Bruins know they need to adjust vs. Canucks

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Bruins know they need to adjust vs. Canucks

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- @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; Down 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins know that changes must be made.

After returning to Boston on Sunday for Games 3 and 4, theBs are confident in their physical style. Quite frankly, they arent the leastbit concerned about that part of their game.

But theres no denying that the scoring chances must come ata higher quality, beginning Monday night, if the Bruins want to make this aseries.

Were never pleased with the amount of scoring chances wehave, said Bruins coach Claude Julien on Sunday at the TD Garden. You alwaystry and get more, and I think you have to ask your players to maybe createmore, obviously, in that area.

Thats one of the areas I think that if we can improve on,and make it a little harder for them to defend against our offense, itscertainly going to help our chances, obviously.

I thought we were a little better in Game 2, addedJulien. But not good enough.

In order to get better scoring chances, the Bruins realize theyhave to do a better job of getting bodies in front of Canucks goaltenderRoberto Luongo.

Obviously start with some traffic in front and find away to get to the front of the net, said Patrice Bergeron. They'redoing a good job of boxing us out, but that shouldnt be an excuse. We need tofind a way. Were in the finals.

Yes, Luongos doing a good job on the first shot, if hesees it. But if he has some traffic, going out there for the rebounds,obviously thats going to create some havoc.

To pressure Luongo, the Bruins know they need good breakouts, and take better care of the puck in their ownzone and the neutral zone.

Goaltender Tim Thomas has the B's strugglewith that puck management. But he also sent a subtle message to his teammates onSunday, about making Luongos job moredifficult.

Ive been busy just trying to do my own job, said Thomas.I think Luongos played well, with what hes been tested with. But I dontthink weve tested him enough. Thats part of the reason were down 2-0 in theseries.

But maybe the biggest aspect that's overlooked will be the adjustment that the Bruins won't have to make in Games 3 and 4, with regards to line changes.

As the home team, Julien now has the upper-hand in getting the matchups he wants, thanks to the rule that allows the home team to make the last change before a faceoff.

@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"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Its about mixing and matching, and Im going to have abetter opportunity here in these next two games of having more of my say withregards to that," said Julien.

And with that advantage, count on the Canucks to make adjustments of their own.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

BOSTON – The Bruins didn’t show anything on the ice in Monday afternoon’s 4-0 matinee loss, and that’s not really any kind of an overstatement.

The scoring chances were almost nonexistent despite 32 shots on net, the second period was dreadful as the Bruins gave up three goals over the course of a six minute span and there was zero added urgency in the third period once the B’s fell behind. The emotion was missing from the drop of the puck to open the game and it never showed up once the Islanders began taking control of the game.

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It was a bitterly disappointing result after the Black and Gold had played so well in their previous five games, and put in strong, winning efforts against the Panthers, Blues and Flyers.

On Monday afternoon, the passes were sloppy and errant all over the ice, there was zero physicality and the Bruins buckled once the Isles turned the intensity up just a little bit in the second period. The game was basically over once Nikolay Kulemin snapped one home wide open from the slot area with Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and David Krejci all blowing their defensive assignments, and then Tuukka Rask followed it up by allowing a softie to Josh Bailey from a bad angle close to net.  

So Bruins head coach Claude Julien termed it a “flat” performance once it was all over with, and openly wondered whether it was fatigue-related result linked to the compacted schedule Boston has played through this season. Monday marked the seventh straight day that the Bruins held some kind of formal skate, though most of the veteran B's players stayed off the ice during last week's Wednesday off-day practice in Nashville.   

“We were flat tonight, obviously, flat from the get-go. I think that first half of the game, we didn’t give much until they scored that first goal. We were able to stay in, but we certainly weren’t generating much ourselves, from that point of view,” said Claude Julien. “His is really the first year, for me as well, going through a condensed schedule, and I’m certainly not using that as an excuse, is it fatigue?. . . But we were flat tonight. How do you explain it? I don’t know. I know that it’s frustrating. I know that it’s disappointing. That’s all I can say.

“Whether it’s mental fatigue, whatever it is. We made some mistakes tonight like, from the goals you look at, we weren’t even in the position that we’re normally in. So we were totally out of whack, as far as even defending. When you give that first goal that much room in the middle of the ice, your D’s go on the wrong side, your weak-side forward is way on the other side, and you open up the slot area, that’s something I haven’t seen much of this year. I think it said a lot from our game tonight.”

The compacted schedule certainly could be a factor for a Bruins team that’s played more games than anybody else in the Eastern Conference to this point, but the B’s also had 48 hours to recharge after winning a Saturday matinee over the Flyers. So the fatigue excuse seems a little far-fetched for a hockey club that’s no-showed a few too many times this season, and did it again on Monday afternoon against one of the worst teams in the NHL.