my own perspective I just wanted to continue," said the reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy-winner. "I stayed focused.
"I really wanted to get out of here with a win, and as the third period went on I really wanted a regulation win because I didn’t want to go to overtime or a shootout."
Now, with no practice on Monday and three regular season games remaining on the docket, Thomas might be more of a spectator when the B's take on Pittsburgh (Tuesday in Boston), Ottawa (Thursday in Ontario) and Buffalo (on Saturday, back in Massachusetts).
"I think our goal is to continue to get better and better and build towards the playoffs," said Thomas. "I think we’re heading in the right direction, so the remaining games we have left we should continue to do the same thing.
"Now, we’re not actually playing for position in the conference but we’re still playing for our own momentum and our own confidence going into the playoffs."