Game Day: Bruins @ Senators
It's the third of six seasonal matchups between the B's and the Sens.
Monday, 12.21.2009 / 9:48 AM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop - BostonBruins.com
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Earlier this afternoon, Coach Julien spoke a bit about Marc Savard and told the press that simply having new linemates isn't necessarily going to help the center regain his scoring touch.
"It’s pretty obvious guys when you don’t get the production you got to make line changes," said Julien. "[But] I don’t think one guy helps one guy [be better].
"I think a guy complements a line or helps a line get better
"So, it’s not about what Begin can do for Savard, Savard’s got to do what he’s got to do for himself," he said.
In an understanding tone, the Bruins bench boss talked about Savard's injury interrupted season.
"He’s come off an injury...so he’s obviously not firing on all cylinders. We know that standing here. He knows that standing in there and it’s a matter of working through it," said Julien. "And right now he’s just got to work hard, find his game again, get the confidence.
"At the same time you want his line to help him through that stuff by getting the same kind of effort that we expect from every player and hopefully things fall into place here."
A member of the press had mentioned that Savard's shot totals over the last several games is quite low, and Julien responded to that.
"So can he shoot more? We’ve been saying that for years, but he’s still a 90-point guy at the end of the year," said the coach. "It’s more about him finding his game I think and I know part of it is the injury that hasn’t given him that opportunity.
"But at the same time you can’t use that as a crutch, you got to find your game."
When the puck drops tonight in Ottawa, the Bruins will again look to a usual member of their energy line to invigorate the club.
Steve Begin, who was one of just a few Bruins to talk to the press postgame in Toronto, will take his place next to Marc Savard in an effort to sparkplug the B’s attack.
After the loss Saturday, Begin spoke about what he saw as the B's issues during their four-game skid.
“We’ve been outworked by the other team, and it’s got to stop now,” said Begin. “We’ve got to start working hard.
“We can not win if we play that way. [The solution] is going to come from us in this room and we need everybody, every game, right now.
“It’s very important. We need to work hard. That’s it, that’s all we have to do. If we don’t do it, we’re not going to win and we’re [going to] have the same results we’ve been having the last four game,” he said.
Those are exactly the kind of things that Coach Julien will hope to get from the forward tonight.
“We know [Begin is] physical, he’s got energy [and he’ll] go in there and create some room and work hard and hopefully make things happen,” said Julien after Monday's pregame skate. “He’s not afraid to go to the net and if he goes to the net then a guy like Savvy will find him.
“It’s a question of everybody…picking it up here.”
Obviously, those were Begin’s sentiments in Toronto.
“There’s no secret,” he said. “We have to outwork the other team…[or the same thing’s] going to happen. We’ve seen last four games
“We have to go to the rink…work hard, and that’s it. I mean it’s as easy as that [and] if we don’t work nothing is going to happen for us and nobody is going to give us a point or two.
“They all want to win against us and they all are [going] to show up, [and try to] outwork us and if we don’t respond we’re not going to win games.”
Julien is not expecting miracles, but he is expecting to see Begin play the same game that he has always played.
“Steve is a guy that works hard and that line can use a little bit of grit,” said the coach. "We’ll see how that goes.
"If it doesn’t work then we’ll move on to the next solution.”
What we know...
- Look for a shakeup of the Bruins lines, featuring Steve Begin working as a wing on Marc Savard's trio.
- The B's Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice and this generally indicates that he will be the starter. Tim is 7-8-5 with a 2.55 goals against average and a .913 save percentage.
- Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman is feeling fine and should be in the lineup.
- B's blueliner Derek Morris did not skated and will not be playing tonight.
- Coach Julien said that he thought Wozniewski would be the Bruins healthy scratch.
- Ottawa head coach Cory Clouston told the media that Brian Elliot will start for the Senators in goal. He is 9-8-3 with a 2.70 GAA and a .902 sv%.
- Ottawa is 18-13-4 overall (40 points) and 13-4-3 in Scotiabank Place. Boston is 16-11-7 (39 points) and is 6-5-4 on the road.
Wozniewski is the first player on the Bench for the Burins, who are set to begin their pregame skate at 11:30 a.m.
After the emotion of the loss dissipated, on Sunday I wanted to ask Adam McQuaid what he was thinking as he played in his first NHL game.
"To be honest with you, it’s obviously something that I’ve thought about for a long time and when I got out there I didn’t really...think about it too much," he said. "It’s the same game and I tried not to think too deeply about it.
"I’m sure when I look back on it and I get a chance to reflect on it a little it will mean a little bit more, but as of right now I’m just trying to stay focused."
Like most rookies, McQuaid enjoyed a large outpouring of support from family and friends before and after the game.
"I had quite a few text messages and stuff," said Adam. "There’s a lot of pretty excited people back home and I’m fortunate enough that a lot of people got to watch the game so that was nice."
McQuaid comes from the Canadian Maritimes, or Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to be exact. Judging by the response the Bruins get whenever they visit that area, much of the Maritimes seem to be Bruins territory.
"Yeah, I think a lot of people probably would have been watching the game regardless, but I guess it gave them something extra to cheer about," said McQuaid. "I think it’s just one of the closer teams and I think both on the east coast as well, so I guess there’s just kind of a relationship between the two [areas]."
McQuaid said that now that the first one is out of the way, he is going to keep his approach simple.
"I’m just going to try and not think as much, just relax and when I get called upon I want to be solid when I’m out there and reliable," he said.
The Sens are just starting their pregame practice here at Scotiabank Place.
Yesterday, the Bruins had a short goalie practice with Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas taking shots from Andy Wozniewski, Adam McQuaid and -- da, da, da, daaaah -- Dennis Wideman.
Wideman had taken a plane to meet the Bruins in Ontario and skated on Sunday without any apparent difficulties.
Wides has missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury and is 2-7-9 in 29 games this season..
After the B’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien was asked about B's defenseman Johnny Boychuk’s big hit on TML’s Matt Stajan.
Julien was clear in his explanation.
“I don’t think we were hoping to injure anybody by all means. I don’t think that’s the name of the game here,” he said. “At the same time we’ve got to be careful not to make accusations…on the player who just stepped up and tried to make a clean hit.”
Coach Julien was also asked about Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who earned his first NHL shutout against the Bruins.
“You don’t take away credit from a guy who had a shutout,” said Julien.
But the B’s head coach was clearly not pleased with his own team’s performance on Saturday and felt that the B's inability to mount an offense had much to do with the Leafs victory.
“From my point of view, from our team, I don’t think we tested [Gustavsson] as much as we should’ve and could’ve, and that’s our fault,” he said. “Defensively, I thought we played well enough to stay in the game.
“But we have guys that are paid to produce, and are known to produce, and as long as they don’t produce we are going to be struggling that way.
“I’ve said that before and somehow we need to get better in that area… when you keep relying on your fourth line to create the most offense. It’s not a good sign for your hockey club,” he said.
Was fatigue a factor?
“We’re certainly not going to use that excuse of being tired,” he said. “We’re just going to take the blame for not playing as well.”