WILMINGTON, MA --
With three days between games, Monday was a rare opportunity for the Boston Bruins coaching staff to put their squad through a tough, battle-filled practice during what Shawn Thornton
called a real "work day" at Ristuccia Arena.
"We worked on our forecheck a bit, obviously try to get that back on track where we can, to get some more scoring chances," said Julien, who on Saturday night admitted that the B's did not play the game they wanted to against the Dallas Stars.
"Scoring chances have gone down a little bit lately, so we have to touch that up a little bit," explained Julien. "The battle thing is something you want to get back in your game," said Julien. "And we’ve had a lot of time off since Christmas, so it’s about recreating those good habits and battling a little bit.
"And we had a few days here before next game, [so] it’s a good time for it."
But the B's schedule picks up in the second half and there won't be too much time to fine-tune things as the B's enter the all-important stretch run.
"Our schedule gets a little heavier and hopefully we can pick up some momentum throughout that stretch," said Julien. "It gets busier in the next three weeks, and I think we’re ready for that."
The Bruins organization has gone to great lengths to provide their players enough time to rest and a 21-3-1 record since the start of the November indicates the success of that approach.
But with an eye toward the 2012 portion of the schedule, Julien said maintaining that balance will be a challenge.
"The first half allowed us to do that in an easier fashion because we had days between games where we were capable of doing that," said Julien. "But as the schedule gets heavier, there’s [not much] time in between two games and just the morning skate if that, and then play those games and make sure we stay sharp.
"It’ll be a bit of a challenge for us, but it still has to be manageable.
"As much as the first half you managed to give guys rest, it still doesn’t compensate for the extra two months teams and players had [to play], so it’s something we plan on managing throughout the whole year," he said.