LOS ANGELES -- A day of thinking about the L.A. Kings put tonight's matchup in stark focus for the Bruins and their head coach.
"The one thing I know is they’ve been playing really well lately, they’ve won eight of their last ten," said Claude Julien after his club's optional skate this morning at the Toyota Sports Center in Los Angeles. "They’ve been a really good hockey club.
"They have scored more goals lately and we have respect for that. I think the defensive part of our game has to be at it’s best tonight, but I think what we have to do is create a little bit more offense, something we didn’t do in San Jose.
"That didn’t give us much of a chance to win a hockey game, when you don’t create more chances than we did," he said.
Defenseman Gregory Zanon said that the solution for the Bruins is pretty simple and was as close as the video from the B's last two home games.
"It's just getting back to playing the way we did the last couple before San Jose," said the blueliner. "We were going good, making the little plays at the blue line, getting pucks in, getting [in on] our forecheck and we were skating really well. Last game we got a little away from it for whatever reasons, and you try to let that one go now.
"You thought about it right after the game, what you could’ve done better," added Zanon. "We have to come tonight with our 'A' game and be the team that we can be."
Julien said the B's skated better versus Toronto.
"We moved the puck up the ice quick and our D's were moving the puck up, and they were skating with it," said Julien. "Our forwards were coming back and they were in motion.
"Last game, I thought we could’ve moved the puck up the ice quicker but at the same time, our forwards weren’t doing a good job of coming back. And they were staying up high, when we got the puck we were standing still so we didn’t get much speed going through the neutral zone.
"You’ve heard me say that a lot, our team has success when it goes up the ice with some speed, or at least when we move the puck quick with our forwards. We didn’t get much of that last game, so it’s about more playing like we did the two games at home and bringing it on the road," he said.
The B's bench boss also gave the Sharks credit.
"Anybody who watched them play knows they played a great game," said Julien. "They were on us really quick, they forced a lot of those turnovers, but when you coach the other team, you got to look at your team and say how do you prevent those.
"I thought we could’ve been better at protecting the puck, but at the same time I thought a lot of times we felt the pressure in the offensive zone so we just went blindly right in the slot they took it over and went right back on the attack.
"We want our guys to be better at protecting the puck and we don’t like turnovers around the blueline and we all know that," he said.
"We got to look each other in the face, look at ourselves in the mirror and try to figure out what we were doing at home that we could bring over here," said the defenseman. "These are a big two games for us, especially tonight."