Say this about Claude Julien — he sounds pretty confident going into Game 7.
On Tuesday, a reporter asked Bruins bench boss for his thoughts on the obligatory post-match handshake and what it’ll be like when he crosses paths with Washington Capitals head coach Dale Hunter.
Here’s what Julien had to say (courtesy CSNNE.com):
“I plan on being the happy one tomorrow,” Julien said with the confidence of a coach that’s won three straight Game 7 do-or-die matches and five straight elimination games behind the Boston bench.
But, as Julien often does, he took the time to answer the question with some thought and perspective. There is something to be said for playoff hockey as the only one of the major four sports that lines players up for handshakes at the end of each playoff round.
“It all depends on the series,” Julien said. “There is animosity, but as the same time there comes a time when you have to put those things aside and congratulate the team for their good effort and moving forward. That’s what I’m hoping happens to our team tomorrow.”
Given what transpired last postseason, no surprise Julien feels confident.
The Bruins became the first club in NHL history to win three Game 7s in one playoff year, defeating Montreal in Round 1 (in overtime), Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals (1-0) and Vancouver in the Cup finals (as the away team, becoming just the third team since1967 to win Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals on the road.)
The Caps, meanwhile, have had far less Game 7 success. Washington’s played in four Game 7s since 2008, but won just once.