|Seidenberg and Corvo |
But the Panthers ran free on the Bruins last night, and even though the Black & Gold won, Head Coach Claude Julien said he hopes to see some tighter defense against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
However, Julien admitted that it will be a challenge to slow the league-leading goal scorer Steven Stamkos (30) and a bevy of other weapons.
“Yeah you have to respect the offensive part of their game,” he said.
“We just have to make sure we play a solid defensive game like we have in the past that give us our identity and some of our best structure [Tampa Bay] doesn’t make it easy for you to come across the neutral zone with full control.
“We have to put pucks in an area we can forecheck and get it back and spend us much time in our end as we can.”
Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said that it was nothing Florida did against them that gave the defense its fits, but rather a lapse in mental toughness.
“We haven’t given up breakaways all season, want to clean that up and it’s just mental sharpness,” Seidenberg said. “You see guys going by you and usually you pull out. We played on the wrong side of the puck a few times and it caused us a couple bad changes and breakaways.”
Before game time last night, Julien shuffled around the usual defensive pairings.
Zdeno Chara still skated with Johnny Boychuk, but Seidenberg skated with Adam McQuaid, while Joe Corvo and Andrew Ference were paired up.
Julien said it was just to get everyone some ice time with each other, and Ference doesn’t see it being an issue.
“Last night we got a little creative and that’s a good thing,” Ference said. “It keeps you sharp, even during the game, switching sides and playing in between guys.
"I think it’s a good thing, unless you have a lot of breakdowns, but I think everyone is comfortable with each other playing both sides that it works out well.”
That being said, Ference stressed the importance of playing a tight game no matter which pair is on the ice.
“[Tampa Bay] is a dangerous team and it seems they’re either losing some games where there’s some breakdowns, or they’re playing great and filling up the net,” Ference said. “You have to be on your toes and really be guarded against them.
"If you have breakdowns and lapses in your game, they have more than enough ability to take advantage of it and put a lot of pucks behind you.”
--- Anthony Gulizia