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Same Story, Different Ending in Tampa

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
TAMPA BAY, FL -- The B's stumbled early again in Florida, but unlike Monday night's game against the Panthers in Sunrise, last night the Black & Gold weren't able to pull out a victory and fell to the Lightning 5-3 in Tampa Bay Times Forum .

Postgame, outside the quiet visitors locker room, Head Coach Claude Julien repeated a familiar description of the Bruins recent play.

"I thought we had a really poor first period," said Julien. "We dug ourselves a hole."

In terms of pinpointing the cause of the Bruins uneven play of late, Julien couldn't (or wouldn't) narrow his focus down to a single issue.

"To be honest with you, it’s a combination of everything," he said. "You don’t point your finger at anybody, but you look at yourself at a team.

"And right now it really is everybody.

"We have to sharpen up and the best way to do that is compete harder than we did for 60 min," he said.

Asked what he might be able to do to hone his team's focus, Julien explained, "You know there’s times as a coach you do certain things.

"There’s a lot of times you got to understand the game to know that has to come from within.

"I can’t lace up skates," added Julien. "I can’t compete, but I have to make them accountable."

"I have two players coming back, maybe that gives me more strength to make that happen, but we fell short with some veteran players missing and some young guys in the lineup.

"Accountability is something we talk about coming from within and we need that to happen again to turn the corner," he said.

Julien hopes the return of those two players, Rich Peverley (personal matter) and Brad Marchand (suspension), will ultimately be the spark that stokes a fire under the B's against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

"You look at what they do," said Julien. "Pevs is a power play - penalty kill guy, Marsh can be both as well and they’re guys that play lots of minutes.

"You need those guys, but at the same time everyone has those situations around the league. If anything you like your guys to play through those situations, and normally we would.

"But we’re not playing the way we should and if everybody was and we were competing the way we could, those things wouldn’t be an issue," he said.

However, in the end Julien admitted that the B's problems might not be solved simply by reinserting Marchand and Peverley into the lineup.

"It’s more an issue what we have on the ice then what we have off the ice," he said.
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