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Bruins Go Back to the Grind After Pride Takes a Hit

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Bruins have one game remaining on their road trip out West that saw them go 0-for-3 through California.

Saturday night's tilt against the Coyotes serves up a chance to bring an ounce of confidence back home to Boston to refocus before hosting the Chicago Blackhawks on December 11.

In preparation, the Bruins hit the ice on Friday afternoon at Gila River Arena for a lengthy practice to grind away a 7-4 loss in San Jose on Thursday night that saw them allow the most goals since January 2013.

Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien hadn't yet fully digested the loss.

"Now that you've had time to digest the game last night…" a reporter began, before the bench boss interjected with a slight smile and a head nod, "I'm not sure if I did, but it's a start."

The disappointment from Thursday's effort is magnified when looking at the Bruins' first two games of the trip against Anaheim and Los Angeles, in which they didn't get rewarded for their hard work.

To be heading in the right direction, and gain a 2-0 lead in San Jose, only to throw it all away defensively for the rest of the night was a massive hit to the Bruins' pride.

"If we had played anything remotely close to how we played in the other games, we would have won that, but we totally fell apart, defensively, decision-making, defensively and offensively very soft and again," Julien said following Friday's practice.

"It only takes one guy to throw everything off when we play a certain way and if not everyone's doing [his job], then you have some confusion, and last night, we didn't have one but maybe two or three on the specific five-man group on the ice who were just not reacting well, so it ended up - that second period was just disastrous."

"You know, certain things are hard to explain. How and why does your team react that way is a bit of a mystery right now and that's what's disappointing."

"But as coaches, our job is to go back to the grind and look at things and try and regroup the guys and try and put them back on track and get our team to play the way we should. That's part of our jobs and that's what we've got to do right now."

The players know that performance can never be repeated.

"It is a shot - to your pride and your character," said Chris Kelly. "I think most guys would rather play tonight (Friday) and redeem ourselves as quickly as possible."

"We have a lot of guys with a lot of character and a lot of pride in this room, and it definitely took a shot last night."

Before practice, the Bruins got to re-live the defeat through video.

"There's [no better tool] than them seeing themselves. Sometimes you can say something, but when they see it on video and realize how bad it was, that certainly brings attention to it," said Julien. "So that's where video becomes a real good asset and a good tool for you, when you need it for those reasons."

"Everyone's been really disappointed for the last few hours," said Dennis Seidenberg. "It just happened last night, but nobody likes to lose and we all have pride in here. Today was a tough practice and I think we needed it in order to get back on track [Saturday]."

For Seidenberg, the easiest way to get over a game like in San Jose is to fall back on the routine nature of what they do.

"Look at video, you see what you do wrong and what you can do better, and you rectify it on the ice, practicing, play those games in your mind, and then try to prepare yourself as good as possible for tomorrow so we do things better than we did last game," said the vet.

"Obviously giving up seven goals is disappointing. Losing the first three games of this road trip is not the way we wanted things to go," said Kelly. "But we're in the situation we're in."

"We had a good practice, and we need to get back on track."

Kelly is always a positive voice in the room, but a game like Thursday night warrants a different approach from the Bruins' leaders.

"I think it's easy to be positive and say stuff when things are going well," he said. "I think in times like these when your'e struggling, you need the people that have been through these situations before to speak up and say something when something needs to be said, and make people realize that losing the way we did is unacceptable, and you need to correct it as quickly as possible."

Lineup Changes Could Be Coming vs. Coyotes

The Bruins could have some changes in their lineup on Saturday night against Arizona. They won't be major, with only two extra bodies on the trip, but that means Seth Griffith and Joe Morrow could be getting back into action after being healthy scratches.

Griffith hasn't suited up yet on the road trip, while Morrow has been a scratch for two straight games. On Friday, Griffith practiced at length on a power play unit with Zach Trotman, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Torey Krug.

"Possibly," Julien said, when asked about making lineup changes. "I've told the guys that all 22 of them that are here right now should be ready to go [on Saturday] until I tell them they're out of the lineup, so I've got the privilege of having another night to think about it and a day, so they should know at some point [on Saturday] before the game."

"It's tough," Griffith said of the press box stay. "You just try and take the positives, so just trying to take little things from that and take it into the game."

"For me, I look a lot at what the wingers do when the pucks are rimmed and it seems like you have a lot more time from up top than you actually do, so just little things like that puck protection skills down low."

Griffith doesn't seem to be phased by the process, but it's definitely making him hungry to get back in.

"I'm definitely anxious to get back and I should be fresh. I'm just looking to go out, compete hard every shift," said Griffith, if slotting back in.

He hasn't been in the lineup for the road swing, but he's handling himself in the same manner as the rest of the squad.

"I think you try and handle [the situation] it the best you can, but losing three games, it's not fun and nobody likes to lose," said Griffith. "I've watched Boston play ever since I was young and it's just about playing a full 60 minutes, playing hard and competing every shift and I think that's why we did the [battling] drills [down low] today, to get back into that rhythm, and hopefully it carries into [Saturday]."

Practice Lineup 12/5

Gold Jerseys: Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith

Gray: Milan Lucic - Carl Soderberg - Seth Griffith - David Pastrnak

White: Matt Fraser - Chris Kelly - Loui Eriksson

Burgundy: Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Simon Gagne

Defensemen: Dennis Seidenberg, Kevan Miller, Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Joe Morrow, Torey Krug, Zach Trotman

Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Niklas Svedberg

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