WILMINGTON, Mass. --
Following the Bruins 5-1 Game 4 victory on Friday night, B's goaltender Tim Thomas
was asked if he had started to think about the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"We are going to have lots of time," said Thomas. "Generally, my rule is [to enjoy a win] until midnight, but because it was an eight o-clock game I am going to give it until one before I starting thinking about Tampa."
Thomas and the B's had two days to rest before they had to begin their preparations for the series with the Lightning, but Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien had obviously been thinking about his upcoming opponent before he spoke to the press on Sunday.
"Yeah I think that the one thing they do well is they got a good compete level," said Julien. "They come and they play hard every game and they've got their own kind of system that they believe in and has served them well.
"And not only do they play a certain way, but they alternate," explained Julien of the Bolts' vaunted trap. "You won’t always see the one-three-one, you might see that one-two-two.
"They try to keep the team on their heels there a little bit with that. And obviously the offensive zone, a lot of things are, a lot of pucks are going to the net. They always have somebody going there.
"They’re really a driven team and they've made it hard on teams they've played against so far in the playoffs and have had success at it."
But the B's success versus Tampa Bay (3-1, 2-0 in Boston, 1-1 in Florida) during the regular season might give B's fans a bit of confidence going into a series with a Lightning club that has won seven straight playoff games.
"We’ve had some success against them in the regular season," said Julien. "I’m not saying that that should give us an advantage, but there’s confidence and we know they’ve made some adjustments, and we’re going to have to make some adjustments as well.
"But I think compete wise I think both teams are up there."
However, this is not the same Lightning team the Bruins faced earlier this season.
"Well I think they are a little healthier, that is one thing," said Julien. "They had some injuries during the course of the season, but they are healthier now. And I would probably expect [Simon] Gagne and [Pavel] Kubina, there is a good chance they are going to be back as well.
"But what has given them some success, especially in the playoffs, has been their third, fourth lines have done a pretty good job for them.
"Everybody is talking about [Martin] St. Louis, [Vincent] LeCavalier, [Steven] Stamkos, [Randy] Jones, those kind of guys. But the [Sean] Bergenheim’s, and the [Dominic] Moore’s and those kind of guys and [Nate] Thompson, that are all playing pretty hard and I think that has helped them a lot."
"They are a team, like I said, that competes very hard. And that’s what makes them successful," added Julien. "And to me, they outworked Washington, there was no doubt about that.
"And they are a committed group, and you can tell just by watching the games."