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Injuries, Frustrations Mount for B's

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
PITTSBURGH, PA -- There were no excuses being made in the Boston locker room following another difficult loss to an Eastern Conference foe, but there was plenty of heads shaking at the rash of injuries that continue to dog the B's as they prepare for the 2011-12 stretch run.

"I think it’s disappointing that we had to dig ourselves out of a hole, but I think with the situation we have tonight -- short bench, down to three lines and five D -- our guys battled hard," said Head Coach Claude Julien of the B's 5-2 setback at the hands of the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

"The way we played this afternoon - I’m certainly not going to criticize my team, because we showed a lot of guts and being able to keep the pace, especially after we went down by three goals," explained the B's bench boss. "We got a couple of goals back –- I thought we had a great second period –- but again not enough at the end to get over that hump.

"There were some goals that weren’t very good, we wish we could have back, and that’s the situation right now."

The situation is also this: already missing Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley, Tuukka Rask and Daniel Paille, the B's may now have contend with injuries to Patrice Bergeron, defenseman Adam McQuaid and recent AHL call-up Max Sauve.

"I haven’t been told anybody’s out for a long period of time, and that’s basically all we've got to go with right now," said Julien as his team prepared to head south to Tampa Bay and Tuesday's tilt with the Lightning.

"The next day is when you probably have a better idea - those bumps and bruises, normally you can get a better read on them the next day."

But today, during the game, the B's also had to battle with another slow start in a matinee.

"When you look at tonight I don’t think we were skating in quicksand," said Julien. "Yesterday, we spot them two early goals and again, we had some better scoring chances especially early in the game.

"So I don’t want to attribute our loss to the time of the game, I’ll attribute it to the way we played and what we do during the game."

If there was a positive to point at after the loss to the Penguins, it was the play of NHL veteran Marty Turco, the B's recently signed backup goaltender.

"It was a little bit of everything," explained Julien of his decision to lift starter Tim Thomas after the first period.

"I think it was a good opportunity for Marty to go in the beginning of the second period – he skated this morning for about 20 minutes so he was warmed up," added Julien. "And when you’re down by three goals against Pittsburgh, [the team can] kind of give a guy an opportunity and we wanted to see how ready he was. I thought he did a great job, he certainly gave us a chance when he was in net.

"Tim’s played a lot lately, so probably a good opportunity for me to give him some rest and let Marty take over."

Another positive was taken from the rapid recovery of John Boychuk, the B's defenseman who was driven hard into the boards by Evgeni Malkin in the third period.

"It was a hit from behind," said Julien when asked if the check deserved supplementary discipline from the NHL. "We don’t like those hits, and my job is tough enough as it is, and I don’t want to do his because [NHL Senior VP Player Safety Brendan Shanahan's] job is pretty tough as well,

"So we’ll let Shanny do his job and I’ll do mine and we’ll just move on and you got to just look at it that way. For different reasons, they make their assessments and decide. We as coaches have to do our job, work with the guys we have.

"To me, worrying about that is wasting a lot of my time because it doesn’t change anything on my team," he said.

But right now the injured Bruins must maintain a healthy attitude.

"There’s really only two ways to look at injuries. You can start feeling sorry for yourself as a group, or do something about it," said Turco. "Guys step up.

"It’s a tough league, every night is brutal unless you can be thinking, get out and play and be confident. This team is no different.

"But what is different is they’re a great team that can be and play together as tight as a group and I know they feel invincible when that happens, so we’ll hopefully get to see that soon."
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