Boston Coach Claude Julien, however, said it’s being overemphasized and is the product of media “hype.”
“People are forgetting about the rest of the players in this series,” Julien said after the Bruins’ morning skate at TD Garden. “There’s more than those two. They certainly play a big role. At the same time, there’s a lot more depth on both sides. On our team, their team. There’s a lot of players that can do some damage in this series. We have to stay aware of that. It’s hype for the media. But for us, as coaches, we prepare for a little bit more than that.”
Some other highlights from Julien’s news conference:
* Asked about the serious tone of the Bruins’ skate, Julien said: “It was a focused morning skate more than a quiet one. I thought our guys seemed prepared for the tilt. You hope our experience from the past years has served us well.”
* Defenseman Johnny Boychuk (sprained knee) took the morning skate and will be a game-time decision. The consensus, though, is that he’ll suit up and skate on the Bruins’ second pairing with Andrew Ference.
“Well, I hope so,” Julien said when asked if Boychuk will play. “Tonight, as you know, I’m going to dress 22 [players], an extra forward, and extra D and that will be a decision made after warmup.”
* Goalie Tuukka Rask, who has missed 19 games with a groin muscle pull, also skated and looked comfortable taking shots. It’s believed he’ll be healthy enough at some point during the series to back up Tim Thomas.
“I’m trying to push it hard and see my limits,” Rask said. “When I feel nothing at all, I guess I’m going to go.”
Until Rask is ready, Thomas will be backed up by Anton Khudobin.
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