WILMINGTON — Clocks turned ahead, the Bruins hit the ice at Ristuccia Arena Sunday morning for practice following an impressive 3-0 shutout over the Flyers that coach Claude Julien called “one of our most solid games in a long time.”
Julien was sarcastically thrilled to get his second chance in three days to hold a “full practice,” saying, “I never realized these 30-minute things are full practices.”
But they have allowed the Bruins to work out some kinks, particularly with two straight losses earlier this week. Following a 4-3 overtime loss to Washington on Tuesday, Julien wanted to see a better transition. After some practice, the transition offense against the Flyers in Saturday’s 3-0 win was much-improved.
“You should never underestimate a good practice,” Julien said. “And we’ve had a couple of those.”
Sunday morning, the Bruins worked more on neutral zone transition, but added some power play into the mix. While they’ve only scored 11 goals with the extra man this season, tied for second-to-last in the NHL, they’ve only had 68 opportunities, less than every team in the league except the Ducks, who have had 65. Still, a 16.8 conversion percentage isn’t something coaches like to see. Twenty percent is a common benchmark for a successful power play.
“It’s not an easy climb up,” Julien said.
Dennis Seidenberg continued to work the point, but Julien said that wouldn’t always be the case. For one, Julien thinks Seidenberg’s shooting has been inconsistent. Secondly, opposing teams often send their top lines to the ice immediately following a power play, and if Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara have been skating for two minutes with the extra man, they’ll have no legs to defend their opponents’ top scoring threats.
A few other notes and quotes:
- Jordan Caron spoke to reporters a day after posting an assist in his season debut and said he felt no pressure taking Chris Bourque’s spot on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverly. Caron received more positive reviews around the locker room. “I thought Jordy played extremely well,” Kelly said Sunday. “He got in the forecheck. He moved the puck well. He skated well. He was good in his own end. He made a nice pass on the goal. But he also did a lot of little things that helped us throughout the course of the night.”
- Julien was asked if this Bruins team is an easy one to coach. “I’m going to tell you I don’t think there are any easy teams to coach.”
- A week after Julien called out the Montreal Canadians for embellishing, Canadians forward David Desharnais was whistled for a diving penalty during a 4-3 win over the Lightning Saturday night. Martin St. Louis got his stick tied up with Desharnais and was about to be called for hooking. Then Desharnais took it further, skating a few strides before falling backward on his own. Julien said last week, “This is embarrassing for our game, the embellishing. Right now, [the Canadians] got over 100 power plays so far. It’s pretty obvious why. We’re trying to clean that out of our game. It’s got to be done soon.”
- The Bruins hit the road for a game against Ottawa (13-8-4) on Monday night before taking on the Penguins (17-8-0) in Pittsburgh Tuesday. “Pittsburgh – it seems every line they put out is a great line,” Kelly said. “But you have to look at Ottawa first. If you start looking at Pittsburgh and forget about Ottawa, it’ll be a long night in that arena.”