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;

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good. 

 

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster.