BOSTON -- At several points during the regular season, we saw the Boston Bruins follow up an emotional win over the Canadiens with a series of duds. With that in mind, on the heels of the most important win of the first-round series with the Habs so far, players and coaches have approached the topic of momentum the way a relief pitcher approaches a forgettable appearance.
“We’ve got to make sure it’s behind us. We’re worried about Game 5 now,” said forward and alternate captain Patrice Bergeron, who had a goal and assist in Thursday night’s 5-4 overtime win at the Bell Centre. “We know Montreal’s going to be ready for us, and it’s going to be a tough game. It’s been a tight series all along, and I think it’ll be the same thing tomorrow. We’ve just got to make sure we’re ready to have a good game and come out on top.”
Bergeron, in his usual mild-mannered way, kept things pretty vanilla when asked about momentum and bottling such things for Saturday night’s crucial Game 5 showdown at TD Garden.
“We’re feeling good about ourselves. We’re confident, but you can’t be overconfident,” Bergeron said. “It’s a long series. We’re back to square one, really. We’re going to come out on top by staying with our system, not getting too far ahead and not thinking about what happened in the last four games.”
Building on that last point, buzz words like “focus” were thrown around in the locker room and at Claude Julien's press conference Friday. But what stuck out most among the players was the discipline shown in Thursday's game to stick with the coaching staff’s game plan despite the two-goal second-period deficit.
“There was no bitching, no complaining, no whining, it was all about focus and then saying, ‘Yeah, we can do it, we’ve still got lots of time,’ ” Julien said. “When you’re capable of doing that, you’re giving yourself a chance, and our guys were resilient yesterday and found a way to get an early goal after that timeout, which got us back in the game. We worked ourselves back into it.”
Kelly's feeling fine
After getting driven into the post head-first by Montreal’s Scott Gomez in Game 3, requiring a quick trip back to Boston for an examination, Chris Kelly took to the ice with a cage over his helmet Thursday night. The results speak for themselves, as Kelly had the game-tying goal in the third period and an assist on Michael Ryder’s game-winner in overtime, leaving Julien to joke that perhaps he should have been wearing it earlier.
As for the injury itself, Kelly, sporting a bruise under his right eye, was examined back in Boston Wednesday night for possible facial fractures and got the go-ahead to play.
“The eye’s been fine, it hasn’t been an issue,” Kelly said. “Obviously, it looks a lot worse than it actually is.”