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B's Try to Lose Some Weight

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
ST. LOUIS, MO -- Mired in a 4-6-0 stretch that has characterized much of their play since the beginning of 2012, the B's enter Wendesday's game with the St. Louis Blues with an eye toward shedding some of their mental baggage even as they hope to add to their offensive totals.


Campbell
"Well they're stingy," said Julien of the Blues, who lead the NHL with a 1.88 goals-against average. "But I think the biggest thing right now heading into tomorrow is that if you carry the weight you’ve been carrying the last two days, you’re dead.

"You have to be loose, you’re going to have to play confident and take some weight off your shoulders because that’s what’s slowing us down lately," he explained. "If you take the weight off your shoulders and play a little bit looser and just go out there and create some fun, we may have a chance.

"But the other way, as I mentioned - we’re dead."

Julien's players understand the reality, and have no intention of rolling over for the Blues.

"Well, I just think we’re under the realization that frustration and negativity doesn’t solve any problems," said forward Gregory Campbell. "This is an extremely well-coached, really good team we’re going to be playing tomorrow night and fortunately for us we’ve had more success against playoff teams and better teams, if you will, than non-playoff teams.

"But I don’t think it will serve us very well if we look at the challenge ahead and go into tomorrow nights game with an attitude that it’s a must-win game.

"I think it’s your own worst enemy if you take that approach," Campbell explained. "I think this team has been always good when we just play, everybody knows the system, everybody knows how to play the game and I think it’s conducive to our team to relax a little bit.

"And when I say relax, I don’t mean don’t give a 110% effort, but letting things come to us, allow things to happen rather than pushing things, forcing things and getting more frustrated."

Getting on the scoreboard early would help the defending Stanley Cup Champions to play with some more confidence.

"Well it’s tough, that’s the one area there I wish we could make better," said Julien. "Having to spot the other team the first goal night after night certainly makes it hard on us.

"And we’ve proven in the past that we’re a pretty good team when we score that first goal and it makes a big difference in our game. But, you want to do that and again we’ve had some chances.

"Finding a way to create the lead could be really important and important for two reasons – we play well with a lead but also confidence wise - it’s certainly something we could use."

The B's energy line has often been called on to provide early spark for the Bruins and their work in the corners is well known, but Julien said that he can't put any extra pressure on "The Merlot" to put more punch into the offense even as he tinkers with the other B's trios.

"At one point, you’re trying to be careful not to put too much pressure on those guys saying they need to score because every time you’ve done that, they’ve been scored on," said Julien. "When they stayed within their gameplan of working hard with energy, they’ve had scoring chances and spent most the time in the opposing end.

"But whenever they start looking at just wanting to produce, they lose a lot of their strength and I’ve seen it from the beginning of the year when they were minus players and not a happy group."

However, today at practice there were plenty of smiles -- on Campbell's line and on all of their teammates -- on the ice and in the locker room.

"Yeah, it’s hard with this group of guys because we are so close and it sucks losing, nobody is happy when you lose," said Campbell. "We want to enjoy playing hockey everyone loves playing.

"We’re still lucky to be able play, but it’s not fun to lose and when you lose, people are out of character and things are out of character.

"That’s another reason we want to get out of this funk," he said.
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