Checking in on Our Boys, and confirming what I had been told Monday, there is a pretty good chance that head coach Dave Lewis’ message from yesterday afternoon was heard loud and clear -- and if it didn’t sink in, the B’s will be in for more of the same treatment over the next two weeks.
Around 2 p.m. yesterday, Lewis and his coaches put the team through a brutal workout, no doubt designed to reinforce Lewis’ feelings about discipline, and more importantly, remind the players of the significance of the Spoked-B on their chests.
It was a stomach churning, pride challenging, body numbing skating only session created to reinforce for the players just how important the words ’effort’ and ’pride’ are to a player in the NHL and, most especially, to a member of the Black & Gold.
The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa reports: For 45 minutes, coach Dave Lewis whipped his players through various forms of sprints. They broke twice for water and did their usual stretches before and after practice, but every other minute was dedicated to punishment-via-sprints for their misdeeds in Sunday’s 5-0 snoozer against Pittsburgh…"The effort has not been there consistently," said Lewis. "It’s my job to get that out of them. One way or another, they’re going to work. They’re going to work here, they’re going to work tomorrow, and if that doesn’t work, they’re going to work the next practice harder than they did today. That’s not going away."
The Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy writes: There were pucks readily available. None was needed...“People work hard for a living,” said Lewis, who allowed two brief water breaks. “And we have to work harder for ours...But we have to work harder as coaches to get what we want, the players have to work harder as players to get what they want, and that’s the bottom line. This is not an easy league to win in, and that’s the one thing you can control - your effort...In some areas, maybe we’re not the most talented team, but we certainly have to work harder with what we have.”
Unfortunately, the Bruins are now playing the spoiler role. But given their two games remaining against Ottawa, as well as their contests against Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New Jersey, and of course, Les Habs, the B’s are playing meaningful games up until the last day of the season on April 7.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun explains:
There’s still a lot left to be settled in the East, and nobody can remember a race that has been this tight.
"I don’t remember it being this close, and I don’t have the greatest memory in the world, but I don’t remember it being like this -- especially in the Eastern Conference," said Tampa coach John Tortorella.
"I guess that’s what the league wants. They want the league playing along together. It’s a good battle. Look at our situation, we could go up and win a division or be out and watching in April. I just don’t remember it being like this since I’ve been in the league."
TSN.ca reports that the Sens lines looked like this, yesterday: