Game Day: Boston @ Pittsburgh
Saturday, 11.14.2009 / 11:13 AM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
I'll be on the in-game live blog from here on out. Look for lineup notes and lines over there.
Word from Pittsburgh: Kunitz out. Malkin in.
Coach Julien was asked whether he thought that he was facing a different Pittsburgh squad and whether Malkin's return would give the Pens a mental boost.
"It always is [a boost] when you get a guy like that back," said Julien from in front of the Bruins locker room this morning. "It makes them, obviously, a better team and also probably gives their team some confidence, too.
"So we just have to...worry about our end of it and just come out and play the game that we hope we can play in order to beat this team.
"I thought we responded well last game against them and hopefully we get the same kind of performance and hopefully the same kind of result," he said.
Julien was asked about the possibility that the B's were feeling a bit snake bit after the shutout performance by Vokoun on Thursday.
Would he say anything to his club about Thursday?
"I think they get tired of hearing the same thing over and over again," said Julien. "They all know they played well enough as a team to win and they also know that the goaltender was good.
"And they also know that they have to find some way to score goals."
"So to go in there and repeat it is...not going to help," he said.
Assistant coach Geoff Ward stayed in Boston for the trip as he has an upper respiratory infection and the B's medical staff recommended he rest at home.
Dough Houda will take his place behind the Bruins bench this evening and Ward will rejoin the team on Sunday.
It's a little under two hours until gametime and the Bruins are in the arena preparing for tonight's big tilt.
Hopefully, the Bruins are focused on this evening's matchup, not the shutout performance of Tomas Vokoun from Thursday.
But it would be somewhat understandable if they saw the flashing red-trimmed pads of the Florida goaltender in their sleep over the last two nights.
After all, earlier in the season the Bruins had lots of trouble putting the puck in the net.
But recently, those troubles had been mitigated by what Coach Julien estimated at double digit numbers of scoring opportunities per game.
However, 40 saves later, it felt like the B's had to go back to the drawing board in order to ramp up their offensive production.
So, before the Bruins left for Pittsburgh, I asked their captain, Zdeno Chara, if he felt the shutout might have gotten into the Bruins heads a bit.
The answer was no.
"We tried to put as many shot on him as possible...he was just the difference for them," said Chara of Vokoun. "We can't get frustrated with that. We just have to keep it positive and keep it going
"We have another game ahead of us [on Saturday]."
Unfortunately, that game includes the Stanley cup champions -- the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"It's a big game," said the Bruins captain, "so we have to focus on that."
Focus is probably not something that Chara ever worries about, but in Pittsburgh the defenseman will have his hands full with the best that the Pens can throw at the Bruins.
There's simply no time to let the one game offensive drought continue.
"We know that we didn't score any [last game]," said Chara. "We deserved to score some goals but the positive thing is that we never gave up any [goals].
"We actually had really good penalty kills...and we created some really good scoring opportunities.
"Those are really good things."
After practice, B's head coach Claude Julien said that the Black & Gold "need to find a way to finish."
Look for video of Julien's pregame availability here, soon.
While you are here, sign yourself up for a reminder to join us for the in-game live blog.
We'll be live at 7:00 p.m.
The word from the Boston contingent in Pittsburgh is that Tim Thomas is the first goalie off the ice after morning skate.
The Bruins are on the ice in Pittsburgh -- everyone besides Marc Savard and Milan Lucic made the trip and are on the ice.
No word yet on the goalie.