BOSTON (NBC SPORTS) — Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien thinks that his team’s series finish against the Toronto Maple Leafs was crazier than Monday’s Stanley Cup-clinching 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, but tonight was the “toughest” loss he’s experienced.
That doesn’t mean he’s down on his team, however.
” … I’m going to stand here and tell you how proud I am of our team, how those guys battled right until the end,” Julien said. “Without getting into all these injuries today because it’s not the time, we battled through a lot. You know, when you realize that you’re a couple wins away from a Stanley Cup and how those guys push through a lot of things, I have nothing but good things to say about it.”
He lamented a dominant first period that only ended up providing a 1-0 lead, but most of all, Julien said it hurts to fall just short of generating a championship for Boston following recent tragedies.
“You know, at the end of the day, I think that’s what hurts the most is in the back of our minds … we wanted to do it for those kind of reasons, the City of Boston, what Newtown has been through, that kind of stuff,” Julien said. “It hit close to home, and the best way we felt we could try and cheer the area [up] was to win a Stanley Cup.”
“I think that’s what’s hard right now for the players. We had more reasons than just ourselves to win a Cup.”
Maybe the title wasn’t there, but the Bruins put up an effort that a city – and head coach – can be proud of.