BOSTON -- One of the many areas the Bruins will be looking to improve upon Sunday night against the New York Rangers is the sleepy openings that have doomed them in the first two games out of the Olympic break. The Black and Gold frankly did not look ready to play either of the games as they try to find their skating legs and solve their erratic shooting and passing.
Boston gave up nine goals in the two losses to the Sabres and Capitals, and was trailing by a 3-1 score in the second period of each those games before ultimately falling in defeat. Everybody from the team captain to the backup goaltender knows that’s not good enough for the Boston Bruins.
“We should know that these last 20 plus games, I don’t know, are going to be very intense,” said Zdeno Chara. “Every opponent is going to play their best, so we should definitely be up for these games and be better.
The Buffalo game was all about defensive mistakes and some soft goaltending from Chad Johnson while the B’s fell to the Capitals with undisciplined penalties and shoddy work on the PK. The Bruins were also outshot by a 13-7 margin in the opening 20 minutes, and out-hustled to loose pucks with the exception of when the energized Merlot Line was out on the ice.
The B’s obviously have an easy excuse with the rustiness gathered during the 2 ½ week Olympic break, but it sounds like excuse time is over for Bruins head coach Claude Julien. It’s about playing with a little more care and emotion, and doing it right out of the starting gate.
“I think they all know in there that we have to work and compete a little harder. I think the emotion of our game has to be a little better,” said Claude Julien. “I’m not sure after the first period — you know, I look at our stat sheet — we’ve got five hits.
“That’s not good enough for us. I think a lot of that is putting more emotion into your game, and we need to pick it up and get better starts. That way, we won’t be battling from behind.”
The Bruins will look to bust out of the frustrating two game pattern when they travel to Madison Square Garden for a Sunday night tilt against the Rangers that should be a meaningful Eastern Conference tilt.