BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins have a chance to sweep the New York Rangers out of the playoffs on Thursday night.
But given their recent track record in close-out games, the Rangers may have a few more days left in their playoff lives.
The Bruins may be up 3-0 in the series, but have struggled to close things out under head coach Claude Julien. Just last series they let a pair of potential clinchers get away after jumping out to a 3-1 series lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and needed a miracle comeback in the final 10 minutes of Game 7 to get to the Eastern Semis.
Then of course, there is that 2010 collapse against the Philadelphia Flyers, when the Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead.
But the 2013 Boston Bruins aren’t living in the past. They’re focused on the task at hand.
“I think we live in the moment. You learn from the past and you live in the moment, but you don’t live in the past,” head coach Claude Julien said on Wednesday. “Right now, we’re living in the moment and I like where our team is right now; the attitude and the approach.”
“We’re not looking at it the way other people are going to look at it and try to find reasons to give New York some hope,” the coach continued. “We’re not even going there. We’re looking at the present right now, and the present is getting prepared to play a real good game (in Game 4).”
CBS New York: Rangers Focusing On First Step
The Bruins have held a 3-0 advantage 18 times in their storied history, winning all but that 2010 series against Philadelphia. Boston is 13-5 in Game 4’s when going for the sweep, and they won’t be changing much as they look to accomplish that Thursday night.
“Same as always; we’re going to have to come out hard, get up early and get some momentum going,” said forward Shawn Thornton, whose fourth line scored both of Boston’s goals in Tuesday’s Game 3 win. “We have to play the full game; it’s not over until we finish it off. They’re going to give us their best and we’re going to have to be ready for that.”
Closing out the Rangers Thursday night would give the Bruins some much-needed rest before the Eastern Conference Finals, but they aren’t thinking about any potential rest. All they’re looking at is putting together a winning effort in the next game on the schedule.
“(Rest) would be nice but we know and we’ve learned as a team that the last one is the hardest in past years, even the last series,” said forward David Krejci. “We’ve got to get ready for tomorrow and play it just like a Game 1.”
“It’s only been three games, and these last couple – (Game 3) could have went either way,” said Thornton. “We still have some work to do; the last one is always the toughest one.”
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