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A Quest for Consistency

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA -- As he sat down for his morning press briefing, Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien was asked if the team had addressed the issues that had tripped up his squad before the All-Star break.

"I think so; we’ve certainly addressed it," said Julien. "You know, what is left in the season -- [34] games -- and what we talked about [it] yesterday and what it means from here on in.

"I will certainly look to bring some consistency in our play from here on in and also bring it back up to the level that we had it earlier in the season."

From the beginning of November through the start of 2012 the B's were the most consistent team in hockey and rarely lost a game during that stretch. But at 5-4-1 over their last 10 games, the B's have come back down to earth and have struggled putting solid efforts over back-to-back games.

"I think we have to really start building up our approach to games in a way that you are building yourself up towards hopefully being in a good spot for the playoffs," said Julien. "I’m not trying to be overconfident here, we still have to make the playoffs, but certainly we have to bring some consistency. 

"What that means is we have to realize what’s in front of us, and we have a real tough schedule form here on in when you look at the 11-day road trip. We got six games in six different cities in mid February, we have 17 games in 31 days

"We have a real heavy schedule and I think our guys have to make sure to take good care of themselves."

Boston is the NHL's fifth-best road team, with a 15-7-0 record in opposing arenas, but the B's haven't yet encountered the kind of playoff-like schedule they endured last spring.

"We are going to be traveling, we are going to be playing every second night and I think that’s we got to gear up for because that’s what playoffs become," Julien explained. "Every second day you’ve got a game and you have to make sure that you’re well rested.

"I talk to the players about how important it is to take real good care of yourself, getting your rest, eating properly and understanding that our focus really has to be on our job."

That post-break game-heavy schedule begins tonight, as the Senators (6-4-0 in their last 10) visit the Garden looking to close the four point gap between Ottawa and Boston.

As such, Julien wants his club to even out their play in a key Northeast Division battle.

"I always have to say that a season has its ups and downs and we are no different than any other team," said Julien. "I think since Christmas we’ve had some good games, but we haven’t been as consistent as we had been in the last two months.

"And now we kind of got to get back on our horses and create that consistency that we had and the way we played and the sharpness and everything else that goes with it."
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