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Bruins Tired of Losing

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Bruins' pride took a hit the last time they were on the ice.

"It is a shot - to your pride and your character," Chris Kelly said after having a day to digest the 7-4 loss in San Jose. "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."

That nature of that defeat and three straight losses on a road trip can do that.

The Black and Gold have a chance to redeem themselves in Game No. 28, when they cap off the trip against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night (8:00 p.m. ET/6:00 local).

"It's about doing our jobs, doing it right - don’t be the weak link," said Head Coach Claude Julien, of the message to his club. "And not just as players, sometimes as lines. It hasn’t been good enough."

"A proud team gets tired of losing, and when it gets tired of losing, it does something about it. So this is, again, what we need to show tonight."

The Bruins haven't lost four straight games since April 2013. Earlier on the trip, the Bruins weren't satisfied with results but could still keep their heads up with the effort put in. It's gone past that point now.

"Desperation has to kick in," Brad Marchand said Saturday morning. "It's the last game of the road trip and teams are moving ahead of us in the standings, and we don't want to be pushed out of a playoff spot, and we have to realize all those things are at stake here right now."

With a 14-12-1 record (29 points), the Bruins are fifth in the Atlantic Division. They are barely in a playoff position, hanging on to the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference with Toronto (29 points, two games in hand) just above them and Florida (27 points, three games in hand) just behind.

"I think desperation is definitely a word we have to use in this locker room," said Marchand. "We all have to step up and bet be better and realize that situation we're in."

In the past, this team's success has been based on accountability, as individuals, as lines, as five-man units and as a team.

"Right now, especially, we can't afford any passengers," said Marchand. "We can't afford a weak link. Everyone has to be accountable for their job and we have to hold each other accountable, and I think that's one thing where we're really going to be able to pull out of this thing, is if we hold each other accountable."

"Sometimes it's not the best or the funnest thing to do, having to get on a teammate, but right now, we need everyone to do their best, we need everyone to do their job every time they're on the ice and that's the only way we're going to be successful in games."

Julien always expects his best players to be his best players, and they need to lead a team-wide effort on Saturday to get them out of this.

"If people think we're a fragile team right now, that’s not the case," said Julien. "I think we’re still desperate, we're still committed. Everybody in [the locker room] is real unhappy with the results we’ve had on this road trip right now, so it’s up to us to do something about it. It’s up to us to show it."

"I think we’ll be able to see a lot here tonight. We practiced hard [on Friday] and nobody was hanging their heads. We’re committed to working ourselves out of it, and like I said, that last game really kind of put a bit of a damper on the road trip."

The Bruins played hard in Anaheim and LA. Getting the win in San Jose would have pushed this road trip in the right direction. Now there's nothing to do but find a way to get the outcome against the Coyotes and bring at least one win back home.

"Sometimes, in order to get those wins, you have to go out there and do the things that you don’t like doing and enjoying, and that could be blocking shots and taking the hit to make the play," said Julien.

"It’s all these kind of things that usually makes a difference in the game and we have to find a way to dig a little bit deeper because wins are hard to come around these days, and the only way you can do that is by putting in that extra effort that is needed to turn it around."

There's a straightforward method for success: win the battles, drive the net, find the loose pucks in front. The Bruins just have to go out and actually do it, consistently, for an entire game.

"We've been a successful team in the past and I don't think we've really been used to a situation like this," said Marchand. "Adversity can be good for a team, though - it shows the character that's in the room and gives us something to push towards."

"You saw last year how we won the League and we got kicked out of the second round. Sometimes [no adversity is] not the best situation to be in. If we have to battle through some adversity during the year, sometimes that can be the best thing for a team."

"So hopefully we can use this to our advantage and show the kind of character we have on this team and in this room, and we can work our way out of this and go on to play much better hockey."

Saturday night pits two teams against each other that are in desperate need of wins. It's been more than a month since the Coyotes last won a home game at the Gila River Arena. It's been more than a week since the Bruins have had the winning feeling.

"'Are we tired of losing? Well, if we are, let’s go out there and do something about it,'" said Julien. "You find ways to turn things around with the commitment that you put into it."

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