Bruins' turn to set the tone


Bruins' turn to set the tone

By Jimmy Toscano

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 need to 'find a way to start playing with a lead'

Bruins need to 'find a way to start playing with a lead'

BOSTON -- There’s only so long that a team can hope to thrive, or even survive, in the NHL if they’re constantly chasing the game on the scoreboard, and chasing the puck after digging themselves a hole. The Bruins have been that team in the first couple of weeks during the regular season, and made it five times in five games that they’ve given up the game’s first goal in an eventual 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.

It’s a pattern that is long past getting old to Bruins head coach Claude Julien, who can’t seem to play the front-runner this season despite three comebacks that have allowed for a 3-2-0 record overall this season.

“I hope it’s not a habit. It’s certainly not what we’re looking for, but there’s no doubt. I think it’s pretty obvious that with the amount of games we’ve played, five games, we haven’t scored first,” said Julien. “We talked about that this morning, trying to get that first goal, and it hasn’t happened yet.”

The start to the game wasn’t really the problem on Saturday night as it’s been a couple of times this season. Instead the Bruins enjoyed a handful of quality scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes against the Habs, but couldn’t come through and finish off those plays when it might have meant an early lead.

Instead it lead to what Julien termed a “terrible” second period that was flat, full of mistakes and ended with the B’s trailing Montreal by a couple of goals. The Bruins scratched and clawed their way to making it a one-goal game in the third period, but that was as close as the Black and Gold would get in losing their ninth straight home game to the arch-rival Canadiens.

“It’s kind of been a story about how things are going for us this far, we’ve got to find a way to start playing with a lead. If you don’t capitalize on your chances, you see what happens when you come out [flat] in the second period,” said Torey Krug, who finished a game-worst minus-3 in the loss for the Bruins. “We had another poor second period and you know it’s kind of… you got to make sure that we put our hand on that and it doesn’t become a thing for the team this year. You see that when you don’t capitalize on chances early, that’s what’s going to happen.”

It’s been a positive development that the Bruins have shown the willingness and backbone to fight back into games after early deficits, and they showed that quality once again on Saturday night by scoring a couple of goals in the third period to keep things close. But the Bruins would be best served if they can start lighting the lamp a little earlier in these games, and see how the other half lives by playing with a comfortable lead every once in a while.