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Claude Julien on allowing 87 shots in 2 games: Bad habits have ‘crept into our game’

04.05.13 at 2:20 am ET
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Claude Julien can read the shot board on the TD Garden scoreboards like anyone else.

He knows full well that the Bruins gave up 47 shots on Tuesday night and escaped with a 3-2 win over the Senators thanks to the play of back-up goalie Anton Khudobin.

He knows full well the Bruins allowed Tuukka Rask to face 40 shots Thursday night against New Jersey, only to have their rear ends saved by the fact their goalie turned away all 40 in a 1-0 squeaker over the Devils.

“Well, he was good,” Julien said in his best understated voice. “You know, he was one of the reasons we won, obviously. He made the big saves when he had to and kept us in the lead at times when they could have gotten themselves back into the game. He was good for us tonight, and sometimes a little bit of rest and a little bit of work with the goalie coach is what goaltenders need.”

Rask wasn’t complaining afterward. Actually, he was happy to see so many pucks early, as the Bruins were outshot 17-6 in the opening 20 minutes after he had the last two games off.

“Yeah, I was saying to Doby [Anton Khudobin] in the first intermission that I would rather take 17 shots, then three or four shots to just get kind of get going and even though they had 17 shots there were a lot of shots from the outsides so it was good to get that feeling. Feel for the puck and stuff like that, so good effort.

“I’€™d just rather go out there and just get my mind right during the game. Doby played great in Buffalo, played great against Ottawa so I wasn’€™t feeling sorry for myself sitting out there. I was feeling good for him. He’€™s kind of in that groove and he’€™s playing really good so it was good to watch him for a couple of outings there and I felt good out there.”

Is Julien concerned about the shot totals and the way his team is playing defensively?

“A lot of things defensively, we had some bad line changes in the second period,” Julien said after the 1-0 win. “A lot of things that we used to take pride in has slipped away from our game a little bit. We’€™ve got to bring that back to our play. It’€™s changing at the wrong times, teams coming up the ice in outnumbered situations, a lot of that stuff, not putting the pucks in deep when there’€™s nowhere to go, still forcing plays.

“Those are all bad habits that I’€™ve seen that have crept into our game lately and has given teams more shots. Again, having said that, they had 17 shots, I think, in the first period ‘€“ they were shooting from everywhere, so look at that scoring chances. If they’€™re going to shoot from coming in off the wing and throwing everything at the net, they were looking to see if Tuukka was sharp or not. If that’€™s the case, I think he got warmed up pretty good and did a pretty good job for the rest of the game.

But, taking a look at the schedule and what the team has been through in terms of games in a compressed schedule, new faces and injuries, Julien was careful not to rip his team a new one.

“It’€™s about probably gauging your frustration level when it comes to that stuff and how hard you want to be,” Julien said. “As I said it’€™s been a tough schedule for us. I think mentally sometimes our guys are tired and they’€™re making those decisions. So it’€™s created by that. But at the same time it’€™s about maybe showing them some video and saying ‘€˜listen this is what we were, this is what we are right now.’€™ And you know video is a pretty good tool, because speaking is one thing, but when you see yourself it’€™s another. You know, so we’€™re going to try and work with our team to get those good habits back.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, NHL, Tuukka Rask
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