TAMPA — Bruins coach Claude Julien talked about the disappointing Game 4 collapse in Tampa today.
Julien said it wasn’t one particular thing that went wrong in today’s game.
“Well I would call it more, we just lost our focus here,” Julien said. “We played really well in the first period, not because of what the score was, but we did the right things and we kept that lead. The message was pretty clear, we had to continue to play the same way, but somehow we started getting stressed out again. They started getting speed, they started getting momentum, and after they scored a few goals it almost looked like we were paralyzed out there. We weren’t reacting, we weren’t holding, and it just snowballed from there.”
The coach was asked if passes not connecting and losing faceoffs played a part in the loss.
“Well it’s indicative, a little bit, of the type of game we played,” Julien said. “In the first period, we were doing okay on faceoffs. Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] was pretty good, and David [Krejci] had a tough night on faceoffs. I think that kind of identified the type of game he had tonight, and that wasn’t the game that we’re used to seeing David [Krejci] play. And we had some mistakes tonight that were clearly of our own doing. First goal, miscommunication, and we made some bad decisions that stretch out in the neutral zone there, and they attack with three guys with speed.
“And we didn’t have a good gap. All the things that we’ve done well the game before and in the first period of tonight was, again, kind of swept, and by the time you kind of get yourself going, a lot of damage is done. But I didn’t feel, a lot of our players, did not play their best game tonight. And we’re a team that, when we’re at our best, we win battles, and we win races, and we’re strong on the puck. From the second period on, I don’t think we spent that much time in our own end, compared to what we’re used to.”
A lack of effort and execution also played a part in the disappointing defeat according to Julien.
“A little bit of everything here,” he said. “Execution, even what Nick was talking about, simple passes didn’t seem that simple for us tonight. At times execution was certainly one of those things. And sometimes when you start feeling the pressure and those kind of things start happening and it just kind of snowballs. And you try to relax your guys and get them to execute well. And I think a lot of damage was done in that second period. And we had all intentions of coming out in the third and playing to win, but it took one mistake and they ended up scoring the winner.”
On the positive end, Patrice Bergeron’s performance was a plus for Boston.
“Bergy was good for us,” Julien said. “There’s no issues with his game and that’s the kind of player you rely on game in game out. And you hope that a lot of players take his example because that’s what we need, and that’s what we didn’t get tonight.”
More from Julien on the Game 4 loss:
On if the nature of the Lighting’s goals could have led to a let down…
“As far as in the second period? No doubt, but if you’re going to win games at this stage of the season, you certainly have to look at a sixty minute effort and it could be effort, it could be focus, whatever you ant to call it. And I don’t think we had the focus tonight for sixty minutes because the second period clearly showed that.”
On if Tomas Kaberle tried to come off the ice after blocking a shot prior to Simon Gagne’s goal…
“Well I haven’t had a really good chance to have a look at it, I can’t really answer you right now. There are a lot of things going through my mind a that time, getting ready for the next line change. And obviously that puck probably shouldn’t have gone through the middle at that point and it got intercepted. And we got guys heading up the ice and all of a sudden it’s turned over and you’re putting on the breaks and coming back against the grain here. It’s not something that we encourage our players to do, that’s for sure.”
On if David Krejci’s performance had anything to do with getting hit last game…
“No, no at all. Even his line after two periods had no shots on net. They ended up with two shots in the third period, but there is more than David [Krejci] on that line. I think it was a tough night for their line tonight and we know what impact they have for our hockey club when they are one and tonight was a tough night for that line.”