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Bruins Ready to Step it Up

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins – After the Boston Bruins squeaked away from Thursday’s game with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, it’s no surprise that Friday’s practice focused on execution.

Despite the team going 3-1 on their most recent home stand, Head Coach Claude Julien reiterated the fact that it’s not just about getting the win, but how you play to get the win.

“I find we lost a little bit of our sharpness,” Julien said after practice at Ristuccia Arena. “There’s got to be tape to tape, taking pucks to the net and mostly bringing some sharpness back in our game. We’re lacking in all areas when it comes to sharpness.

"We have to step back, I’d say, and take that half step moving forward, especially on this road trip.”

After a relatively cushy, weeklong stay in Boston, the Black & Gold hit the road for a four-game trip. It starts with the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, then it’s to Florida Monday for back-to-back games against the Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Before coming back to the TD Garden Saturday to take on the New York Rangers, the team will make a stop in New Jersey on Thursday for a bout with the Devils.

However, Julien is not worried about the extensive travel.

“We got a spoiled a little bit in the first half, and it’s time to put us to some good tests with lots of road games, travel and short periods of time,” Julien said. “We have to show our endurance here.

“And those back-to-backs are sometimes not a bad thing. [Sometimes] it seems like we have more jump – it’s almost if you’re so warmed up from the night before. I don’t see that as an issue to travel one place to another [in Florida] – it’s certainly not an excuse.”

Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said that the key to succeeding on these long road trips is by having a tough mental mindset and playing with stability.

“We just have to be more consistent with what we do on the ice,” the B’s blue-liner said. “The next few weeks are gong to be crazy – we’re going to have a ton of games [without] a lot of rest, so we have to be a lot smarter than we have in the past few games.”

More specifically, Julien said the team has to increase the productivity on the power play.

Against Montreal, the Bruins mustered just four shots on net in five power play opportunities.

“We have to do a better job in front of the net,” Julien said. “We’re there but we’re not were we should be. You have to take the puck on your stick and know you’re taking it to the net – [we need] a little bit more of a killer instinct in that area and it will help.”

--- Anthony Gulizia
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