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Montreal Could Cure Hangover

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- There's just one more practice before the B's start a home at home series with the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night in the TD Garden.

The B's had a day off on Tuesday, but General Manager Peter Chiarelli spoke to the press via conference call and said he hoped that the rivalry with Montreal might be a catalyst in his club's turnaround.

"Certainly that's come to mind when I look at the schedule," he said. "We've got enough games that, for whatever reason, motivate us.

"I look at Toronto and you have the whole [Phil] Kessel thing and what's gone down there, and Chicago, they've won the cup before.

"I would hope that that would be the case against Montreal. They're rivals, we've had some real good games and series with them and all that history last year."

But the B's history this season isn't that spectacular and the GM said he is doing his best to remain patient.

"You've heard me talk about addressing, dealing with this 'hangover' and whether it's been self fulfilling or not, I believe it's here in some form," said Chiarelli. "I haven't minded our game that much, like I think our compete level is getting a little better, our execution is getting a little better. We're still a little sloppy here and there, but I have to stress's something that we have to work through."

But that's difficult in the wake of heightened expectations.

"The expectations are high, but we also certainly expected this kind of thing," said Chiarelli. "As we're finding out -- there's no easy answer to it and we've done a few things to try and spark the guys.

"Our coaching staff for example the other day, our coaching staff worked a lot on the offensive chances and scoring and finishing and at the practice, and the guys actually looked like they were having fun that practice.

"So those are the types of little things that you have to do and our coaching staff is a creative staff and I know [head coach] Claude [Julien] is meeting this head on."

As will Chiarelli should the doldrums continue.

"Yeah, well it's my job to monitor this stuff and address it," said the GM. "We'll see how it goes on a day to day basis.

"Obviously, it's the results that you look at, but I look at other things- internally and at practice and behind the scenes -- so it's a broader picture. but at some point if I don't like the way things are going, I have to do something."
For now, however, Chiarelli remains calm in his approach and said he's seen plenty to good things in his club.

"To me, the common denominator in all this is two things. One, we've had more offensive chances and better quality chances in this first part than we did last year and we're not scoring," explained Chiarelli. "The second thing is, just getting the proper mind frame again.

"I don't know how to do that- I think it may be more of a natural process too and we're working on it and I know the coaching staff's working on it.

"Obviously, I'm not happy with their performance or where we are in our standings, but this is new to us and...I don't want to overreact."   
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