Bruins' turn to set the tone

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Bruins' turn to set the tone

By Jimmy Toscano
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Whats that old saying? Its tough to win games if you dont score goals.

The Bruins are living proof of that, but it doesnt end there. Not only are they not scoring goals just one in 120 minutes of play, all at home theyre giving them up before fans even get a chance to find their seats.

For that to change, theyll have to focus on starting off games the right way. Twice now the Bruins have let the Canadiens set the tone within minutes seconds even of the puck being dropped.

All that does is allow the Canadiens to play their style of play for the entire game, while the Bs are forced to play catch-up hockey.

We talked about that before. The Canadiens made a living . . . last year in the playoffs of getting a lead and then sitting back and absorbing the other teams attack and collapsing, and relying on some good goaltending, coach Claude Julien said. And theyve done that. Whenever they got that early lead, which theyve done well, they push teams to try and get out of their comfort zone and start taking chances. Thats the thing theyve done well. We have to make sure we dont give them those early goals because now youre playing into their game.

It all starts with a good start, Milan Lucic said. Thats what our focus is going to be on is getting out there and trying to establish that first goal and try to establish a good first shift. Thats whats locked in the first two games, especially the last game when you give up a goal in the first 43 seconds.

Scoring first is obviously beneficial, but it may prove to be even more so than usual Monday night in Montreal.

The first one is a big one, David Krejci said. If we get the first goal theyre the ones who have to attack, so they can open up a little bit. We can control the game a little bit. So thats what its about, a good start. And you want to get the first lead so hopefully we can go in and win Game Three.

Its tough to skate with your tail between your legs. Going down so early certainly wont put any Bs players in a good state of mind, which may have even lead to the Canadiens second goal just a couple minutes later in Saturday nights 3-1 loss.

I think we start off with a lot of energy, and giving up early goals like that doesnt do a whole lot for the momentum of this team, Gregory Campbell said.

We were ready . . . we were very excited for the game, Krejci said. Then they got the first goal. So it kind of shocked us a little bit. It was really hard to come back. So hopefully the next game were going to get the first goal and we can control the game.

They got themselves into this mess, and theyre the only ones who are going to get themselves out. And unlike the first two games, nobody in the stands will have their back.

The good news is that the Bs are a solid team on the road this year; the bad news is they havent won in Montreal.

That will have to change now. Their backs are up against the boards, and they know it.

I think we do have that desperation where were going to have to go into every minute of the next game having that desperation, playing as hard as we can and doing whatever it takes to win, Rich Peverley said. Every guy in this locker room is going to be counted on and were going to need the best from everybody.

Being down 0-2 in the series is certainly not the end of the world. Last season the Canadiens were down three games to one to Washington, before they took the next four games and moved on. The Flyers were down three games to none to these same Bruins, and well, you know the rest. The point is, its not over until its over.

Its no secret now, Lucic said. The last two teams last year, when they were in trouble. Were in trouble right now and we need to find a way to rally and get our heads around it and you know, everyone needs to step up and play the way we know we can.

No one is going to do it but us. For myself and the rest of the guys on the team, were the ones that need to go out and do it and rise up to the occasion its not just one guy. Were going to have to unite as a team here and do it together.

Its easy to say, but much harder to do. Are the Bruins going to go quietly into the Montreal night? Or will they finally take a stand and make a statement? They have the ability to answer that either way.

I think the answer is in this dressing room, but its up to each and every one of us to dig deep here, look ourselves in the mirror, Campbell said. Its not a blame game here, its more of everybody having to contribute and doing their own job.

Claude Julien gave a quick update, or lack thereof, on the Zdeno Chara situation: No further update on Zdeno, hes been in touch with our doctors and medical staff and he will be traveling with the team, so thats basically all Im going to say about that. And I guess Ill take a page out of Flyers coach Peter Laviolettes book last night, We dont discuss lineups, we dont discuss our goaltenders, and we dont discuss our injuries.' So I liked that and Ill give him credit for that one.

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

BRIGHTON, Mass – While the NHL debut for Charlie McAvoy is a matter of “when” rather than “if” at this point after agreeing to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) with the Boston Bruins, the jury is still out on Boston University center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and University of Notre Dame winger Anders Bjork become pros. 

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says that Forsbacka-Karlsson has yet to make a “final decision” on his status for next season after BU’s elimination from the NCAA hockey tournament, and Bjork is readying for the Frozen Four this weekend along with the rest of his Fighting Irish teammates. The 20-year-old Forsbacka-Karlsson just wrapped up his sophomore season with the Terriers and posted 14 goals and 33 points in 38 games with a plus-11 rating, and has not given the Bruins any firm word on his plans for the immediate future. 

The urgency perhaps isn’t there for the Bruins to lock things up with Forsbacka-Karlsson right this second, because he wouldn’t be a factor for this year’s NHL team. 

Meanwhile the Bruins can’t do anything with the 20-year-old Bjork until at least the end of next weekend, but have been mightily impressed with a player that’s posted 21 goals and 52 points in 38 games for Notre Dame this season. Bjork had three assists in the game that propelled Notre Dame into the Frozen Four, and there would be a great deal of urgency for the Bruins to lock up a talented forward that might be able to help them right now. 

“I’ve been able to see [Bjork] a few times including the regional [in New Hampshire] last weekend, and he was outstanding. He played every other shift, he set up goals in the game and he’s had a really nice progression as a college player this season,” said Sweeney of the explosive Notre Dame junior, who was far and away the best player at B's development camp last summer. “They’ve done a fabulous job with their team, and hopefully they get to the Finals on Saturday against Harvard, and we get the best of both worlds seeing how our prospects play in the final game. He’s had a tremendous college career to this point, and we’re excited about his development.”

McAvoy is the front-burner issue for the Bruins at this point, but it would surprise exactly nobody if both Forsbacka-Karlsson and Bjork join him in Providence in the next couple of weeks as they wrap up their AHL season.