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Overcast Skies Beckon Bruins: Leaving FLA Today

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Tampa, FL -- The sun and the temperature came back up on Sunday morning in Tampa, however the Boston Bruins are looking forward to the overcast skies of the Tri-state area and their impending match ups with the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils.

And, oh yah, there is a little contest with the Habs on Thursday in the Hub of Hockey.

Just a glance around the Bruins dressing room after last night's 4-1 loss to the Lightning (who were winless in their last six) told a story and showed that despite the snow about to blanket the northeast, Boston has had enough of Florida.

Another half-glance at the Eastern Conference standings will show that the B's had a chance to gain a couple of points on pretty much everyone except Montreal. The bottom line: The Black & Gold had a chance to garner some upward momentum in the Northeast Division and the East, but just couldn't get the engines firing early enough against a team with some super powered firepower.

"We wanted to have a good start -- they had it. We came back and made it 2-1 and they (got another) which was kind of tough on us," said Marc Savard, who sat in his stall and tried to explain the loss. "We just have to regroup."

While disappointed, Savard, who earned his 25th assist of the year on the B's lone goal, did  was, indeed, looking forward to Monday night's game against the Islanders.

"We are gelling well as a team, right now," he said. "We are getting good goaltending. The defense are playing well and the forwards are (forechecking well).

"So we just have to keep working hard and hopefully get a win on Long Island."

One veteran beat writer noted that there was not any panic in the team -- that the B's had not forgotten their systems when the tide turned against them Saturday night.

Savvy agreed.

"We are trying to cut down on (the opposing team's) chances," said Savard before adding, "You must have to take the positives and move on."

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara had a pretty good idea where the B's foundered.

"We had a flat game," said Chara. "For whatever reason, we weren't skating and battling.

"We were losing races.

"We had some chances, but we didn't score," he said.

So, besides leaving Vincent Lecavalier in FLA, what's the antidote to the B's less than even performance?

Besides hard work and focus, Boston head coach Claude Julien has the tonic.

"I think that game could have taken different directions," said Julien, "(and) it took us a little longer than usual to get into the game."

Coach then pointed to his fourth line as an example to the rest of his team.

"They made things happen," said the coach. "They outworked they other team.

"Our best players were not our best players tonight -- it's pretty simple.

Saturday was a setback for the Bruins, albeit a small one. And now, with more than a full day to recharge their work ethic, their focus and their energy, the entire club is ready to move on to "brighter skies" back in the Northeast.
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