WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Bruins know it how it feels. They realize what it takes.
As the defending Stanley Cup champs, the memory of hoisting hockey's most prized possession is ever so vivid. But the memory of how they got to that point of ultimate success also remains clear.
While preparing for Thursday night's playoff opener against the seventh-seeded Washington Capitals at the TD Garden, Bruins players echoed a similar reason for last year's success:
Don't live in the past, and don't look to the future.
"I think what we've learned the most is, we never looked too far ahead of what we had to do," said Bruins forward Milan Lucic after Wednesday's practice at Ristuccia Arena. "And that's our mindset right now. All our focus is focused on Game 1 and Game 1 only, and coming out hard, and making the most of our home-ice advantage."
It would have been easy for last year's Bruins to curl up into a ball and succumb to the pressures of falling behind 2-0 in both their first round series against the Montreal Canadiens, and again in the Stanley Cup Finals series to the Vancouver Canucks.
The B's lost the first two games of both rounds, but ended up winning both in seven games. And being able to put those early losses behind them was the main key to their success.
"It's huge, especially right now," said Bruins forward Brad Marchand. "If you lose a game or two, you can't dwell on it. You have to continue to worry about the next game, and what you have to do to win that one.
"You saw we did it a couple times last year against Montreal and Vancouver," added Marchand. "We got down by a couple games, and we didn't panic. We let it go. We built on the things that we were doing well. And it got us back in both series'. That's what you have to do. You have to let a loss go, let a bad game go, and worry about being better in the next one."
Bruins coach Claude Julien believes his team is ready to carry that same mentality into this year's playoff run.
"That's not going to change," said Julien. "We've done that in the past, and we're going to continue to do that. We're a team that lives in the present, and not in the future. We don't live in the past, and last year's last year."