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Sunday Practice: Making Adjustments for Game 3

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins were back to work Sunday morning at TD Garden, following their 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 2.

Gregory Campbell hit the ice first, with a fresh sheet of ice and empty arena all to himself, before the Bruins began to trickle for the 11:00 a.m. practice.

Practice lines remained the same as Game 2:
White: Lucic-Krejci-Horton
Gold: Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin
Grey: Peverley-Kelly-Jagr
Merlot: Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Kaspars Daugavins, Carl Soderberg and Jay Pandolfo were in the green jerseys to round out the 15 forwards, with all eight defensemen and both goaltenders taking part in the practice.

Andrew Ference, who sat out Game 2 serving his one game suspension handed out from the league, was back in the top-six defensive pairings mix, alongside Johnny Boychuk. Zdeno Chara returned to his pairing with Dennis Seidenberg, and Adam McQuaid with Wade Redden.

Following the practice, Coach Julien and the Bruins discussed their adjustments heading into Game 3, as Boston looks to counter Toronto's own adjustments heading into Game Two that caused them to come out on top.

"I think it’s pretty obvious the number of outnumbered situations that we gave them, we had some real bad pinches, real bad reads and everything else," said Coach Julien following Sunday's practice. "We gave them some opportunities that way."

"There’s a lot of little things, too; our line changes were poor last night, we saw that quite a few times. That’s something that’s got to get better. I thought, overall, our game certainly wasn’t as sharp as it was in Game 1."

The Bruins are looking for a much sharper game, with better execution come Monday night at the Air Canada Centre to match their consistency in Game 1.

"I think the mental part of our game, and again, you’ve heard me say that often, just has to be a little bit sharper in decision making. It was a physical game and I’m not going to criticize the effort, but the mistakes are what I think were the biggest difference, and they played well."

"We keep saying the same thing over and over: give them credit, they were a different team, they played well, and we knew they were going to play better. We didn’t bring our A-game in the game [Saturday]."

Coach Julien is looking forward to watching his team come out hard Monday  night in Toronto.

"We’ve got some character in that room, we’ve got some good players. We’ve had a good group of guys for a long time," said Coach. "They’ve been through a lot, and they know what needs to be done here, now it’s just a matter of going out and making it happen."

Milan Lucic knows that character well. He, along with his teammates, are well aware that it all comes down to the effort out on the ice, not the words said in the dressing room.

"It's the hardest part of being a good team. We've done it before, I think there's a lot of confidence in this
dressing room and it's just about going out there and doing it," said Lucic, on at the B's finding consistency from game to game. "We can say all we want in the dressing room and to you guys in the media, but at the end of the day, it's just us going out there and playing for each other and doing the right things and playing more consistent, shift in, shift out."

Jagr "Not 100 Percent"

Jaromir Jagr made an impact in his 11 regular-season games with Boston, after being acquired before the trade deadline, putting up nine points off two goals and seven assists. He missed the final two games of the season with the flu.

"I think there’s a lot of things that come into play here. Number one, he came, as you know, at the trade deadline, he missed the last couple of games, he’s never had the same linemates," said Coach Julien, when asked Sunday following practice about Jagr not looking quite like his regular-season form with the B's.

"To his defense, it’s important to have some cohesion with your linemates - and our first two lines have been together for a long time. They’re playing well, they’re generating stuff, so right now it’s about trying to build some chemistry with some players and we keep trying to find players to compliment him a little bit."

"At the same time, like I said, he battled a pretty tough flu there a week ago. I know that he’s not feeling 100 percent yet, but we’re certainly counting on him. The other part, too, is he’s been great for us on the power play, but we only had eight seconds last night, so he’s not able to show too, too much with eight seconds of power play time. That’s one of his strengths, as well."

"I don’t think he’s 100 percent yet, and I know he’s told us he doesn’t feel 100 percent yet, but certainly we hope to see that, because he’s a good player."

What Ference Brings

Though Coach Julien didn't point to Andrew Ference's absence on the blueline Saturday night as a reason for the loss, the defenseman was certainly missed.

"I know it’s almost a cliche, but it’s his experience back there. He’s been around for a long time; besides winning the Cup, he was in the finals with Calgary that one year, so he understands how important those playoff games and those things that you do in the playoffs are," said Julien, on Ference's impact on the Bruins.

"Certainly, he’s stabilized our defense, as far as getting the right pairs and everything else. But he’s a guy that comes to play every night; not only is he a good player, but he’s a good leader. He’s very poised in the dressing room; when he speaks, he speaks well, just like many of our other guys. He adds that element to our hockey club."

"The good thing about Andy is he’s team first, and that’s what he’s always been; that’s why he’s been a really valuable player wherever he’s played."
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