Julien on B's win: 'Our leaders have to be our leaders'

Julien on B's win: 'Our leaders have to be our leaders'
November 1, 2013, 10:30 am
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BOSTON - The Bruins ended up grinding out the two points against the Anaheim Ducks because their best players simply refused to accept a loss.

It could have been easy after playing their most atrocious period of hockey in at least five years, and giving up a goal in the closing seconds of a period that set up for a potentially lethal final 20 minutes. The fact it was the second half of a back-to-back following an intense, challenging loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins 24 hours earlier gave the B’s plenty of reasons to pack it in, and simply get ready for the Islanders this weekend.

But instead Boston’s leaders stepped up to the plate, and made certain the Bruins made enough plays to get it into the extra session.

More than anybody else Zdeno Chara stepped up his 6-foot-9 frame and willed Boston to the 3-2 shootout victory.

After all, it was Chara that drew a tripping call on Patrick Maroon when the Ducks player’s stick got caught in the B’s captain’s skates while causing the big man to tumble to the ice. The Bruins were down a goal at the time late in the third period, and eight seconds later they were all tied up when Chara had shoveled the puck past Jonas Hiller for a power play goal.

“At that time that’s probably the last opportunity, man advantage opportunity, that you're going to get, so you have to give all you have,” said Chara. “We made a really simple play, just won the face off, shot on net, deflection and David [Krejci] made a really nice play to me back door and just put it in the open net.

“I kind of put my stick on the ice, and either way I was hoping the puck would end up somewhere around my stick, or somewhere in that area. David [Krejci] again made such a great play, and he’s such a patient player with the puck. It was a great play by him.”

It was alternate captain David Krejci that collected the rebound of a Torey Krug point shot, and slid a puck toward Chara for the sweeping goal into the empty net. Krug did a magnificent job of keeping the puck in the zone as the Anaheim PK unit tried to clear things out of the zone, and played a major role in the goal beyond a simple secondary assist.

The goal was the capper on a huge night for Chara, who generated a game-high 11 shot attempts while throwing out three hits and blocking a shot in a season-high 29:45 of ice time. With so many other players unable to conjure up the best version of themselves amid some difficult conditions, Chara was as good as he’s been all season while Krejci collected a point in the 10th of his 12 games played this season.

“Our leaders have to be our leaders," Claude Julien said. "That was a great play on [Krejci’s] part to make that pass to Zdeno [Chara] on that tying goal, but same thing with [Torey] Krug. Every once in a while he’ll make mistakes, but when he makes plays like he did to keep that puck in and help us tie the game…those are the kind of things that you like to see." You can get guys that are great defensively who won’t give you much offensively – at the end of the night you don’t really win hockey games like that.

“When you’re trying to create something offensively, there’s always a bit of a risk and this young guy [Krug] made a good decision there at the end. So same thing – a great pass to David and David had enough poise to make that play to Zdeno, and I thought that was a big goal for us obviously.”

While it was a new guy in Jarome Iginla who iced the shootout with a roofed wrist shot to the glove side for the only goal scored for either side during the extra session, it was familiar Black and Gold heroes in Chara and Krejci that got Boston there in the first place on a night that wasn’t their best.