BOSTON -- Bruins forward Jay Pandolfo hasn’t played a minute in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. But having won two Stanley Cups with the Devils in 2000 and 2003, he knows what it takes to win it all. He sees the right approach in this Bruins dressing room as the team tries to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals tonight in Game 3 at TD Garden.
“This team has a lot of character and experience, and I see that even more so now being around for this playoff run,” Pandolfo said. “They never give up, and that’s not just when they’re losing or behind in a series, but even when they’re ahead like right now. They maintain that even-keeled approach and never get too high or too low. There’s no cockiness, but there’s confidence.”
During the first round of their 2011 Stanley Cup playoff run, the Bruins fell behind 2-0 in the series to Montreal at home, with Games 3 and 4 at the Bell Centre, arguably the loudest arena in the NHL. It appeared to be an uphill climb for Boston. But they won Games 3 and 4 in Montreal, eventually winning the series in seven games. The Penguins are in a similar situation right now, and having been there not that long ago, the Bruins are trying to maintain the same even-keeled approach they had in 2011.
“You know what both sides are feeling like,” Bruins winger Milan Lucic said. “We know what kind of character they have in that room to have the potential to get themselves back in the series. They’re a great hockey club and their focus is just on winning one game, and I think for us we have to have that same type of focus and same type of mentality. With everything that’s happened in the last two games, it’s obviously great what we were able to accomplish. But in the playoffs, especially, you try to turn the page and focus on what’s ahead and not dwell on what happened too much. So that’s probably what’s going through their mind. They’re not focusing on Games 1 and 2 and neither are we. We’re just focused on having a good Game 3.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien sees the same maturity and attitude in his team that Pandolfo does and knows his players aren't getting ahead of themselves.
“It doesn’t matter what the situation it is, I think our guys are mature enough to understand that whatever we went through, whatever the situation is right now, we have to be a good team in order to win at this stage of the season,” Julien said. “We can’t afford to let our guard down, whether it’s the respect for a team you’re playing, and the ability of that team to take advantage of you if you’re not ready, or whether it’s just from within our group to want to be a good team every night. That’s what’s important right now; that we stay focused on the present and don’t live in the past or don’t look in the future. I’ve said that before, we’ve been good when we’ve kept our eye on what’s going on right now. That’s what we’ve got to do.”