BOSTON, MA – After last night’s first period against the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien wasn’t frustrated.
Sure, his team was down 1-0, but they peppered the Hurricanes with 22 to shots, while Carolina only mustered eight.
“I thought the first period, we did some good things,” Julien said. “We had some chances, and even though they had a 1-0 lead, there was no doubt. They had just one scoring chance, and they made the best of it.”
But the bottom line on the night was that the Bruins lost 3-0 to the Hurricanes (19-25-9), who are 15th in the Eastern Conference, for the fourth time this season.
The Bruins stumbled in the second period and put just five shots on net, and by the time the third period rolled around there was no escape from the 2-0 hole they were in.
For Julien, that's when the frustration percolated.
“Right now, we’re playing more like a team that should be at the bottom of the standings, and that’s the reality of it,” Julien said. “The focus and the execution that we want is not there, and then you end up behind the eight ball again going into the third.
“We’ve done that way too much lately – way too much – and we certainly have to understand that we are not that great of a team when we’re just going out there and going through the motions.”
The Black & Gold haven’t won back-to-back games since beating Winnipeg and Montreal Jan. 10 and 12, and are 4-4-1 since doing so.
Julien knows he has strong leaders in the locker room. But what isn’t so strong right now is the team’s execution.
“We’ve been through the trenches,” Julien said, referring to the team’s 3-7 October start. “And right now, we’re going through a slump.
"When you go through those tough things, you look at the things that are happening: bad penalties. Two power plays, we take penalties during our power plays. That’s a sign of frustration, that’s a sign of not being very smart. The types of goals we’re giving up.
“There’s a lot of areas that, right now, is about how hard we want to compete and work, and when that happens, it’s going to hopefully turn things around. But, you know, I say ‘not smart decisions’: When you’re cutting corners, you also make bad decisions, and those two things have been a real big detriment to our game,” he said.
So where do the Bruins go from here?
“You sleep on it, you think about it, and the next day, you attack it the way you should,” Julien said. “I don’t think we’ve been without video before that. We’ve done some video; we’ve showed them some different things.
"It’s more of an attitude thing right now, about getting some urgency in our game, and we’ve got the guys in the dressing room to make that happen. So we need to push, as a coaching staff and as players as well, and start to see a little bit more urgency.”