|Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien argues a high-sticking penalty against Bruins left wing Milan Lucic in the final two minutes of an NHL hockey game against Columbus Blue Jackets in Boston, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010. The Blue Jackets scored during the penalty, giving them a 3-2 win over the Bruins. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) |
The Bruins are tied with the New York Islanders for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Julien talked about any extra pressure the Bruins might be feeling as they work to maintain their spot in this spring's tourney.
"You guys bring that stuff up, I don’t bring that stuff up to these guys because, as I just mentioned, why do you want to put extra pressure?" said Julien. "They can see the standings, they know what’s going on.
"Do you have to shove it down their throat? Or just kind of let them sort those kinds of things out.
"They know where we are. We know where we are. It’s just a matter of going out there and playing a game," he said.
Julien will implore his charges to keep their focus on the game at hand.
"I’ve always said that the big picture can be scary; take care of the little picture," he said. "And the little picture is, you know, [the B's wanting] to win the game tomorrow.
"Let’s not over analyze anything else and whatever happens tomorrow, one way or the other, we’ll have to deal with it Sunday."
After practice, Claude Julien was asked about his club's issues in the third period and their contrast with the strength of last year's B's in the final stanza.
"It just goes to show that every year’s different and we shouldn’t count on things being automatic," said Julien. "You’ve got to make things happen. There’s not doubt.
"You’ve heard me say that a million times. This is a game where confidence plays a big role. We were a confident team after two periods, we were playing well, we had lots of chances, and, as I mentioned last night, it could have easily been more than a 2-1 hockey game.
"You don’t capitalize on some of those excellent chances, they tie it up, and then all of a sudden you tighten up. And why do you tighten up? It’s because you don’t have the confidence you would if you had been having success," he said.
So there's the rub. The B's must go into next game with confidence while riding a three-game losing streak and having dropped six of seven.
"When you have it, you say, ‘Let’s bounce back, let’s go get the next one.’ But that’s what it is," said Julien. "We’ve got to keep working through that and find a way to win games and get our confidence back."
It goes without saying (or blogging), but this is not a happy bunch on the ice this morning.
Special teams work is the early order of the day.
Savard has returned to the ice for the regular session. He is still in a brick colored jersey and is skating with the energy line of Shawn Thornton
, Vladimir Sobotka and Drew Larman.
Begin and Savard have vacated the ice and the rest of the club are beginning to take to the ice. Trent Whitfield
is on the ice and was joined early by defensemen Derek Morris, Dennis Wideman and Mark Stuart.
Steve Begin (in a red sweater) and Marc Savard
(in brick) are on the ice here in Wilmington.
Several fans have gathered early to watch the pair be put through their paces by Boston's strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides.
The injured Bruins are showing few indications that they are struggling with their ailments and Savard, in particular, is in good spirits as he works his body back into the lineup.