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Bruins talk following loss

Posted by Gregory Lee Jr. Globe Staff  April 14, 2012 08:10 PM

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The Bruins talk about their Game 2 loss to the Capitals Saturday that tied the quarterfinal series at 1-1.

BRUINS COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
On what the team needs to do to score more goals...
Well, I think obviously we can be better with our offensive game, and, you know, [the Capitals] just sit back. They play a patient game. They sit back, and they get into their 1-4, and if you want to get cute in the neutral zone, then you’re not getting pucks in, but it took us two periods to get ourselves going and get some more opportunities, and instead of using our outside speed and everything else, we just kind of made it easy on them. And, you know, at this stage of the year, you would like to see more net-front traffic, and you would like to see that puck going to the net a little bit more with guys heading in that direction, and we don’t have a good enough commitment in that area right now to win hockey games.

On the amount of wide shots the team took...
Well sometimes you have to shoot wide to avoid the shot being blocked, and at the same time, you have some guys on the side of the net, too, to tip those pucks in, so it’s all part of the tactics. Whether it happens or not, that’s the goal.

On Benoit Pouliot’s game...
I think Ben’s been playing probably his best hockey since he’s been here. They like his grittiness, and hopefully that can be contagious with some of our other guys right now, and that’s what we need from everybody. He’s working hard, he’s going to the net. Great pass last game for the winning goal, and great effort to jump on that loose puck to tie the game and force it into overtime. We need more of that from a lot of other players.

On if he’s satisfied with the team’s defense...
Well, if you talk to both teams, that’s what it would be. Not just us, but there’s not a ton of offensive chances happening from both sides, so I’m sure both teams are happy with the defensive part of the game, but somehow, if you’re going to win hockey games, we’ve got to create some offense, and right now, as I mentioned earlier, if we don’t get guys wanting to go to the front of the net and drive the net, and probably a little better on the battles along the walls, too. We’ve got guys that we expect to be better in the battles, and right now, they’re not good enough.

On the Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Brian Rolston line “attacking” the game the right way...
They are, and so is our fourth line. They’re putting pucks at the net, and they’re going to the net. Some of the other guys or lines are trying to be a little too cute, and it ends up with, at the end of it, it ends up with nothing. Nothing to show for it. So, need to be a little bit more of a gritty team determined to, like I said, go to the dirty areas, win the battles, because as you can see after two games, that’s what it’s going to be. It’s going to be a matter of winning battles, whether it’s the [Alex] Ovechkins and those guys against the Zdeno [Chara] and the [Dennis] Seidenbergs, or whether it’s our forwards and [Milan] Lucics against their Ds and other guys, so we just need to be a little bit better than they are at winning battles and creating and scoring goals. The proof is the overtime goal: We win the drop, they outmuscle us to the puck, and they get a second effort to make a pass in the right area, and they score a goal. So we lost that battle and we lost the game.

On if the team wasn’t physical enough…
Well, you’ve got to create those chances, and as I mentioned earlier, if you turn pucks over in the neutral zone or you’re not establishing a good forecheck, it’s pretty hard to hit. Most of the hitting happens from the forecheck and going after those guys. So we didn’t do a good enough job there, but at the same time, the physical part that he’s talking about is that one about battles and winning battles. Physically, we got outmuscled in front of their net and even along the walls, so we’ve got to be better physically in those areas as well. It’s not just about hitting but about winning those battles in those crucial areas.


On if the team has to drive to the net to get Braden Holtby “off his game”…
This is something that doesn’t work just for one goaltender. That works for any goaltender in this league. What they can’t see, they can’t stop, and our game plan would be the same against any other team, and right now, like I said, it’s just not happening enough, and he’s seeing a lot of pucks. I’m certainly not discrediting him because he’s played well. He’s made some big saves when he had to, but we certainly haven’t made his life as miserable as much as we can when we’re at the top of our game.

On the Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin line having a lot of chances but not capitalizing…
I’m not sure that they had a ton of chances. I think that line can also be better, and I know that Marchand had a great opportunity there in the slot, and, you know, I thought he could have scored on that one and was a little frustrated coming back to the bench. That was probably one of their best chances, but I think we can still be better in those areas. Those lines are capable of creating more, and obviously we’re not creating enough because we’re not scoring enough. So we need to be, like I said, better overall as a team, and finding ways to score goals so it’s not just about our one line.

On if battling through the physical play will create “time and space” for the team…
You’ve got to battle for your space. It’s not there, so you’ve got to find it. Doesn’t mean you’re going to have more of it, but you’ll probably be in a better position, and the problem right now is that we’re not battling through those to get in the right position. So their goaltender is seeing a lot because their Ds are pushing us to the outside, and we’re letting them do that to us. We’re not fighting to make his view of the shot tougher, and that’s what we’ve got to get better at. It’s as simple as that, and sometimes we don’t have a play, and instead of throwing it at the net and the guys going to the net for rebounds or loose pucks, we’re forcing plays that just get cut off, and they’re gone back on the attack the other way. Those are the broken plays that are costing us a lot and cost us the game tonight.

On why he thinks teams can play really well then suddenly stop doing the little things…
I guess the best way to answer that is we did the same thing last year. We had some games that we should have been better, and we lost, and at the end of the day, you look at the series, and did we win the series or not? And that’s what we’re going to do again this year. You know, we weren’t good enough tonight, and that’s why they won. We’ve got to be better next game, hopefully win, and at the end of the series, well, we can decide whether we were a good enough team or not, but I’m certainly not going to analyze our team on one game. I’ll make sure I analyze them on the whole series, and when it’s all said and done, we can probably answer that a little bit better.


BRUINS GOALTENDER TIM THOMAS
On Washington’s first goal…
When I figured out where it was, two things. First, pucks like that, normally you put the paddle of your stick behind it and cover it. But then I realized I couldn’t without jamming Zans [Greg Zanon] in the face. And then the other thing was, you don’t like to cover it with the stick underneath, because you can’t trap it all the way. So I waited just a half a second for his hand to clear. I didn’t even know that [Troy] Brouwer was over there. I didn’t even see the stick. I never saw that live, out of any of my vision. I never saw the stick come in and hit it.

On if he thought he had a chance to cover the puck right before Brouwer’s goal…
I couldn’t cover it. The stick would’ve been there, then it would’ve ended up being the same. You know what I mean?

On what he saw on Washington’s winning goal…
I just had time to yell ‘screen’ and then I think I picked it up about halfway to me, but it was one of those knuckle [shots]. You can’t get a read on exactly where it’s going. It is what it was.

On both teams playing defensive hockey so far in this series…
We’re playing a pretty good defensive game. We [nned to] find ways to generate more offense without sort of giving up anything defensively. It’s better than starting down two-zero like last year. You’ve got to take whatever positives you can out of situations like this.

On neither team having a lot of skating space…
We’re going to have to get some ugly goals. The screens, tips, rebounds kind of deal. And it’s hard because they’re blocking a lot of shots, but we’ve got to figure out a way to get it done.

BRUINS FORWARD BENOIT POULIOT
On his line and their play in the past two games…
I think the first game went pretty well for our line and today was the same thing, but just got to score a little more.

On scoring goals when there isn’t a lot of offensive space…
They always have four or five guys that are in the neutral zone; it’s tough to get in their zone. One thing we didn’t really do that well today is put the puck deep and work in their end but we’ll figure it out next game.

On his goal …
I think he [goalie Braden Holtby] tried to pokecheck, too, at the same time and I took a whack at it and it ended up in the net. So, like I said, sometimes just put the puck or whack at it – you never know what’s going to happen and it ended up pretty good.

On playing with traffic in front of the net…
Well we need more. I think we’ve some of the biggest guys in the league on our team and we’re a big team. Any goalie, I think, who’s got traffic in front of him it’s always tough to stop a puck so we’ve just got to do that the next couple of games.

On Holtby’s play in the last two games…
He looks comfortable. You got to give him credit, we got a lot of chances and we just didn’t – he’s playing well. We’ve just got to bear down a little bit better and we’ll be fine.

On what the team will discuss in the locker room heading into Game 3…
I’m sure we’ll talk about a lot of stuff, but we’ve just got to get back to what we’re good at. I think score a little more but at the same time just use our size, use our strength. Like I said earlier we’re a big team and if we can do that and play in our zone we’ll be fine.

On the physicality of Game 2 compared with the opener…
I don’t really know actually. The first game we had a lot of hits, yeah, but today’s a little different maybe.

BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On winning the last draw and if he thought the puck was in the right place…
Yeah, I mean I think so. I think it’s just one of those plays the puck was bouncing and they found it before we did. It’s all right. It’s unfortunate and I was trying to stay with winning the draw there and obviously it’s an unfortunate bounce and it’s a tough loss, but it’s playoff hockey and we got to go back and think about Game 3.

On if he thinks the teams will need some ugly goals to win the series…
Yeah, I mean I think it’s fair to say. It’s been very tight hockey, it’s been playoff hockey and it’s about us finding ways to create some more chances and find a way to get the puck in the net.


On the number of blocked shots Washington has had in first two games…
We’re trying to put the puck on net. They’re doing a good job of blocking it – we have to be better at finding that seam, finding that hole to put it there and create some rebounds and stuff like that.

On Washington goalie Braden Holtby’s play…
He’s done a good job, but that being said it’s about us making his job harder and tougher and screening him more and finding the puck for the rebounds and the ugly goals.

On if he was encouraged that all the new guys (Zanon, Corvo, Pouliot, Rolston) were on the ice to tie the game…
Yeah, they’re playing well. It was a great, textbook example of going to the net by Pou [Benoit Pouliot] and he found a way to get that bounce and we need more of that. Yeah, they’re doing a great job.

On what the team has to better to bury the rebounds…
Yeah, it’s about getting there, getting into I guess the dirty area, getting in front of the net, screening him – making his job harder than it is right now and you know he’s making some good saves, but still I think we can be better and make it harder for him.


BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA
On what he saw on the ice on the winning goal…
I don’t know, it was kind of like a scrum after the faceoff, and then [Nicklas] Backstrom ended up with the puck on the half wall and shot it at the net and it went in.

On what Washington has done effectively…
Well, I think they were skating better than we were, at least the first half of the game. But yeah, it was a close game. I thought we created some good chances but didn’t put it in and it came down to obviously one shot in overtime.

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