By Mike Harrington
Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien is a little tired. So are Bruins forwards Patrice Bergeron (Canada) and Loui Eriksson (Sweden), who joined Julien as part of Sunday's gold medal game at the Sochi Olympics. The Bs are in town for their first post-Olympic game tonight against the Sabres but the gold-medal glow is still on Julien, one of Mike Babcock's assistants, and Bergeron in the wake of Canada's 3-0 win over the Swedes in the finale.
Team Canada, of course, blanked Team USA, 1-0, in the semifinals and allowed just three goals the whole tournament.
"You got 20 elite players and they're all committed to playing hard," Julien said today. "The fact we had really good numbers coming back, we had set from the get-go in the summer that we wanted players that could play both ends of the ice and that's what we got. Even though we didn't score as much as we would have liked to, the scoring chances were there. We created a lot.
"Maybe the finish was a bit of a challenge for whatever reason but at the same time, we played so well defensively that we never gave other teams much of a chance to score some goals. There was an unbelievable commitment from our whole group to do it right."
Was the finale The Perfect Game, like so many international hockey experts have called it?
"I would say the last two games were close to that," Bergeron said. "It was a great example of everyone buying in and just playing, sticking to the system, to do what the coaches asked us to play and we got the result. Every shift you could see guys back-pressuring like there was no tomorrow. The Ds were stepping up. We were really closing up and not giving up much time and it gave us the success that we got."
"It was a great experience from day one to the last day," Bergeron added. "It was something very special, something I'll never forget. I'm very happy and proud of the way we've all done it."
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