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Many Opinions. One Conclusion: The B's are Pretty Good

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
In the locker room after the game, reaction to about the Bruins win on Saturday was mixed -- from the concerns about offensive underachievement from Bruins head coach Claude Julien, to the clear admiration that Zdeno Chara had for the fans who created a terrific atmosphere in the Garden, to the pure euphoria that gushed from Jeremy Reich -- everyone seemed to have a different opinion.

And they all seemed pretty well based in fact.

"We weren’t proactive; we gave them way too much room as far as handling the puck for most of the night," said Julien. "I thought we just stood around and were content with defending instead of creating some things. 

"So, obviously we need to…do something about it. 

"(Over) the last couple of games, I think it’s been one of those situations where we haven’t created much offense and we need to do that if we expect to win more hockey games," he said.

However, Coach Julien pointed to his goalie as huge (Alex Auld, 6-foot, 5-inches), and the Bruins defense as a real positive.

"Our goaltender was good, made some key saves at the right time, our guys did a great job penalty killing tonight, but we were disappointed in the fact that we didn’t test the other goaltender that much," he said.

Furthermore, Julien was also a little annoyed about how his club had been pigeonholed as a "defensive-minded" hockey team -- perhaps because his team seemed to think that way on Saturday.
"I think that’s the biggest myth going around right now (and) we’re starting to get labeled as a defensive team," said the coach.

"I want to get some offense as much as anybody else.

"The only reason we get labeled that is because we probably do it better than most of the other teams," he said.

"We played Toronto and they complained about it (but) they played the same 1-2-2 system in a neutral zone…So, that’s the biggest issue right now is teams complain about that…But, having said that, I think our team needs to realize the fact that once you do get the puck, you have to go on offense and you have to get that middle drive going; you’ve got to put pucks at the net; you have to go hard; you have to put pucks in deep; you have to put pressure on the opposing D’s, finish your check, and create some turnovers."

Incidentally, and as any goalie would, Auld seemed to think the defense was just fine, thank you very much.

"They had a lot of shots from the outside, which is kind of our trademark," said Auld, now 4-1-0 with Boston. "They had very few rebounds too.

"We did a great job of picking up trailers off the rush to make sure they didn’t get any second whacks at the puck."

Captain Chara praised the crowd and its efforts toward returning some energy to the players.

"It was really fun to see them enjoying the game," said Z. "It was a fun game to play, as well.

"(The crowd) was doing waves!

"It's always fun to have a (raucous) building."

Raucous was spelled J-e-r-e-my this weekend as Jeremy Reich scored his first NHL goal.

"I took a shot before the play and Noke [Petteri Nokelainen] went in and made a nice play," explained Reich. "He passed it to me, and I pretty much had half the net to shoot at."

How did that feel Mr. Reich?

"It feels good, I’m not going to lie," he said. "I had a few chances this year and last year and finally it went in.  I hope it continues to go in (but) I am just going to keep playing the same way and going to the net.

And despite the disparate opinions about the win, one thing was clear -- the Boston Bruins have become a really good hockey team.

"(When) you come into a season, you don’t know what to expect," said Coach Julien. "Especially when you come in here and you know this team had a tough year last year.

"But I knew the guys had the right attitude and I think we were confident that we were going to turn it around.  (What's been) a pleasant surprise is how quickly we’ve done it and that credit goes to the players. 

"They’ve caught on really quickly and in that area, I think probably ahead of what we expected from day one."
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