BOSTON, MA - Every time an opposing coach comes into TD Garden, he’s often asked about the Bruins’ style of play, and what has led to their success.
The Bruins currently sit atop the Atlantic Division with 81 points and a 38-17-5 record. They haven’t lost more than two games in a row all season, and that has only happened four times.
But high expectations often lead to a “happy but not satisfied” room that is constantly looking to improve and strive for consistency.
In the case of the Florida Panthers, they in turn sit at seventh place in the Atlantic Division, with 53 points and a 23-31-7 record.
So, when Panthers Head Coach Peter Horachek was asked about his team on Tuesday morning, in the hallway of TD Garden outside the visiting team locker room, he responded, “Well, we’d like to have the same record as Boston, but we don’t.”
Horachek went on during the media availability to speak about culture and what they’re trying to build in Florida.
'Boston obviously has that and has had that for a while - what do you look at as the key to their success?' the bench boss was asked.
"Well, Claude has them playing a really solid defensive game. I mean, you win with defense. Your offense is there and everybody looks at the offense, ‘they can score goals’ and ‘Lucic and Krejci can score goals,’ but really, their strength is in their team defense."
"They have good goaltending, they have defense and they have strong forwards that compete all over the ice. They have a cultural attitude that says they work hard and work on all those 50-50 pucks and they win those battles, and that’s where you want to be as a team."
"You play well as a team, you stick together, and they have a good environment and a good culture, and they work hard at eliminating situations and realizing where people fit in, and don’t fit in, and they get their team to that point."
While the Black & Gold may go through their ebbs and flows, the core culture is there, and we see that emerge time and time again.
And no matter the opponent, it’s always interesting to hear an outside perspective on it.
To me, he’s always been that guy that’s that perfect fit. He’s as reliable defensively as he is offensively. He’s going to give you a fair amount of production and a fair amount of points, yet he’s going to give you that same kind of, I guess, comfort feeling in your end of the ice as well. Those guys are hard to find and when you have them, you try to hold onto them.
Just how important is chemistry to a team?
Whether on or off the ice, especially at the start of a new season, the buzz word gets thrown around constantly.
Because, really, it’s that beneficial to the way a group of individuals like the men in the spoked-B find success together.
"It always is and you’ve heard so many players say it, and a lot of them have been veteran players, from Mark Recchi to even Jags [Jaromir Jagr] who said this was one of the best groups he’s ever been with," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said following his team’s October 8 practice.
"That speaks volume to me, anyways, that our room is that close and good to each other, and guys that have come in have never heard a guy say, ‘Nobody made me feel comfortable here at home.’ The guys have done a good job of that."
I just sent him a text to congratulate him. I think he’s deserving, everybody who knows him here knows what kind of a person he was and what kind of a leader he was on and off the ice. They’ve got a young team over there and the minute he signed there, in the back of my mind I thought he had an opportunity to become the Captain there and I think they made a great choice—very deserving and because of who he is and what he represents and what he does for a hockey team.
Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien, on Andrew Ference being named Captain of the Edmonton Oilers