Last night, during his post game press conference, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien sounded as if he had just about enough of his club's missing opportunities at garnering points in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Despite the B's earning a point and remaining in sixth place (tied with the Rangers), the Black & Gold's hardworking coach was not satisfied with his charges effort last night against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
Sure, his Bruins rebounded from Monday's 10-2 loss to the Capitals, but losing a chance at a second point and being alone in sixth place, was clearly not acceptable to the Bruins bench boss.
"I think sometimes, as they say, you need to quit reading about yourself," said Julien, rather a-matter-of-factly. "We’re not that good.
"We’re a good team, but we aren’t so good that we can just rely on going out there and playing," he said before he outlined why the Bruins had so much success in February.
"We’re good because we are a dedicated group," he said, "together, [when] we’re in sync, we work well…and we commit to doing the things it takes to win.
"The minute we stop doing that we become a very ordinary hockey club."
"Right now, this is the time of year all the little things matter and we had grasped that in the last little while and we’re enjoying it," continued Julien. "We’re realizing that it was important, but when you let it go it’s not that easy to get it back [or] just turn on the switch and suddenly everything’s okay again.
"We’re going to have to work our way back into that groove and understand that we are a successful team because we commit to good things."
So what's the solution, Coach?
"There’s a lot of things -- [cutting down on] breakdowns, we’ve been caught with our defensemen backing in, giving the other team a little too much room, and not working hard to close the gaps," he said. "I don’t think there’s any reason to panic, but there’s reason to want to make those kinds of adjustments and get the guys focused. [We need] to get those good habits back as quick as possible."
And by "quick as possible" Julien means Wednesday's practice.
"I think right now we need to be a little more dedicated and determined," he said. "We know our hockey club and we have to be a committed group, a determined group, to win hockey games.
"We had the last couple weeks, but these last two games we stopped finishing our checks, we’re not committed to creating anything in front of the net as far as screens are concerned, and we [made] life easy for the goaltenders.
"Those are the little things that are going to make the difference between winning and losing hockey games," he said.