Notes: Bruins need the killer instinct in Game 6

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Notes: Bruins need the killer instinct in Game 6

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON The Bruins know they need to show a little killer instinct.

The Bs have been up in playoff series before, and theyve finished off the Montreal Canadiens before. But there have been times when theyve been poised to close out teams when it really matters and stumbled badly. They haven't always been able to step on another teams throat and finish them off.

We all realize the importance of that game, and we all have to bring the same mental approach that the Canadiens are going to bring, said Zdeno Chara.

Does the Bruins captain want to avoid a Game 7 situation? He has yet to win a Game 7 in his NHL career.

We have it in our hands, said Chara. The further you go, you know every game is so important. Weve been showing heart all season. We fell behind in the first two games and werent at our best. But we showed some desperation, and most of all youve got to be focused and work very hard.

The Bruins will get their opportunity on Tuesday in Game 6 at the Bell Centre thanks to the Lady Gaga tour barnstorming through Montreal on Monday. The B's know theyll be facing a Habs team backed into a corner fighting for its life. Once again itll be all about getting a quick lead on Montreal early in the game and taking the passionate crowd out of the proceedings.

I think thats been something weve had to really adjust to in this series, is making sure we dont give them an early lead, said coach Claude Julien. But when they are in that situation I think they are playing out of desperation, they are playing for their lives, you have to play that game with determination and thats the difference.

For us its about determination, for them its about desperation and you have to hope that the determination is better than their desperation. Its as simple as that.

The Bruins should be prepared for a team in desperate straits after they were in that position during the first two games of the series, and now one squad is facing elimination for the first time in an entertaining series.

The Bruins continue to be the only team in the playoffs that has yet to scratch out a power-play goal, and they sit 0-for-15 on the man advantage through the first five games while looking for something, anything to build on. Julien and assistant coach Geoff Ward made some adjustments on the PP between Games 3 and 4 when they pushed Patrice Bergeron up close to the net on the first power-play team, but that still hasnt yielded results in the last two games.

At this point the power play is clearly pressing, but theres also a setting reality that the Bs might have to soldier throughout much of the playoffs without a fully functioning special teams. So far there hasnt been much evidence that things will be any different in the immediate future.

The one thing I could tell you about the power play right now is its really, really about our guys are so tense right now, said Julien. They know just as much as you guys know. We know as coaches that our power play has not been up to par this year. The longer it goes, the tougher it gets. Somehow weve got to overcome that.

Weve got to somehow do the simple things and have the confidence to do it. When you see your best players having trouble executing, its pretty clear whats going on. Our job right now has really been to try and get them to relax and play with confidence. You got to play with confidence but you also have to outwork the PK. Somehow we got to create that situation. We are desperately working on that and trying to rectify it because we know its a major issue that we have to overcome.

Julien was asked if hes feeling any sympathy for the Western Conference's top seed Vancouver Canucks as they are will play a do-or-die Game 7 with the No. 8 seed Blackhawks.

Thats a real tough question, sympathy," said Julien. "I think I understand what theyre going through. We lived through it. You watch those games and you see how another team can grab momentum pretty quick and confidence and belief. Its there again this year. Theres an opportunity again to create what happened last year to our team for another team. Whether thats a trend thats going that way now, I dont know. But it certainly shows theres parity in this league and nothing is over until its over.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins mixed things up with their roster a bit on Saturday after dropping a couple of games in a row to Washington and Colorado. 

Fourth-line energy winger Noel Acciari and playmaking forward Danton Heinen were called up from Providence and will be in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday night. 
Acciari went to Providence the past couple of days to get some game action in after missing the past month with a lower body injury, but clearly showed he’s ready to go. 

So, Acciari is back to provide the same hard-hitting and energy he showed before he was hurt and Heinen is looking to show off a little more offense than in his first stint with the Black and Gold this season. He’ll be featured in a top role as left wing with David Krejci and David Backes and with marching orders to shoot the puck like he never shot it in his previous stint in Boston. 

For the Bruins, it’s about getting another look at a candidate to play left wing beside Krejci with both Ryan Spooner and Tim Schaller, with limitations to their respective games, unable to fully grasp that same opportunity. 

“My hope is that Heinen can come in and give us some good hockey. He’s a skill player and he’s been down there for a while, and he’s back up again because he’s been playing well,” said Claude Julien of the Bruins rookie, who had four goals and seven points in his past five games with Providence. “Hopefully he can play well here also. It’s about getting some confidence. When he went down to [the AHL] the pace of his game had to get a little bit better, and in the battles coming up with the puck along the walls. Those are the kinds of things we thought he could work on down in Providence.”

Heinen knows he needs to shoot the puck a bit more to show off his offense after a seven-game stint with the Bruins where he went scoreless, was a minus-2 and had just six shots on net.

“Being hard on the walls, playing fast and shooting the puck, those were all things I was working on [in Providence],” said Heinen, who has seven goals and 13 points in 13 games for the P-Bruins after being assigned to Providence. “I was doing what they told me to do [in Providence] and that’s shoot the puck. They were going in, and I was getting some good opportunities on the power play. It’s seriously tough to get chances [at the NHL level], so you can’t pass them up when you have chances. That was kind of my focus down there.”

Fellow fourth-line energy winger Anton Blidh has been shipped to Providence after three solid games with the Black and Gold. 

Julien said Blidh goes back to Providence having adequately shown that he can play in the NHL. He clearly showed the Bruins that he understands his role as a player that stirs things up a bit and gets his nose dirty on a regular basis.

“[Blidh] was fine. No issues there. He does his job. He plays with lots of energy and obviously he’s getting more experience. He’s a lot better at understanding his positioning within the game and what he has to do,” said Julien. “I thought he helped us out for the time that he was here.”

With Heinen and Acciari both in the lineup and Blidh back in Providence, that means Jimmy Hayes will be scratched after dressing for three of the past four games for Boston.

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while doing some early Christmas shopping ahead of the late rush. 

*Mike Zeisberger sits down with a quartet of NHL governors and discusses a number of hot topics including the Vegas franchise and scoring around the league. 

*Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has been removed from the NHL Board of Governor’s Executive Committee amid rumors that the Canes might be a prime candidate for relocation. 

*Pierre McGuire weighs in on Connor McDavid’s war of words on the ice and Carey Price losing his mind in the crease against the New Jersey Devils. To that end, Wayne Gretzky liked seeing McDavid get a little combative at such a young age. 

*The New York Islanders signed Cal Clutterbuck to a five year contract extension, and some are skeptical it will turn out well for the Isles.

*David Pastrnak is a premier scoring threat in the league, and Scott Cullen has some details behind that. I will say this: his stock falling in the draft had less to do with his size or heaviness, and more to do with him being concussed for a long stretch of time during the year leading up to the draft. 

*The Florida Panthers are really struggling to stay positive with a 1-5-0 record since the ownership group and management decided to fire Gerard Gallant. 

*For something completely different: Baywatch stars then and now.