Bruins: Heart of a Lion, or Bear?

Early on in this shortened season, the Bruins have shown a keen ability to battle back in games, overcome adversity, and score clutch goals when needed. A common theme throughout their 2011 Cup run, this killer instinct is key to winning a championship in any professional sport.

A game-winning goal by Nathan Horton with just minutes left in Carolina, though credit Dougie Hamilton for the outstanding fake-shot pass; a game-tying goal just one day later by Horton against a gritty New Jersey Devils team. For whatever reason, perhaps the previous pressures of the 2011 Cup run, this team knows what it takes to win, or at least earn an extremely impressive point.

That being said, a “feel-good” loss won’t exist come playoff time, and turning the puck over against the New York Rangers, like the team did Tuesday night, is certainly not a recipe for success.

Though you cant help but get excited when the club scores two extra-attacker goals with just 48 seconds left, erasing a 3-0 third period deficit against a stout defensive team like the Rangers, a team who’s known for blocking shots and never squandering leads.

“Well you know, we went out there in the third period and our goal was to kill that 5-on-3, and then you know the 5-on-4 remaining, and then go from there,” coach Claude Julien said postgame.

“And unfortunately instead of 2-0 right after we killed that penalty, they scored to make it 3-0. And what I said to our players once we got that first goal, you know, I was saying there was over 10 minutes left and the guys were saying listen its about getting a goal every five minutes.” The benefit of playing together the past few years, it’s clear that this Bruins club believes in each other, and believes in a full 60-minute effort.

“It’s very doable and they believe in themselves, and they just kept- I mean we had some chances before we scored, but they just believe they can do it. And right now that’s a good sign. I think it certainly saved us from having a regulation loss tonight just with that attitude. And although we weren’t perfect and I didn’t think we were at our best, we still found a way to get a point in a situation where it looked pretty grim at halfway through the third.”

Although he was disappointed in the team’s mental errors that put them in this tough spot, Julien couldn’t refute the team’s note-worthy ability to once again overcome adversity.

While you’d rather Milan Lucic not turn the puck over with a cruddy pass, allowing former Wisconsin Badger Derek Stepan to break in and beat Tuukka Rask with the shot, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead over the Bruins Tuesday night, the matter in which the Bruins, and Lucic in particular battled back in that third period was undoubtedly impressive.

The average NHL club would of packed it in after being down two goals to a team like the Rangers; but the Bruins, a team that gets it, a team that plays with such passion and heart, fought back and earned the ever-so important single point in this shortened season.

Bruins defensemen Andrew Ference had some interesting points on the Bruins resiliency, saying, “I think, more than anything, it’s a consistency. You always try to work on certain aspects of your game, but the most important one for anybody is just consistent hockey. I don’t think we really changed the game in the third, I think its just a matter that we continue the pace and we continue to play as hard as we did in the first.”

“I don’t think it’s any real special recipe for the third period. I think it’s just matter of guys sticking with the game plan and continuing to work hard. I don’t know, it’s not magic,” he said.

Well, Ference, maybe it isn’t “magic”, maybe its some otherworldly supernatural force of which we didn’t know even existed; but whatever it is, black and gold nation will welcome it with open arms moving forward.

Its been a fun ride thus far for Bruins fans, here’s to hoping it continues.

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