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

Julien's line changes good for a spark, not goals
December 21, 2010, 4:25 am
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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;