BOSTON, MA – It’s not as if the effort isn’t there, as the Boston Bruins have continously tried to hammer shots past Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby in the first two games of this series.
The young goaltender has faced 74 shots thus far – only two of which have gotten behind him and into the net.
The real problem, however, is that the Bruins are having a hard time getting the puck past the shin pads of the Capitals.
In the last two games, Washington has blocked 49 shots and Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien addressed the issue after Saturday’s 2-1 double overtime loss.
“They were coming at our points pretty hard and not allowing our guys to tee it up,” Julien said. “And when you just allow the Ds to take a wrist shot, then all of a sudden, it’s easy for Ds to step in front of it and block it.”
That said, the Capitals have also done their due diligence to force the Bruins to take shots from the outside – which is also due to the team’s effort to get more pucks to the net and away from Washington’s blockers, Julien said.
“I don’t think they want to block guys’ slap shots. [Dennis] Seidenberg, [Johnny] Boychuk, [Zdeno] Chara," explained the B's head coach. "They’ve all got good shots from the back end, so if they tee it up, I’m not sure they’re going to want to block it as much.
"But they’re doing a good job of getting to the point hard, and because of that, they’re blocking shots.
“So we have to find a way to get the puck to those guys earlier. We’ve got to find a way to get those shots off earlier as well.”
But after Saturday’s game, and even Thursday’s where the B’s scored just one goal as well, Julien isn’t worried that his team lacks what it takes to produce more goals and win games.
“We did the same thing last year,” Julien said. “We had some games that we should have been better, and we lost, and at the end of the day, you look at the series, and did we win the series or not?”
"And that’s what we’re going to do again this year.
"You know, we weren’t good enough [Saturday], and that’s why they won. We’ve got to be better next game, hopefully win, and at the end of the series, well, we can decide whether we were a good enough team or not.”