|Boston Bruins left wing Shawn Thornton, left, shoots as Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, right, drops to the ice for a save during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) |
"Probably the first half of the first period, we were fine," said Julien. "I think what happened tonight was...we ran out of legs.
"We just didn’t have the legs and progressively our game got worse. We looked more and more tired and [there was] a fresh team waiting for you here at home in a divisional game.
"It’s a big game, they’re ready for us," he said.
Taken in comparison to some of the Bruins recent starts, Julien said that the desire was there even if the end-result wasn't.
"I’m going to stand here and say our guys really wanted it bad enough," said Julien. "But when you don’t have your legs, the rest of your game kind of falls apart as well.
"You can try and push your players all you want, but if they don’t have the legs, they don’t have the legs.
"So that, to me, is what I saw happening tonight," he said.
Goalie Tukka Rask, who has been saddled with each of the Bruins losses, deserves better said Julien.
"It’s unfortunate, because so far, I don’t think we’ve played great in front of him," said the B's coach. "That first game in Prague, I think was our worst game ever so far this year. Tonight we weren’t a very good team in front of him.
"I thought he played well in St. Louis and took us into a shootout.
"But I don’t know that I would go after him and say that he’s not playing well. I think we need to help him out a little bit. When goalies find their groove, it’s because the team in front of him play maybe better than we have," he said.
However, Julien said he wasn't worried about the young goaltender's confidence.
"Well, I think pros are pros and you can’t do everything for them," said Julien. "That’s part of being a pro.
"You’ve got to be mentally strong, and you’ve got to fight through those things and the coach will always more or less always help them out, but he’s got to do his share to work through those things if confidence becomes an issue.
"But I don’t think he’s there."
Penalties were an issue for the Bruins, but don't blame the refs.
"A couple of tough penalties that we took, put us in trouble as well," said Julien. "sometimes when you’re tired, not only your legs, but your mind maybe doesn’t work as well.
"We’ll take the blame for the loss because it was more than that," continued Julien. "I think if we would have been better -- if we had been skating better -- I think we might have had a different outcome.
"The easiest thing to do I guess would be to point fingers here or there, but we’ll stand here and take the blame and hopefully redeem ourselves here and come back Saturday with strong, strong game."
Boston plays Ottawa in the TD Garden on Saturday night.