Julien's line changes good for a spark, not goals

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Julien's line changes good for a spark, not goals

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- It's not every day that out-shooting a team 27-15 through two periods calls for a changing of the lines.

But that's exactly what Bruins coach Claude Julien thought was necessary after the first 40 minutes of Monday night's 3-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at the TD Garden. Julien moved wingers Nathan Horton, Blake Wheeler, and Tyler Seguin to different lines, in an attempt to get something going, offensively.

Even though the B's had 27 shots through the first two periods, they trailed 3-0 entering the third, and the Bruins' coach wasn't pleased with his team's lack of emotion.

Things had gone stale, and moves were made.

"We needed to move some guys around," said Julien after the loss. "We didn't have everybody going tonight, and it's unfortunate. Milan Lucic was by far our best forward tonight. But we needed more than Lucic going.

"I'm disappointed," added Julien. "I'm really disappointed in our effort tonight. It's not something that we should be proud of."

Julien moved Wheeler to the right wing, with David Krejci and Lucic. In return, he moved Horton -- who has been a mainstay on the right wing with Krejci and Lucic this season -- to the right wing with Marc Savard and Michael Ryder. Seguin was then moved to the wing with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi, the same line that saw some good production in the preseason.

"I think the intensity level was lacking tonight on a lot of us, and coach switched the lines there for the third," said Savard. "We seemed to have some more jump, just to try and get some energy on the team, because like I said, we were getting stale there a little bit.

"It seems like one line has a good night, and then the other three aren't really picking up the pieces . . . Maybe that's why a couple changes were made," added Savard. "But like I said, at the end of the day, when you come in that door, you want to get results to help your team. And it starts right from our top guys, and we've got to start getting results here."

Changes to the lines were made, and the Bruins put 18 shots on net, with those new lines. It seemed to have given the Bruins a spark, and the scoring chances were beginning to pile up.

But Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller didn't let anything past him, and finished the game with 45 saves, marking the most shots the Bruins have taken in a game this season.

"You need to bury those chances, and you need to be harder on the puck," said Julien on his team's inability to score in the third, even with the added pressure after the line changes. "Those little things, those little details that we're talking about, make a big difference in the game."

Julien pointed out that the B's failed to sustain their forecheck on Monday night. And when you sustain the forecheck, you create turnovers, leading to scoring chances.

But even after mixing up the lines, those increased scoring chances didn't lead to goals.

"Whatever scoring opportunities we had, we have to show a little bit more hunger in the finishing department," said Julien. "Because we had some chances, and maybe if we finished on a few of those, you've got a different game."

As to whether or not Julien will keep these new lines together, or go back to the old ones, remains to be seen.

"Claude is trying to get things going, and trying to find ways to score," said Ryder. "And I think he just wanted to mix it up and see if it would help. Sometimes it does."

On Monday night, it helped in the intensity department. But it didn't help in the finishing department.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'mJust Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.@font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1;

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.