PHILADELPHIA — The Bruins' 4-1 win over the Flyers in Wednesday's Game 3 — a win that has put them on the brink of the Eastern Conference finals with a chance to sweep the series on Friday — was just another example of why this team is in the position it is in.
No matter what is thrown at them, the Bruins seem to have the answer — and that answer has been resilience and picking up the slack collectively. When this series began, the Bruins got back their top center in Marc Savard, but now as they have a chance to finish it, they may have lost another key pivot in David Krejci, who was sent to the hospital after absorbing a Mike Richards hit in the first period.
"It becomes a pride factor, and I think it’s about making sure that everyone understands that not one person can replace the guy that’s not here, but the whole team has to and the whole team did," said head coach Claude Julien when asked how his team seems to pull together, even on the fly, as it did in Game 3. "In the third period, we used our whole bench and everybody had to give us what they had, and we had to stay as fresh as we could to battle a team that was coming at us hard — and I wasn’t ready to shorten my bench for that reason. The bench is already short to start with, and you don’t want to shorten it anymore."
Forward Patrice Bergeron, who has had a great season just two years removed from a devastating Grade 3 concussion that sidelined him for most of the 2007-08 season, has marveled at this team’s knack for overcoming injuries and suddenly finding itself one game away from the organization’s first trip to the conference finals since 1992.
"Whatever it is, we deal like we have all season," Bergeron said when asked how his team may handle this latest injury. "It’s hard, but we’re a strong team — resilient. It seems like every time we get a guy back, another guy goes down, and we just keep fighting through. Everyone chips in and we get the job done, and that’s really great to see."
That, and an amazing 34-save performance by Tuukka Rask, is why the Bruins were able to withstand the Flyers’ best shot and still win 4-1 even while missing two key guys.
"I really liked the way we responded [after Philadelphia's first goal early in the first]," Julien said. "They got some early momentum there, got the crowd behind them. For us to come right back and score was and quiet everything down was huge, and shortly afterward take the lead. I thought our guys battled through a tough first period."
The Bruins are sure to see another onslaught from the Flyers on Friday, as the home team tries to stave off elimination — and the B's will do so with new players and new lines once again. But that’s what this Bruins team has done all season, so why stop now?