|04.15.11 at 1:25 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien did not have trouble identifying one of the main reasons the Bruins lost Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The team struggled to establish a presence in front of Carey Price throughout the 2-0 loss, as the Habs’ defense tightened up and power forwards such as Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton failed to make an impact.
“We spent most of the night with the puck, but at the end of the night, we didn’t get the results. That’s probably the thing that sticks out the most. We just have to make some adjustments and understand that if we’re going to score goals, we’ve got to pay the price a little bit better around the net.
“We’ve got to be a little better down low, and stronger on the puck,” Julien said after Friday’s practice. “Part of it was that, but part of it was that we know we have to be a little bit more involved. Some of the net-front presence is not necessarily something you have to practice more than it is a mind-set. If we commit ourselves to going there, we’ll get there. Sometimes you have to work through it because they’re doing a pretty good job of boxing us out.”
The B’s did not appear to be down on themselves on Friday despite the loss. Many players pointed to positives of Thursday’s game both after the contest and after Friday’s practice. Julien sees the reasons for optimism, but he expects more from all of his skaters.
“I think we all know that although we played a decent game, we can all be a little better. As a team, we feel that we can be a little better. That’s basically it, and that’s to a man.”
Price made 31 saves in the shutout victory, while the Habs blocked 20 shots.
|04.15.11 at 1:18 pm ET|
In an interview on the Mut & Merloni Show, Bruins winger Mark Recchi suggested that it was premature to panic about his team’s Game 1 loss to the Canadiens in the best-of-seven playoff series. The 43-year-old cited his experience in a run with the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup in 2006, when Carolina fell behind Montreal by losing the first two games of the first round before roaring back to win the title.
“The bottom line is, we bounced back all year from stuff like this, and we will again,” said Recchi. “We’ve rebouded from some hard losses, tough losses, bad losses. It’s the character of our team.”
Recchi drew upon his experience with Carolina in response to another question, chiefly whether rookie Tyler Seguin (a healthy scratch in Game 1) could make an impact in this series, or whether the idea of competing at this level and in this environment — a playoff series in Montreal — would be too much for the 19-year-old to handle.
“It all depends. Obviously, that’s a coach’s decision. Right now, he’s not playing, but I’m sure if he gets that opportunity, he’ll be ready,” said Recchi. “Obviously, getting the first taste of it in a place like Montreal would be tough. At the same time, he’s a good young kid and he gets it. He’s a good hockey player.
“I played in Carolina when Cam Ward was a rookie there. He came in and Game 3 was his first [start]. In the Carolina series, when we beat Montreal and went on to win the Stanley Cup, [Ward] embraced it, grabbed it and went for a run. You never know with situations like that in the playoffs. Right now, we have a good lineup. I’m sure at some point, [Seguin] will got a shot in there, and he’ll be ready.”
Ward was the backup to Martin Gerber in Carolina, but was given the start for Game 3 against the Habs, with the Hurricanes sweeping the next four games. Ward, then 22, would remain in net for the remainder of the playoffs, going 15-7 and helping to lead his team to the Stanley Cup. Seguin played in 74 games this year, scoring 11 goals and delivering 11 assists.
Other highlights are below. To listen to the complete interview, visit the Mut & Merloni Audio on Demand page.
–Recchi was asked about the comments by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, suggesting that the B’s played a good game in their 2-0 loss on Thursday.
“He’s our captain. We have to look at the big picture. We understand fans are going to be very emotional throughout this, but it’s a seven-game series. We can’t get too high, we can’t get too low. We’ve got to stay on an even keel,” said Recchi. “There were some good things we did last night, but the bottom line is we didn’t win. He might say that, but we all know it’s not acceptable. We want to win more than anybody in this city. As players, we have the desire to win. We’re not happy about it.
“But at the same time, we know it’s seven games. That’s the thing we’ve learned. One game doesn’t win a series, and one game doesn’t lose a series. We have a long way to go, a lot of hockey. … If we come out on top, they’re going to forget about Game 1.”
–Based on his experience with Carolina, Recchi dismissed the idea that Saturday’s Game 2 represented a must-win. “I think it’s an important game,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world, either.”
–Recchi noted that more careful puck management will prove pivotal in the series, as it did in Game 1.
“They really drive on turnovers. We’ve just got to be smart. We saw the two goals they scored were on turnovers,” said Recchi. “If we dictate that, keep the puck in their zone for an extended period of time, it’s going to wear them out.”
–Recchi disputed the characterization that the Bruins are a big, powerful team in contrast to the speedy Canadiens.
“We’re just as fast as they are and we’re big,” said Recchi. “If we use those to our advantage, then we’re going to do good things and come out on top.”
|04.15.11 at 12:59 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — After failing to score (or get many quality chances) on Canadiens goaltender Carey Price in a 2-0 loss in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, there was very little, if any, frustration expressed by the Bruins at Ristuccia Arena Friday.
The B’s hit the ice for practice, while the Habs regulars were given the day off. Still, optimism filled the Bruins’ room. Never mind talk of how ineffective the top line was, or how they couldn’t get second or third chances on Price. The way the players see it, thinking about Game 2 is more important than thinking about Game 1.
“It’s one game, and we’re not going to dwell on it,” Brad Marchand said. “It’s tough when you run into a hot goalie, but that stuff happens. You’ve got to find a way around it. ‘¦ No one wins the Stanley Cup in the first game of the first series. We’re not frustrated at all. It’s one game, and we’ve got to put it behind us.”
Forward Shawn Thornton, who was given just 5:10 of ice time in the game, shared the same logic.
“It’s fine. We’re good. It’s one game,” Thornton said. “We’re aware that it’s a long series, and we know we can be better, so we’re going to be better tomorrow.”
Both of the Canadiens’ goals were scored by Brian Gionta following Bruins turnovers. Gionta’s first-period tally was set up by Scott Gomez after Tomas Kaberle put too much on a reverse, while Gionta’s third-period goal came following a Milan Lucic turnover in the Bruins’ zone.
“The game’s not perfect. There’s going to be turnovers every now and again,” Thornton said. “You try and limit them as much as possible, but when they happen, you hope that you can get back and bail each other out. That being said, you try and make the right plays at the right time.
“Give them credit, too. They’re a pretty good team. Defensively, they did a really good job of clogging up the neutral zone and clogging up the front of the not and blocking people out. You have to give them credit. They’re a pretty good team over there.”
The B’s will host the Habs for Game 2 at TD Garden on Saturday.
|04.15.11 at 11:19 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Canadiens’ regulars aren’t practicing after taking a 2-0 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, but Claude Julien had all of his Bruins on the ice at Ristuccia Arena Friday morning. The B’s will bost the Habs Saturday with hopes of avoiding a two-game deficit in the series.
There were no changes to which players were on the ice or their color-coded lines. The lines are as follows:
|04.15.11 at 11:16 am ET|
“It’s always frustrating when you lose the first game,” Marchand said. “But it happens. I don’t think anyone expected us to sweep the series. They’re coming very hard, they’re ready for they series and they were coming hard [Thursday].”
Marchand had a couple of point-blank chances early on Carey Price, including a backhander that he couldn’t cleanly handle and a first-period breakaway. He also had a semi-breakaway in the second. Still, no dice.
“You try to forget about it right way but it’s in the back of your mind, in case it happens again you want to do it a little differently,” Marchand said of the missed breakaway chance. “But it does definitely frustrate you a bit.
“You feel like you kind of let the team down. You had opportunities like that and you didn’t bury. You can say what if, but at the end of the day there is tomorrow and we have to be ready for that, focus on that and then be ready for the next game. We can’t hang our heads here, and can’t hold onto this. We have to let it go and be ready for the next game.”
Price stopped all 31 shots, including all six by Marchand, who led the Bruins in that category.
“We were frustrated that we didn’t get on the board there but I don’t think it’s going to change our confidence at all. Games go this way, sometimes a goalie makes a lot of big saves, sometimes they all find the back of the net. We just have to regroup in playoffs every game is a different story we have to make sure tomorrow we get more bodies in front and hopefully pucks go in.”
What was to blame for Marchand? Maybe it was simply a matter of speed.
“It was faster, a little more intense,” Marchand said of his first playoff game. “I don’t think the game changed a whole lot. Guys just seemed to keep it a little more simple and tried to stay away from turnovers. I think that was the biggest difference. In that way you can use more speed getting in the zone.
Marchand, who boldly predicted – and correctly so – he’d reach 20 goals and 20 assists in his first full season, isn’t lacking for confidence in himself or the team. So while everyone was suggesting different approaches and line changes for Game 2 Saturday, Marchand believes if the Bruins bring the same energy they showed in the second and third periods, they’ll come out on top.
“We have to play the exact same way we did,” Marchand said. “If we improved one more thing it would be get more bodies in front of the net, in front of Price to take his eyes away, but other than that I think we had a good game.”
|04.15.11 at 11:01 am ET|
Former Bruin and current CBC NHL analyst P.J. Stock appeared on the Dennis & Callahan Show Friday morning to talk about the Bruins’ Game 1 loss to the Canadiens and the rest of the series. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Stock said he thought the Bruins played well for the most part, but that they needed to be more physical and not play the finesse style that Montreal likes.
‘I’m a big fan of Milan Lucic and this is a series where he has to dominate, be like Dustin Byfuglien in last year’s playoffs,’ Stock said. ‘The Canadiens are not a physical team, so it’s very easy to get out of a physical game. ‘They’re not going to hit me, so I’m not going to hit them. I’m going to start playing their game.’
‘I think the Bruins tried to play their game last night instead of getting the puck deep and hitting bodies. [Lucic’s] play isn’t trying to deke around at the blue line. It’s shoot the puck past them, run them over and get it deep. He didn’t do it last night and it cost them a couple goals. But it’s one night and I’m looking for him to rebound tremendously on Saturday.’
Asked about balancing that physical play with staying out of the box, Stock said avoiding penalties isn’t entirely necessary as long as you avoid weak penalties.
‘No, you can take penalties, but take good penalties,’ he said. ‘If you’re going to take two minutes, I don’t expect a one-handed hooking penalty. If you’re going to take two minutes, take it because you just ran Tomas Plekanec. He was great last night. You want to take an elbowing penalty on Tomas Plekanec. You want to run him over. You want to punch him in the back of the head. You want to get him off his game. That’s a penalty that will help you out in the long run. The Bruins took a couple hooking penalties last night, which are not good penalties.’
Echoing the sentiments of many of the Bruins after the game, Stock said Boston has to do a better job creating traffic and chaos in front of Canadiens goalie Carey Price.
‘And they have to bump into him,’ Stock said. ‘Don’t by shy about it. I was watching the Philadelphia Flyers play Buffalo last night and they were bumping the goalie. Carey’s their best player, hands down. You take Carey away and they’re not the same team.
‘Every time the Bruins had momentum, he was able to see the puck and stop the puck. The thing I thought really helped the Canadiens and hurt the Bruins was he didn’t give up any rebounds. It was a momentum killer. ‘¦ One of the things you’re going to have to do better is get in the face of Carey Price.’
Stock said he still expects the Bruins to win the series. ‘For sure. It’s Game 1,’ he said. ‘The Canadiens have to beat the Bruins three more times. It’s a tall task. But now all the pressure shifts to Boston. They have to win the next game.’
|04.15.11 at 10:33 am ET|
The Game 1 loss to the Canadiens had been in the books less than an hour when Bruins coach Claude Julien took to the podium to fulfill his obligation of addressing the media.
Naturally, he wasn’t in the best spirits after Carey Price shut down and shut out the Bruins, 2-0, in the opener of the Eastern quarterfinal series at TD Garden. He was asked all the questions you’d expect but there was one question asked repeatedly in different ways. How frustrating was it for your team – again with Stanley Cup aspirations – not to be able to find the back of the net?
They out-shot the Canadiens, 31-18 and dominated the second period by an 18-6 tally.
“I think that’s one thing that we had talked about’not getting frustrated with certain things,” Julien said. “But obviously we felt we should have came out with something better than we did in the second period and unfortunately we didn’t capitalize. We had some great opportunities, but I think there’s reasons for that. I don’t think we did a very good job of taking away his [Carey Price] vision. He saw a lot of shots tonight and he saw a lot of pucks. We definitely have to get better in that area if we plan on scoring some goals. We had some quality chances as well that we didn’t capitalize on and when you get those quality chances, you have to make sure you bury those.” Read the rest of this entry »