Game Day: Bruins @ Hurricanes Game 3
Wednesday, 05.6.2009 / 9:32 AM ET / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
Okay, head over to the live blog!
The B's look like...
Scratches: Bitz, Hnidy
Per TSN.ca: Paul Maurice shuffled his lines on Tuesday in practice by swapping Rod Brind'Amour for Jussi Jokinen. Jokinen has had an excellent playoff so far, with four goals and five points.
|Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice gestures during the second period against the Boston Bruins during Game 2 of an NHL hockey Eastern Conference semifinal series Sunday, May 3, 2009, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)|
"I think it's easier to match forward lines at home," said Maurice. "For the most part, teams get their defense pairing out against the players they want.
What makes line-matching even more difficult is that it can disrupt a team.
"It's a difficult thing."
"For our team, rhythm is important to our hockey club," said Maurice. "So we'll try to be aware of that balance, between letting your players play and trying to create a bit of a matchup advantage."
Maurice was asked if his club had suffered a bit of a "seventh game hangover" at the beginning of the second round.
"I guess," said Maurice. "I do think that facing two elimination games cost us a bit.
"But, it was 1-1 after one, so it didn't cost us coming out of the gate.
"They were just better than we were in Game 1 at the end of the day," he said.
|Boston Bruins left wing P.J. Axelsson, left, of Sweden, stretches as he tries to backhand a shot past Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward in the third period during Game 2 of an NHL hockey Eastern Conference semifinal series Sunday, May 3, 2009, in Boston. Carolina won 3-0. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)|
First up, the Boston power play.
"Whenever we get that opportunity, you've got to make the best of it -- which we haven't done so far," said Julien."Our power play has got to be a little better."
Fair enough. How about the PK?
"Our penalty kill has been good," said the B's head coach. "But again, we've been disciplined enough so that when our penalty killers have had to do the job, they've been fairly fresh."
"So all those things come into play."
Julien explained that the game will come down to the nitty-gritty.
"Right now it's [about] a lot of determination, one-on-one battles, races -- because most of the game is played at even strength," he said. "Discipline is one thing but doesn't mean that you don't play hard."
And, of course,many of those battles will be waged in front of the Carolina net.
"You always try and create some traffic in front," said Julien. "Every team has that same philosphophy, whether it is our series or another series you always want to do that."
"Now, how determined or how willing you are to do that, and how willing and determined the other team is to make it hard on you kind've dictates what is going to happen."
Signs, signs, everywhere?
|Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien points during the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 of an NHL hockey Eastern Conference semifinal series Sunday, May 3, 2009, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)|
“For me to make that comment [is hard],” said Julien. “You will see signs, sometimes, I’ll give you that.
“But after the puck’s dropped, a couple of minutes in, then you have a pretty good idea of what is going to happen.”
So, until then, we wait. And wait. And wait.
“I don’t think there is any rink or building, right now, that doesn’t have that kind of atmosphere,” said Julien of the anticipated boisterousness of the Carolina crowd. “When you get down to eight teams, those cities are pretty excited and very supportive.
“That shouldn’t change here.”
“We’ve dealt with it,” continued Julien. “When you play in Montreal, and you play against a team that you have a pretty big rivalry against, and you survive it, well – there’s no reason why we can’t survive this one.”
No worries about #’s 22 or 11
Coach Julien explained that today’s practice was actually an optional, so there’s nothing to read into pertaining to the absence of P.J. Axelsson and Shawn Thornton.
Boston is on the ice. Chuck Kobasew is skating. P.J. Axelsson and Shawn Thornton are not.
Power outlets and wireless are at a premium, so look for a more substantial update in a few.
Carolina is in the midst of their morning skate.
A bit of a lull...
The Hurricanes are expected on the ice at 10:30 a.m.
We are very early and sitting in the arena watching seven Hurricanes players take what is either an early warmup or an optional skate.
The majority of the Bruins players will arrive around 10:30 a.m.