Unlike fans, Bruins and Lightning aren’t thrilled with 11-goal game
|05.18.11 at 1:49 am ET|
Savor the 11-goal thriller while you can, because it’s probably not going to happen again. The Bruins and Lightning entered this series as the top two defensive teams in the postseason. High-scoring games like Tuesday night’s Game 2 are not their preference.
“To be honest with you, it was a pond game tonight,” Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. “When you play a pond hockey game, there is a chance that it won’t turn your way. It’s your breakaway, it’s my breakaway. It’s your 2-on-1, it’s my 2-on-1. It might be exciting for the fans, but from the teams’ perspective and standpoint, it’s not how we have played.”
The Bruins were obviously happy to get the win, but coach Claude Julien acknowledged that he wasn’t particularly thrilled with how wide-open the game was, either.
“Not the way it opened up to the point that there were breakaways,” Julien said. “When two teams start the series and they are two of the best defensive teams in the playoffs, and then you see a game like this, I don’t think anybody’s happy. We want to score goals, there’s no doubt there, but the way we’ve been giving up goals is not something that we’re proud of right now.”
The Lightning players said the anomaly of a game was due in part to a breakdown of their defense-first structure. Forward Vincent Lecavalier said the Bruins did a good job using their speed to exploit those breakdowns.
“We didn’t play the way we usually do with our structure,” Lecavalier said. “I don’t want to take credit away from the Bruins. I thought they came out flying in the first and second. … Giving up five goals in that second period was tough. It seems every time we had a good chance, it would just come back. I think we just gave them a lot in the second, but they were skating. They were playing hard.”
Now the focus for both teams in the lead-up to Thursday’s Game 3 will be to get back to playing the type of defense that got them here, and to not allow as many odd-man rushes and quality scoring chances as they did Tuesday.
“Really for both teams it was a strange game,” said Bruins forward Mark Recchi. “I expect it to be much different when we both go back down there, to be the style we both usually play. It will be hard, another close one coming up, so we have a lot of work to do.”
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