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“You can’t say that,” he said. “They’re a great team. We saw what they did in the Toronto series, coming back in that last game. We know they’ll push to the end.”

The Bruins erased a 4-1 deficit with 11 minutes left in Game 7 against the Maple Leafs and advanced. But Chicago is in a different class. The Blackhawks are more skilled, shift vs. shift, than anybody they’ve run into all season long, and as Rask pointed out, they punish teams that open up the ice trying to play catch-up.

There’s little Julien can do to change that balance of power, beyond coaxing even more effort from a team that’s already on the back foot _ and has been there before during the postseason.

“Right now our goal is to create a Game … It’s as simple as that. Again, there is no panic. You’re not going to push us away that easily. We’re a committed group,” he said finally, “and we plan on bouncing back.”


Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at) and follow him at