BOSTON (CBS) – When the Boston Bruins woke up Thursday morning, it was like any other morning.
Thursday night however, will be very different.
“I woke up normal, but once you get to the rink you kind of felt everything start to build up a little bit,” defenseman Johnny Boychuck said hours before the Bruins open their playoff series with the Montreal Canadiens. “I’m just excited to get the playoffs going.”
“No doubt there are two teams today that are very excited to start the playoffs,” Coach Claude Julien said.
“The first game is always exciting,” forward Michael Ryder said. “You get those little butterflies, you get excited to play. As a kid growing up, playoff time is what you always wanted to watch on TV.”
“I’m not going to lie, I’m excited,” Gregory Campbell said, who has not seen playoff hockey in his seven year career. “It’s been awhile. This is what you play for and it doesn’t happen all the time. Especially for this rivalry and a series like this. I can feel the energy in the dressing room as well.”
“Definitely enjoy it,” Ryder said his advice would be to playoff newcomers. “It’s a lot of fun, this is what we play for. Go out and not get too uptight, just play your game and don’t panic if something goes wrong. It’s a seven-game series.”
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After an eventful regular season, it seems only fitting to get things started with a Bruins-Canadiens playoff series. But the B’s will not let what happened in the regular season distract them when it counts the most.
“At the end of the day it’s about winning, and that’s our focus,” Campbell said.
“We know the way we have to play, now it’s a matter of going out there and executing that style of play,” Julien added.
“The last two years have been disappointing,” Ryder said. “This year is the year we can prove to people we can be consistent in the playoffs. We have to take it one series at a time, starting with Montreal. I don’t think it’s going to be easy, it’s definitely going to be a grind until the end.”
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The Bruins have also put their playoff collapse from last season to the Philadelphia Flyers behind them. They learned from their mistakes, but will not let it affect this year’s Stanley Cup run.
“We learned from that as soon as it happened,” Boychuck said. “As soon as we got back from the summer everyone knew what happened and put it behind us. We’re just looking forward to getting this (years) playoffs going.”
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“We don’t really want to think about that, but it’s still in your mind,” Ryder added. “We don’t want to think about it, but we learned a lot. We know that you can’t take anything for granted. It’s a seven-game series and you have to play until the very end.”
And it all starts Thursday night with Game One.
Tune in to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s coverage of the Bruins-Canadiens playoff series starting 30 minutes before the puck drops with the Dunkin Donuts Bruins Pregame show.