WILMINGTON, MA – The Bruins had won three straight prior to Saturday night’s 2-1 loss in Montreal, but there has been a growing level of frustration around Causeway Street. In the two games leading up to Montreal, the B’s allowed 87 shots on goal, and like much of the season, led to the Black & Gold being unsatisfied with their play.
With just 11 games remaining the regular season, the Bruins are trying to find their game and get healthy heading into the playoffs, and B’s Head Coach Claude Julien says being frustrated is not going to help them along that path.
“You know, you've got to realize what was at stake and what you let slip away,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien, when asked if the loss to the Habs was frustrating. “But frustration is not going to get you going in the right direction. I think it's more determination than frustration.
“We want to turn it around and that's what we're trying to do here. The more we get on each other, the more frustration there's going to be. I think we need to work through this together here, I know we have a better team than what we've shown and it's got to start showing soon. We're running out of time quick…time is running short.”
One area the Bruins have been working through as of late is their lack of quality scoring chances and trouble getting shots on net. During Sunday morning’s practice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, the Bruins focused more on shooting and less on trying to make the perfect play.
“Not necessarily about time running short, more about that we need to find more ways to score goals,” said Julien, when asked what his main message was to his team on Sunday.
“Our group here is more capable of scoring goals. There's some guys that aren't scoring goals that normally score. It's been a big story for us this year.
“We've got to find ways to get them to produce, and a lot of it is support, a lot of it is wanting to take pucks to the net, via carrying it, via shots or via passing, net-front presence. I think we can do a lot of those things to get us more offense.”
Daniel Paille, who was playing alongisde Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin during Sunday’s practice, said in order to solve their scoring woes, the B’s have to stop thinking so much and just simply, play hockey.
“I think we just need to stop thinking too much,” Paille explained. “We have a great lineup, we know that – we're a team that can score. We haven't found that groove yet, where the whole team has played. I think a key to that is to just stop thinking and start playing.”
“It just seems to not be going our way,” added the winger. “We've just got to get a better effort from everyone. We're just not supporting each other out there. It definitely needs to change real soon, the end of the season is coming.
“I know that we can do better, I think every guy in this room believes that. We're going to continue to move on, now we've got a game [against Carolina] to worry about.”
Another area in which the Bruins are looking to improve in is getting off to better starts. The B’s fell behind 2-0 against Montreal and were forced to try and battle back for the rest of the game.
“I think in the first period – our first period has really been a challenge for us lately,” said Julien. “We get off to slow starts. We can get better net-front presence, can do a lot things better. But I thought as the game went on, we seemed to be more and more in control.
“This was a good team we played last night, can't forget that. But if we consider ourselves a good team, we can't go out there and want to be second best. It's about production, it's a big reason why we're frustrated, the lack of goal scoring that's been going on.”
Zdeno Chara was even-keeled while answering questions after practice, and the Captain, while not happy with the Bruins’ play of late (despite the three prior wins before Saturday's loss) talked about the B’s needing to work hard at breaking through and finding their game heading into the final stretch.
“I don't think we are happy with the fact that we are not scoring more goals,” said No. 33. “But at the same time, I don't think we should be frustrated, we just have to get through it and work really hard at it.”