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B's Hope New Faces Bring Renewed Passion

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
4:20 p.m.

After practice, Coach Julien said that his focus remains on his squad going into tomorrow's tilt with Nashville.

"I don’t know if I am wary [of the Predators], or whatever term you want to use," he said. "I think now it is not so much who we are playing it is more of how are we going to play.

"We shouldn’t be taking anyone lightly the way we have been playing, but at the same time we should really be putting all our focus on our team right now.

"When you are trying to find consistency, when you are trying to find your game, you don’t go into a game saying, 'who are we playing against?' or 'What are they going to throw at us?'"

Instead, the Bruins must look in the mirror and know that they have to challenge themselves.

"I think we just need to understand how we need to play and when we are at our best we can play with anybody in the league," he said. "We should be focusing on our efforts, right now, more than who we are playing against."

11:53 a.m.
It's been fun to watch Krejci, Blake Wheeler, Marchand and Sobotka playing some shinny and shooting against Tuukka Rask after practice.

The upside on that group is pretty high. No?

11:47 a.m.
Shawn Thornton was the only missing face to start practice and Coach Julien has, obviously, shuffled the lines.

Besides Johnny Boychuk skating as a forward in Thornton's stead (and most likely just for practice), Mark Recchi is wearing white, just like Marc Savard. Marchand is on Patrice Bergeron's wing and Sobotka is playing alongside Krejci.

Julien spoke about the new B's opportunity to shine yesterday after practice and explained that their presence here in Wilmington is directly linked to their work in Rhode Island.

"I think it’s a perfect example of them being able to come back and get that opportunity," said Julien. "Had they gone the other way I’m not sure that we would have brought them back up and that could have changed a lot of different scenarios.

"If you don’t get it from within, you get it from the outside right?  So it’s one of those situations where our message to them was clear when they went back down there that if they wanted to be back up, they needed to play well there, first, and control what they could control and that was their performance.

"Those decisions that we make are out of their control so they obviously understood the message clearly."

10:39 a.m.

It's amazing how quickly things change and the Boston Bruins are a prime example of that phenomenon.

In pro sports, the name on the front of the jersey remains static, but the names on the back certainly do not. Gone are names like Axelsson, Kessel, Ward, Kobasew, Hnidy and Fernandez. Insert names like Sobotka, Marchand, Boychuk, Begin, Morris and Rask.

This morning the latter set, and their new teammates, are skating in new lines and learning new faces and tendancies. The coaching staff is trying to figure out what moves will help the club's offense click and what pairings will help the goalies keep pucks out of the net.

And high in the arena, the general manager and his team think about what else can be done to ensure that this talented hockey club show that talent consistently.

"As Peter [Chiarelli] mentioned there are numerous reasons for the organization to make a trade and as a coach you have to respect that and work with the players that you have at your disposal and hopefully we will make the best out of that," said Julien after practice on Monday. "When your team isn’t playing the level you would like it to play it’s good to have other pushing others to stay in the lineup.

"That’s something that you guys obviously know from knowing me now for a few years, I don’t care who it is, if the player isn’t playing well enough and doesn’t deserve to be in the lineup, he’s not going to be in the lineup.  We need that competition and those guys who have come in are certainly going create that."

Those guys are Vladimir Sobotka and Brad Marchand, late of the Providence Bruins and a pair that were tearing up the American League previous to arriving in Boston on Monday morning.

"I think the [key to their promotion] is their style of play," said Julien. "They compete hard and they get rewarded with it’s not about bringing somebody in that we think is going to help us score goals, it’s bringing some guys in that are going to help us to be a harder team to play against.

"They both bring a really good work ethic and their compete level is where we like it to be.  I thought they both had great camps and right now they are both being rewarded for their patience and going back there and staying positive and making their team successful in Providence."

Julien and Chiarelli hope that the influx of attitude and passion help the Bruins be successful in Boston.

"It’s something that addresses a lot of things," said Chiarelli on Monday. " I’m not satisfied with our start.

"Like on Friday night I thought we had a terrific, terrific game in all areas and it was disappointing to see Saturday.

"Work is being done, and we are turning the corner a bit, but in large part [there are things]  I don’t see, on a game to game basis. I don’t see the passion that I have seen before so we have to get that back."
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