Bruins' turn to set the tone

191545.jpg

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.

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


 

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game:

Marchand-Bergeron-Vatrano

Schaller-Krejci-Pastrnak

Spooner-Nash-Backes/Hayes

Blidh/Beleskey-Moore-Czarnik

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Morrow-Liles

 

Rask

McIntyre