Bruins Determined Not to Get Caught Looking Past Upcoming Games to Saturday’s Showdown With Canucks


Bruins Determined Not to Get Caught Looking Past Upcoming Games to Saturday's Showdown With CanucksWILMINGTON, Mass. — For Bruins fans, Saturday can't get here soon enough.

That is when the Vancouver Canucks arrive for a rematch of last year's Stanley Cup Final. It's a date that's been circled on calendars since the schedule was released last summer in the midst of the Bruins' days with the Cup.

But while fans are eagerly awaiting the renewal of hostilities between the clubs and the Canucks are likely licking their chops at the possibility of exacting some small sliver of revenge, the one group that insists they have not been preoccupied with thoughts of the pending clash is the Bruins themselves.

"I don't think I've thought about it once," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said after Tuesday's practice at Ristuccia Arena. "I don't really care that we're playing them. It's just another game in our minds and I haven't heard anyone talking about it really."

Marchand and his teammates are instead focused on taking care of business Wednesday night in New Jersey, then facing the Flames at home on Thursday. Until those games are in their rear-view mirror, the Bruins don't plan on getting caught looking ahead to the Canucks.

"We've been so successful this year because we're doing a very good job of not looking past the next game and making sure we're focused on that," Marchand said. "That's how it's been and we're doing that right now. No one is looking at that game right now. We're more concerned with what's happening [Wednesday] night and then Thursday against Calgary, and when the time comes we'll worry about that game [against Vancouver]."

That's the approach Claude Julien wants his team to take, and thus far he's been happy that his players haven't allowed themselves to get caught up in the hype that's already building for the showdown with Vancouver.

"I haven't heard too many guys talk about it," Julien said. "We haven't talked about that game at all. I think that's something we've grown accustomed to as far as not looking any further ahead than the next game. Right now we're focused on bouncing back [from Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Stars]. We certainly didn't like the last game we played in Dallas and we know we need a better effort. In order to start thinking about that game we need this ship here first and we have two games before that."

Even when the game does become the Bruins' focus after dealing with the Devils and Flames, Marchand downplayed the significance it will have. After all, the stakes are certainly lower than the last time the clubs met in Game 7 of the Cup Final, and nothing that happens on Saturday is going to change history or affect the legacy of last year's championship.

"We both realize that nothing's going to change last year," Marchand said. "It doesn't matter how they come in and play, a win or loss for either team is not going to change what happened last year. It's just another game."

Still, it's not quite like just another game. And try as they might, the Bruins know they won't completely escape the hoopla surrounding the rematch. Marchand admitted he's already been inundated with ticket requests, but those asking had better find another way into the Garden on Saturday.

"Quite a few," Marchand said of the number of requests he's gotten, "but I'm not giving any out."

While fans eagerly await Saturday's showdown, Marchand is more anxious for Sunday to arrive to be able to put this one behind him.  

"It's going to be interesting," Marchand said. "I know the fans and everyone are going to be excited about it. It'll be nice to get it over with."

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