|Claude Julien: We haven’t played ‘at all close to the way we can’||04.17.11 at 1:25 pm ET|
The most alarming part of Saturday’s no-show by the Bruins was their complete inability to pick up the emotional or physical slack left by the absence of Zdeno Chara. From the drop of the puck, the Bruins looked shell-shocked when Chara skated pregame but couldn’t go, leaving them without their best defenseman and captain.
“Well, number one you can’t every say that you didn’t miss him,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “He’s one of the best defensemen in the league and when you lose a guy like that it leaves you with a big hole. Having said that, I still think our Ds are capable of handling themselves and can definitely be better.
“And those costly goals are what we’re talking about. They have to make the other team earn their goals and I don’t think that was the case tonight. We certainly have to get better in regards to that and those kinds of mistakes and are type we can’t keep making.”
“Yeah, he’s our captain but at the same time, we all need to step up in here,” added Patrice Bergeron, the man who likely would be captain if not for Chara. “Yeah, it hurts missing “Z” but it’s playoffs and it’s adversity and it’s things we have to go through. We’re not the only team that’s missing key players. We have to find a way.”
And while Julien announced Sunday that Chara will be making the trip to Montreal for Monday’s Game 3, there’s still no guarantee he plays. Whether Chara is on the ice or not, the Bruins can’t afford to bumble and stumble like they did in the first two minutes Saturday night or their season will – for all intents and purposes – be over.
The trio of Tomas Kaberle, Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory. And neither did Tim Thomas in net. Did they all collectively press and try to do too much?
“I don’t know if it’s about making up for the loss,” Julien said. “We need to make some better decisions. We did the same thing in that first game as well. The two goals we gave up were, they are glaring mistakes, to our eyes anyway. And like I said after the first game, they’re uncharacteristic of our hockey club and we’re here talking about the same thing. So yeah, we have to correct that and we have to correct it starting next game. We have to make sure those things are eliminated from our game if we want to give ourselves a chance to win this series.”
Things like flipping the puck blindly up the middle of the neutral zone, leading to a turnover and an odd-man rush that ended in Yannick Webber‘s back-breaking goal late in the second, restoring Montreal’s two-goal cushion and crushing Boston’s comeback hopes.
“I was looking up ice,” said Seidenberg of his ill-fated transition attempt. “It seem like the boards were taken so I tried to hit Horty going through the middle. But their D stepped in front.”
Julien knows his team has one more shot Monday to redeem themselves before being put on life-support.
“It’s the best-of-seven,” Julien said. “We’ve lost the first two games. And, let’s be honest here, our team has not played at all close to the way we know we can. You can outshoot them, you can do a lot of things, but the mistakes that we have made in this series so far are very uncharacteristic of our hockey team, and we need to be better than that. If they’re going to score some goals, they need to earn them a lot more than they have. We had to work pretty hard tonight just to get that one goal, and I don’t think they had to work as hard to get theirs.
“And that’s basically the difference right now in the games, is the execution of one team, compared to the execution of the other one. I’m going to stand here and tell you that our execution isn’t good enough and it needs to be better. That’s what we have to do from here on in.”
|Claude Julien: ‘There was absolutely no way in the world’ Zdeno Chara (dehydration) could have played||04.16.11 at 11:07 pm ET|
After the Bruins’ 3-1 loss to the Canadiens in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Saturday, coach Claude Julien defended B’s captain Zdeno Chara, who did not play due to dehydration. The 6-foot-9 blueliner, who played in 81 regular-season games, went out for warmups but was not able to overcome the issues that had hospitalized him Friday.
“He came off the ice and he was sweaty, he was dizzy. There was no way in the world we could have used him tonight and played him. Absolutely no way,” Julien said. “The doctors said the same thing. I spoke to him, and even attempting to come was courageous on his part, but there was absolutely no way that he could have played tonight. It’s unfortunate. We missed him, but certainly he did the best he could to even try. To be honest with you, it wasn’t even close.”
As for Chara’s status for Monday’s Game 3, Julien said the team will “see how these next two days go,” though he did say that dehydration was not the only issue with Chara. The coach also proceeded to call out any members of the media questioning the captain.
“[Dehydration] is one of the situations, and we’re not going to comment any further than that,” Julien said. “I know that he’s been jumped on a little bit by some of the media that think they know better than anybody else, but there was no way he could play.
“You’re going to say, ‘Oh, well we don’t know the whole thing’ — I think if he could have played, he would have played tonight. He tried his best and he couldn’t play. I was disappointed that people would even question this guy for what he is and what he’s done.”
|Report: Michael Cammalleri says he ‘won’t be like Mark Recchi and diagnose the other team’||at 12:50 pm ET|
Where would we be without twitter? The Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs tweeted Saturday that Michael Cammalleri had an interesting take on Zdeno Chara‘s dehydration when talking to TSN after the team’s morning skate. Asked about Chara, Cammalleri reportedly said, “I’m no MD, so I’m not going to be like Mark Recchi and diagnose the other team.”
Cammalleri was obviously taking a shot at Recchi’s suggestion last month that the Canadiens exaggerated Max Pacioretty‘s head injury following his hit from Chara on March 8.
Zdeno Chara is expected to play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Saturday night, but even if the dehydrated defenseman doesn’t dress, Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said the Habs won’t be altering their approach.
“It doesn’t change any of our preparation,” Martin said. “We don’t control the opposition. I think we prepare to play the Bruins. We know they’re going to come out hard. They’re a good team and they’ve had an outstanding season. We’ve got to be prepared to weather the storm.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien said Saturday that he expects captain Zdeno Chara to be in the lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals after being hospitalized Friday night for dehydration.
“He got treated with a little bit of hydration, and that’s basically all there is to that,” Julien said. “Until our medical staff tells me he can’t go, he’s in tonight.”
Julien would not divulge whether Chara stayed overnight in the hospital, but did say that the medical staff, who will make the decision, “have yet to tell me that he can’t go.”
Chara led all Bruins skaters with 25:06 of ice time on Thursday, totalling five shots on goal in the team’s 2-0 loss to the Canadiens. His plus-33 rating in the regular season led all NHL skaters.
“He’s our leader. He’s our captain,” forward Shawn Thornton said of Chara. “He’s 6-foot-9, 260 pounds. He’s a big, big presence for us. He’s been our best player for the four years that I’ve been here, so he’s huge.”
In the unlikely event that Chara is not able to play Saturday, reserve defenseman Shane Hnidy, who played in three regular-season games with the team since signing on in late February, is ready to go.
“That’s why I’m here,” Hnidy said with a smile. “You’ve got to have that kind of mind set that every day, regardless of the situation, you’re coming in preparing to play. When told otherwise, you look after that.”
|Video: Inside the Bruins locker Room, Game 1||04.14.11 at 11:02 pm ET|
By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin
The Canadiens took a 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Thursday, defeating the Bruins, 2-0, at TD Garden.
Scott Gomez hit Brian Gionta in front of Tim Thomas following a first-period Tomas Kaberle turnover, with the Habs’ captain cashing in at 2:44 for the game’s first goal. Gionta beat Thomas again on a slapshot with 3:18 remaining in the third.
The Bruins would pick up the pace in the second and third periods, but ultimately were doomed by a combination of solid play from Montreal goaltender Carey Price and a tendency for the B’s to shoot it right into the chest of Price, limiting their second-chance opportunities.
On the night Price stopped all 31 shots he saw en route to the shutout. Tim Thomas made 18 saves on the night.
The two teams will square off Saturday for Game 2. From there, they will play Monday and Thursday in Montreal before returning to Boston, if necessary.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Kaberle had a rough night for the Bruins. His turnover in the first period led to Gomez’ pass to set up Gionta’s goal, and he also took a first-period hooking penalty in the first. Furthermore, in order for anyone to buy his fake shots, he’ll have to actually shoot the puck more often. Defensively, he was suspect, and he isn’t bringing enough to the power play/offense to make up for it.
- The top line was ineffective for the majority of the night. The Milan Lucic - David Krejci – Nathan Horton trio totaled just one shot (from Horton) through the first two periods. Though they improved in the third, one period isn’t enough. Lucic has been big for the Bruins in the playoffs before, and Horton’s skill set suggests he can make an impact in the playoffs. They can’t just assume it will happen.
- Special teams are always crucial in the playoffs, and Thursday night, the Bruins just couldn’t get it done on the power play. It would have been one thing if they created a ton of chances and Price stood on his head, but that wasn’t the case.
The B’s struggled all night to set up on the man advantage and looked hesitant to shoot the few times they did. Brad Marchand had a breakaway chance on the first power play of the night and some good puck movement near the end of Boston’s third power play led to a few quality chances on the first shift after the penalty expired, but for the most part, the B’s did not make good use of their time on the man advantage.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- After a first period in which the Bruins looked a bit tentative, they stepped up and took control of the game in the second. The B’s outshot Montreal 18-6 in middle frame and had a number of strong offensive zone possessions result in scoring chances. Unfortunately for Boston, Price was always in perfect position to make the save. At the other end of the ice, the Canadiens rarely mustered any sort of attack on the Boston net. The Bruins did pretty much everything you could ask for in the second… except put the puck in the net.
- Thomas and the Bruins dodged a real bullet in the second period. With Thomas way out of his net with the B’s on the power play, Tomas Plekanec had an open net to work with but rushed en route to missing the net.
- Zdeno Chara got five shots through to Price, but B’s fans seemed to take just as much joy in seeing the captain’s slap shots hobble Habs players. Both Andrei Kostitsyn and Travis Moen were slowed after blocking shots from Chara. The B’s captain took a roughing penalty with 2:42 remaining in the third.
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