|Boston Bruins Glen Metropolit, left, knocks down Buffalo Sabres' Henrik Tallinder (10), of Sweden, as Buffalo's Jason Pominville (29). (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) |
The Bruins know they have to step up their performance in the second game of the Black & Gold's home-at-home series with the Sabres (Friday @ Buffalo, 7:30, NESN, WBZ
“Our power play hasn’t been scoring, but they’ve held us in a lot of games, too,” said center Glen Metropolit. “At the same time, we had a couple open-netters that we missed, and [Sabres goalie Ryan] Miller played well.
“We play hard, it’s just that the chances come hard in this league,” added left-winger P.J. Axelsson, “so when you get them, you’ve got to bear down, and that’s been our [biggest] problem.”
Yesterday’s practice focused on improving those areas and the B’s overall game.
“We worked a lot on going to the net, finishing plays off,” said Axelsson after practice. “We had some chances [on Tuesday] that we didn’t bury, so that was the main focus today -- going to the net.
“[We did] a couple of drills…just stressing us going wide,” added Metropolit. “A defensive player staying on the guy and shots from the corner to the guy driving the net, just working on that.
“We haven’t done that all year, so it was a pretty good drill to do. Guys were being competitive, and it was fun at the same time.”
Getting to the net and taking shots was a big focus as well.
“We stressed driving to the net and making a really good presence in front of the net,” said Metro. “That’s how playoff hockey’s going to be. You can’t coast and curl in a corner.
“It’s stopping in front, battling. And in this new day and age, you can’t hook anyone, so if you can get your body in a good position, you’re OK.”
|P.J. Axelsson (Photo by Steve Babineau) |
Head coach Claude Julien agreed.
“The concept is that you can’t hook,” he explained, “so if you’re determined to get somewhere, no one should be able to stop [you]. So it’s just a matter of wanting to get there and doing whatever it takes to get there.”
“[We need to] shoot a lot more,” said Axelsson. “We [usually] want to make a lot of passes. It looks good, but the result’s not coming out of it.”
The teams knows that fighting back to win against the Sabres right after a loss could be tough, but they’re ready for the challenge that they’ll face Friday at HSBC Arena.
“If anything, we’ve given [the Sabres] a little bit of confidence after [Tuesday’s] game, so if anything, it’s going to be even tougher for us," said Coach Julien. “We’re going to have to play that much better.”
“It’s like a little mini playoff series,” said Metropolit. “They won the first game, and we’ve got to come back and win the second game…even it out.
The B’s forward was confident that the team can come away with a win.
“I think we’ll be fine,” he said. “We learn from our mistakes.”