BOSTON -- Since the Boston Bruins are set to the host the Pittsburgh Penguins -- a game of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference -- Monday night at TD Garden, most of the Bruins players weren’t able to watch the entire New England Patriots game Sunday night.
But Bruins coach Claude Julien, who has been a Patriots fan since he was a kid, didn’t miss a snap as New England erased a 24-point deficit and finished with a 34-31 overtime win against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium.
“It was a good thing they won because I was up late,” Julien said with a smile. “I didn’t want to be one of those who halfway through say, 'They’re done.’ I stuck with it and I’m glad I did.”
Bruins veteran forward Shawn Thornton is good friends with numerous Patriots players, including kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who nailed the game-winning field goal, and receiver Julian Edelman, who made nine catches for 100 yards, including two touchdowns.
“I texted Edelman this morning and said it was his game and he played well,” Thornton said. “I saw the highlights this morning; what a game. If you’re going to sit in minus-92 degree weather it ought to be for that type of game, I suppose.”
Bruins forward Chris Kelly watched until it was 14-0 and then he went to bed.
“To be honest, in the back of my mind they always seem to pull it out, make it close or win,” Kelly said. “It’s pretty impressive.”
The Bruins know first-hand what it’s like to mount a similar comeback. Time and again the last few seasons during the Stanley Cup playoffs, Boston has faced elimination but turned the tide in its favor.
“It’s amazing what momentum can do, especially with a team like that,” Thornton said. “When Tom Brady is throwing the ball anything can happen. It shows you can never count him out, that’s for sure.”