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Desperation Turns Into Focus

Thursday, 03.22.2012 / 6:24 PM / Features
By John Bishop  -
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Desperation Turns Into Focus
SAN JOSE, CA -- Tonight in San Jose, the Bruins begin a three-game West Coast road swing and earlier this afternoon, after the club's morning skate, Head Coach Claude Julien was asked about both clubs' desperation

He explained that in the B's case "desperate" hockey was about getting back on track.

"Right now, I’d say it has to be focused hockey from here on in," said Julien. "We’re going to play teams that are feeling desperate, and we shouldn’t feel like we’re in a comfortable position, but we have to keep playing like we have the past couple of games.

"In order to do that you have to be focused and you have to be determined.

"For us, we really want to make sure we’re playing our best hockey...[and] with 10 games left, you have to make sure you find the time to fine-tune yourself to be able to do that."

Over the past couple of games, the Bruins have also displayed an ability to return the defensive responsibility that's been their trademark under Julien.

"Yeah, we were a lot better last game, not just in the D zone, but in the neutral zone," he said. "We were a lot more alert -- a lot sharper -- and because of that we were able to either get possession of the puck quickly, or we created some turnovers so something you got to keep doing.

"It’s part of your game, and its part of identity," explained Julien. "As far as being able to be better offensively, we have to get the puck back as quick as we can.

"I think our guys have been around long enough to understand that’s been our philosophy - our bread and butter is good defense and it turns into good offense, as well."

The Sharks stand tenth in the West at 84 points, just two points behind eighth place Los Angeles and ninth place Phoenix. Boston, with 87 points, stands second in the East, but is holding off Ottawa (84) and Buffalo (80) for the top spot in the Northeast Division and home ice in the playoffs.

That makes tonight's East vs. West match up an unusually pivotal game for both teams.

"I know they’re in a battle for a playoff spot, and I think we’ve followed them enough to understand that," said Julien of the seldom seen Sharks. "This is a good team across the ice here.

"I think the one thing we do know is we’ve gone through the same situation, really struggling to find our game and eventually when you do, you see what kind of team you really are. It’s a matter of them doing the same thing, and right now our focus is not to let them have that happen against us.

"If they want to do it, do it against somebody else and we have to be ready."

And the lateness of the season dictates a that the B's keep themselves in high gear.

"Everybody’s in a fighting mode here, and everybody’s in a situation where they want to finish as high as they can," said Julien. "Some are battling for playoffs, and so are we as far as what position you want to end up in.

"That’s the challenges you have with so [few] games left – every team has something to battle for."




1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
4 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
5 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
6 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
7 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
8 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31


P. Bergeron 48 12 21 5 33
C. Soderberg 49 10 21 8 31
L. Eriksson 48 11 18 7 29
M. Lucic 48 10 18 10 28
D. Hamilton 49 8 19 1 27
R. Smith 49 10 16 8 26
B. Marchand 44 13 12 11 25
T. Krug 45 10 15 7 25
D. Krejci 29 6 18 9 24
C. Kelly 47 5 16 6 21
N. Svedberg 5 5 0 .922 2.22
T. Rask 21 11 7 .920 2.34
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