MONTREAL – Even though the morning skate lines were a little crazy, Claude Julien said it won’t be anything fancy that needs to happen for the Bruins to take a needed victory in Game 4 of their second round series at the Bell Centre.
Rather than single out goaltender Tuukka Rask as somebody that needs to steal Game 4, after putting up an .884 save percentage in the first three games, the B’s bench boss says it’s about the entire team playing a better brand of hockey.
The Bruins have held two very short leads in the series, at the beginning and end of Game 2 in Boston, and their top forward line has been MIA aside from ancillary goals from Jarome Iginla. Julien could certainly spent time going through every player that hasn’t lived up to their regular-season pedigree in this series, but instead said it’s about the entire team playing better.
"I know this is maybe boring for you guys, but I just think our team just needs to play better. That's how we succeed. I don’t spend too much time focusing on any one guy, I really just focus on our team,” said Julien. “There’s a lot of hockey to be played. We’re in a big series here and maybe we do things in a little bit of a different way to get ready to play.”
That means getting an early lead, holding that lead and starting to deploy their punishing forecheck, strangling defense and goaltending tag team on a Montreal team that has found ways to exploit the Bruins in the first few games. It isn’t a very colorful or complex formula for winning hockey games, but it’s what allowed the Bruins to win the President’s Trophy in the regular season.
It’s also exactly what’s been missing for three playoff games against an arch-rival that’s got their number right now.