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Spoked-B Ready to Roll?

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- For the first time during the 2011-12 season, the Boston Bruins have won two games in a row and find themselves 2-0 for the month of November.

However, nobody in Black & Gold is satisfied.

"There are still some things we want to get better at," said B's Head Coach Claude Julien after Sunday's practice. "I mentioned last night after the game that I thought we could improve in our puck management and that can get better.

"I like our forecheck lately, that’s created a lot of opportunities for us, whether its to score, whether it’s to score or bottle teams in our own end, I think we’ve done a better job of that and our breakout is a little better.

"I think, if anything, I thought we were pretty good against Ottawa at taking the time and space away and I thought we did a decent job of that last night, too," added Julien. "You’ve got a pretty explosive team that likes to open things up and we did a pretty good job at taking away that time, that space that a lot of those guys need to score for them--I thought that was better.

"We just have to carry our game over from one game to the other and then keep improving in those areas that we talked about."

If the B's successfully carry the momentum from Saturday's 7-0 trumping of Toronto into Monday night's game against the New York Islanders, the club would also vacate rooms in the Noreast Division and Eastern Conference cellars.

As such, B's forward Shawn Thornton wants the B's to focus on the little picture -- beating the Isles at the TD Garden and thereby starting the Black & Gold's five-game homestand on a high note.

"I think first and foremost we’ve just got to focus on being good in the areas that we need to be good in," said Thornton. "We had a good forecheck last game, we were strong defensively in our own zone and transition was pretty good.

"As long as we continue to do things properly and keep rolling the same way, then we should be alright.

"But we’ve got to string a few together here and the Islanders are next on the list."

Consistency is key and B's captain Zdeno Charas liked the Bruins focus against the Leafs.

"Yeah, I thought we played pretty well; we were obviously on the top of our game and we took it very seriously," said Chara. "We knew what we were playing for and even though there were some areas we could do better, we were really happy with the way we capitalized on scoring chances we had."

Asked to pinpoint the differences between the B's effort against Toronto and the efforts the B's had put forward during October, Chara explained that the B's were simply on top of their game.

"We were initiating and tried to focus on what we’ve got to do and not on more of what they would do," said the defenseman. "That’s the most important thing right now for us, to focus on our game and making sure that we do the things that we are supposed to do instead of worry what the other team is going to do."

And Coach Julien hopes the B's quickly shift that focus to the Islanders or the same issues that plagued the club at the start of the season.

"Are we out of it? Not yet, because we’ve still got some players that can continue to improve," said Julien. "We’re going in the right direction right now, and it’s just about pushing ourselves to keep getting better as we move on here.

"We also have to be realistic. We dug ourselves a hole and now we’ve got to get ourselves out of it...and we’ve got to stay focused and determined."

Forward Brad Marchand said that with a little luck, the B's can continue to roll.

"I think a lot of it is just bounces," said the sophomore. "We weren’t getting bounces early on in the year and you saw [Saturday] night, we had a lot of good bounces.

[Tyler Seguin's] second goal; and also it was a great play by him, but it was a good bounce for us. And [Greg Campbell's] goal —- a good bounce — and things were just going our way.

"Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Finally they are starting to bounce for us."

But Marchand also admitted that the B's must continue to create their own bounces, too.

"Yeah, definitely. Everyone is working very hard right now and we’re buying into they system and the game-plan," said Marchand. "As long as we do that then hopefully we’ll be able to create our own opportunities like we have been."
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