Bruins fail to make things difficult for Carey Price in Game 1 loss
|04.14.11 at 11:26 pm ET|
On paper, it would appear the Bruins dominated Thursday night’s Game 1 but just happened to run into a hot goaltending performance from Carey Price. After all, they outshot the Canadiens, 31-20, on the night, including 18-6 in the second period.
What the stat sheet doesn’t show, though, is how many of the Bruins’ shots came with no traffic in front, allowing Price to easily get in position and make the save.
“I don’t think we did a very good job of taking away his vision,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “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.”
Of course, screening Price and getting traffic to the net is all about being willing to battle in the dirty areas. You have to be able to take a beating and win the fight for position. The Bruins didn’t appear willing to do that Thursday night, even when they had the chance to.
“I think for the most part, we were there and had those opportunities to be in front of the net,” Brad Marchand said. “We were just standing off to the side a bit, looking for tips. The opportunity is there to get in front of his eyes. We just have to do that.”
Julien agreed with his forward that his team simply didn’t work hard enough to get to those areas.
“It’s pretty obvious, I think. There’s no secret here,” Julien said. “If you’re going to score goals on that goaltender, you need to take away his vision, and we didn’t do a good enough job of that. We were all around the net, but we weren’t in front.”
Those problems carried over to the power play, too. The Bruins struggled to get set up on the man advantage early in the game, but they did a better job of possessing the puck and creating some chances as the game went on.
But as was the case at even strength, Price was able to track pretty much every shot. In several instances, the Bruins delayed shooting the puck in the hopes that someone would get to the net for a screen, deflection or rebound, but it rarely came. When they did pull the trigger, Price was able to easily cover or his defensemen were able to easily clear away the rebound.
“Again, same old, same old,” Julien said. “We had some great shots, but we didn’t do a very good job in front of the net with the screens, with the loose pucks, and weren’t able to capitalize.”
The Bruins were happy with a lot of other aspects of their game Thursday night — Marchand even said they “have to play the exact same way” in Saturday’s Game 2 — but they know they’ll need to make things tougher for Price and not rely on him making mistakes if they’re going to win the series.
“He’s a good goalie, yes, but we’ve got to make sure we have traffic in front of him,” Patrice Bergeron said. “He’s going to make those stops if he sees it, and that’s all.”