Atlanta vs. Boston
Monday, 12.31.2007 / 9:40 AM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
Did you have fun shoveling out? Oh the joys of home ownership...
There was no pregame skate today at the Garden, where the game versus Atlanta will go on as planned -- puck drop is scheduled for 1:08 p.m.
However, practice did occur on Sunday.
But beyond informing the beat writers gathered about him in the "Tree House" at Ristuccia Arena (a converted storage room turned media/Bruins workspace overlooking the rink) that he was going to get us all a space heater and a coffee pot, B's head coach Claude Julien said little -- little that would acknowledge any frustration that he must feel following the Bruins six game losing streak.
In fact, the coach was downright funny as he greeted and joked with the media before giving a short state of the Bruins synopsis.
"A couple of things here today. We (worked on) some D-zone coverage, which I really think we need to get back to," said Julien. "We were doing so well (with that) during the first part of the season...not allowing goals.
"We took pride in doing that stuff.
"It doesn't matter who is out there (all that) matters is the commitment to doing it," he said.
Hopefully it doesn't matter, because there will be no relief from injury tomorrow, and the only new face available will be David Krejci. He took the drive up from Rhode Island Sunday afternoon, a few hours after Coach spoke.
"Everybody has to take the initiative (to make themselves) better," he said. "Whether it is our goaltending or our play in front of our goaltender or limiting our scoring chances.
"Sometimes you get, not criticized, but labeled as a real defensive team...And in my mind, it doesn't matter...winning hockey games, that's what matters. And we've gotten away from that and it's cost us some valuable points. So we did a little bit of that today...We also tried to work on our transition game."
Beyond working on some basics, Coach Julien said that his practice on Sunday was also designed for some fun, too.
"(We wanted) to take the edge off a little," said Julien. "It's only normal that guys would get a little tense and need to find a little fun in the game, again.
"And now, if we could take that fun part (and add) concentration and intensity to go along with that, it will help us get back on track."
Coach just spoke...
"I think it's just getting back to our game," said Coach Julien to the small gathering of press outside the Bruins locker room when asked about the clubs motivation for today. "That win, the one that we need to turn this around, is the toughest one to get.
"And we all realize that in our dressing room.
"So, basically it's about getting back to what we were doing well in the first part of the season," he said.
Coach Julien is talking about defense, True Believers, and a large dose of being tougher to play against -- neither of which has been a Bruins calling card recently.
"That gave us success," said Coach. "Being stingy allowed us to stay in the game from start to finish.
"We've gotten away from that," said Julien. "When you keep spotting teams a lead, it's always hard."
- No Alberts. No Allen.
- They are both day-to-day.
- No Murray.
- He skated this morning and will skate again tomorrow.
- No update on Ward who remains out with a broken foot.
"We've got to take pride in doing the things that we've been doing well since the beginning of the year," said Coach Julien this morning. "That allowed us to have a certain amount of success."
Pride will be on the line in just a few minutes...
Timmy just led the boys out...so it's the Tank in goal today, folks!
My guess on the lines, based on pregame warmup:
Chara-Wideman (sg) Thomas
Stuart-Ference (bg) Auld
Lashoff-Hunwick Go Bruins!
See you on the flip side (and over at the Running Recap). JB