It’s a nightmare the Bruins would rather not relive. They were “rewarded” for their dominance last spring in a four-game first-round sweep of Montreal with 10 days off before they could face Carolina, which won its series in seven games, in the second round.
Boston won the first game but then dropped three straight in rather pedestrian fashion. The Bruins’ efforts to rally from behind, of course, ended in Game 7 in overtime. After eliminating Buffalo in six games, the Bruins now await the identity of their second-round foe. The Washington-Montreal Game 7 winner will determine whether Boston faces Pittsburgh or Philadelphia.
Today during a conference call, general manager Peter Chiarelli addressed why this year’s team shouldn’t suffer the same fate.
“I know we use the word complacent to describe some of the issues we had in last year’s second round. I think part of that stemmed from the long layoff, and that complacency just creeps in naturally. We’re not going to have that long layoff now, he said. “Our guys also have learned from last year about better preparing mentally for the next round. We’re not going to have that much time compared to last year. We’ll obviously have a decent time to prepare.
“The stuff that we’ve been through in the year, I think it’s helped us. It helped us mentally and I just saw a consistent approach in this past series, a consistent effort, the battles on the power play. But for a large chunk of Game 5 [against Buffalo], I saw a real good battle level. And we were winning more than our share of the battles. I just think that the group has learned collectively from last year. They’re more experienced.”