BOSTON — For the second straight year, the Bruins have a 3-0 series lead over the Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. And, obviously, for the second straight year, the Black and Gold look to finish off the Orange and Black to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1992.
There’s no doubt that the Bruins are a confident group right now and have a lot going for them. They’ve also had the same mindset going into this series on putting last year’s collapse aside.
And once again, the team is using the same mindset with the cards they’ve been dealt with going into Game 4 tomorrow night at the TD Garden.
“As the old saying goes, it is what it is and you just have to deal with it,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said after practice today.
“You move on in life and we’ve moved on,” Julien continued. “We’re a confident group. I like where we are right now. The biggest thing we have to do is to put the past aside and really continue living in the moment.”
For some, like Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand living in the current moment is a little easier since they’re both playing in their first postseason.
The two, however, acknowledged that the Bruins need to go in for the kill and not give the depleted Flyers squad any hope of getting back into the series.
“It’s very important. That’s what we want to do,” Horton stated. “We don’t want to give them any life and go back to Philly. We want to play as hard as we can now and play desperate. It’s never over until its over.”
“You want to go all in…you want to go in for the kill,” Marchand stated. “They’re vulnerable right now and we need to make sure we keep them down. If you give them any bit of hope then that’s a dangerous thing especially in the playoffs. If they take a game, anything can happen going back to Philly. We need to make sure we do anything we can to win and we don’t want to let them back in this series. So we have to make sure we’re ready for tomorrow.”
The Bruins mentality is far different then they way they approached last year. In fact they made an immediate response to Peter Laviolette’s statements after their win in Game 2, in which he tried to put the pressure back on the Bruins.
Given the Flyers’ injuries to Chris Pronger and Jeff Carter — both of whom didn’t participate in practice Thursday — and their current goaltending carousel, the Bruins couldn’t have asked for a better chance to finish Philly off in four straight. And if that’s the case then the history from last year’s events will certainly be forgotten.