Boston, MA -
|Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (30) makes a save in the third period of an NHL hockey game against Tampa Bay Lightning.
Claude Julien knows his club dodged a bullet last night.
"I think we are definitely happy with the win," said Julien, now 4-2-0 with Boston. "It's certainly important.
"But hopefully, by the end of the year, we won't remember how we won that one."
He a-matter-of-factly added, "It wasn't a pretty win."
It was a W-I-N and those things were in short supply here last year.
"I thought we played well in the first period," continued Julien. "We came out with the intensity that we needed, but I think we faltered along the way (and we had) a real tough second period."
During the second the Bruins had a lot of trouble putting the puck in the Lightning zone for any length of time.
"In the third, we tried to battle back," said Coach. "We scored a couple of goals, but certainly (did not fulfill) expectations."
What was the cause of the breakdown?
"I think it's just a matter of learning that the game is sixty minutes," said the B's head coach. "If you come off a good period -- a good twenty minutes -- you have to come out even strong the (next) period."
"We did that in San Jose…as well. We just kind of hung on."
It is not acceptable, but it's also not unusual.
"Every team seems to have its challenge period," explained Julien. "Some teams are slow starters, but we seem to be okay in that area. But the second period seems to be a bit of a challenge and we need to push ourselves…to be better."
|Boston Bruins' Mark Stuart (45) celebrates his goal with Peter Schaefer (72) and Dennis Wideman (6) in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. |
How do the Bruins mitigate that?
"I think our guys need to make some smarter (line) changes -- quicker changes -- because it is a long way back to the bench (during the middle period).
"If we rectify that a little bit, it's going to help us out a lot."
Other areas of concern continue to be face offs, getting to loose pucks and consistently creating scoring chances.
That being said, some things went very well, last night.
Goals from Marco Sturm (2), Peter Schaefer and Mark Stuart were highlights, as was the physical play brought to the rink by Milan Lucic
and Shawn Thornton
Of course, there is also the hot goalie.
"Tim (Thomas) was good (Thursday night)," said Julien. "He made some good saves and at the same time…we did do a good job of keeping them to the outside.
"But when they did get on the inside a couple of times, on point black shots, Tim was right there to make the big saves."
Hopefully, Timmy stays hot while the B's continue to work out the kinks -- but let's face it, 4-2-0 is pretty darn exciting for the Boston faithful. No?