Fourth line provides winning energy, example

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Fourth line provides winning energy, example

BOSTON -- The forward line of Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille fondly likes to think of themselves as the energy line, and they lived up to their billing on Friday night.

With some of their teammates sleepwalking through a game against a scrappy New York Islanders bunch, the Bs fourth line pumped in a pair of goals in the first two periods and provided a jolt of energy that helped propel the Black and Gold to a 4-2 win over the Isles at TD Garden.

Claude Julien had no problem crediting the fourth line with being their best forward group in the ugly win, and that stands as the second time in the first four games of the season that the energy line proved a felt impact in victory.

Thats a pretty good start for a trio that doesnt get some of the fanfare of the other groups, but brings bundles of pure energy for everybody else on the roster to use as momentum-building nourishment.

Theyve always taken pride in doing that for our team in the past, said Julien. Tonight theyre the ones that were doing the right things.

Thornton kicked it off with his first goal of the season as he battled through the Islanders defense to reach the rebound of a Dougie Hamilton shot, and shoveled it into the open net with a quick backhanded attempt. It was an important goal for No. 22 coming off Wednesday night when his inability to clear a puck led to a Rangers goal just 46 seconds after the Bruins had tied things up in the back-and-forth.

It was clear he wasn't happy about the play, and -- in true energy line fashion -- he did something about it.

One period later a David Krejci shot from far outside of the left face-off circle bounced off New York defenseman Joe Finleys skate and right onto Gregory Campbells stick. The fourth line center fired back at the net, and allowed the Bruins to head into the third period tied at 2-2 despite some lackluster, out-of-sync play overall.

Both goals the fourth line scored they had somebody in front of the net: Thorty Shawn Thornton on the first one, and Soupy Gregory Campbell on the second goal, said Julien. So they did things that our others lines werent doing for two period. Once we got ourselves going we were a lot better. They set the example, I guess, for the rest of the team for the third period.

The line finished with eight shots on net for the game, and also gave the team 1.21 jigowatts of energy when Paille clobbered Brian Strait in the corner toward the end of the first period. Matt Martin tried to jump Paille while standing up for Strait, but Thornton grabbed the Isles tough guy to protect his linemate. The B's enforcer was slapped with a 10-minute misconduct, but the Bruins actually went on the power play following the exchange.

Following the game Thornton didnt speak to reporters as he was feeling under the weather, but Campbell said the energy and opportunistic offense are what they are all about.

We have been playing together for the last two years, which is a rare thing in hockey. We get along off the ice, which is good because it transfers on the ice, said Campbell. We accept our role and know our role. Sometimes it is not an easy job but we are willing to help the team. Its a role that we take pride in.

I think energy is part of our job description, every night, is to bring energy to our team, whether it was tonight or any other game. For us I think it is important to read the game and learn from our mistakes from the last game, where we came out kind of flat and fell behind.

Better than the energy or the occasional offense: Campbell shares the team lead in points with Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Brad Marchand after four games. It speaks to just how big a role the fourth line has played as they once again set the tone early in a season where theyve been sorely needed by their team.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.