Claude Julien, like a lot of people around the Bruins, didnt like what he saw in last week's blowout loss to the Sabres.
There were defensive mistakes and discipline lapses, of course. Those things will happen over a long season.
But the coach also felt teeming frustration, and saw players venting against one another. As Julien put it, there was a lot of negativity in the dressing room, the kind that can bog a team down before the players are even aware they're knee-deep in it.
Its about the approach you take to games and situations," Julien said. "Lately things havent been going well, so guys . . . feel the pressure. Pressure weighs you down. Youve heard coaches say that in the past, and pressure can weigh you down in practice, too. After the second period in Buffalo I came in and said to the guys that I could sense the negativity and everything else because things werent going well. We werent helping ourselves.
The Bs did a good job of eliminating the bad feelings. That was evident in their shootout victory over the Nashville Predators, and it's something thats been stressed since the bottom dropped out.
The practices this week were about working hard, staying positive and making things happen, said Julien. Before the Nashville game, thats what we talked about. We needed to bring that work ethic into the game and feel good about it . . . Maybe that helped those guys feel lighter, because they went out there and worked hard.
Apparently a couple of solid, intense hockey practices and a good between-periods chat can, like a Red Bull, give you wings like they did for the Bruins over the last week.