Consistency. This is a word that has been circulating around the Bruins and their locker room for the better part of a month now. At some point or another each and every player on the team has preached about it. Whether it was directed at wins/losses or presenting the fans with a full sixty minute effort, it remains the same. Though it isn’t for lack of trying.
The Bruins are managing to get the shots on net that they need, it’s just a matter of finding a way to cash their shots in. Through the month of February the Bruins have failed to be leading a team coming out of the first period, either being tied or behind a goal or two, thus making the second period their most important. It is in the second period that they seem to be the most inconsistent.
Take a look at Friday night’s match up against the Winnipeg Jets. There was a lot of back and forth goal scoring, but the Bruins allowed a couple careless mistakes and Little capitalized on them both. As of late the Bruins have been standing their ground in the first period allowing at mosta goal scored and have been playing with strong third period efforts. Unfortunately, these efforts are falling short of being game-changing and their defecit remains.
The Bruins didn’t have a morning practice before heading to St. Louis to prepare for their game against the Blues on Wednesday and Claude Julien doesn’t seem too concerned with that. It’s not that the effort isn’t there or the frustration, they just have to focus on being better.
In the third period of last night’s game against Minneosta Chris Kelly was centering the Lucic-Krejci line and Krejci had taken the right wing. Julien assured us that the line chage was to create more offensive opportunities and that we would most likely be starting out Wednesday with the same line-up.
“Every year we’ve gone through it, and every year we’ve gotten out of it. It’s not about assuming we’ll get out of it, it’s about working our way out of it.” (via Bruins webite)
While the Bruins have been struggling to get pucks in the back of the net, the defensive end of things is also fairly sloppy as of late. While the key word for the Bruins has seemed to change from consistency to frustration, no one illustrates the epitomy of the word than Captain Zdeno Chara. He was building an impressive resume going into the All-Star break, netting a game-winning goal at ScotiaBank Place. However, that seems like an eternity ago.
After Sunday’s matinee game Chara sported another minus-1 and was showing some wear an tear fatigue. This late in the season, a little lag is considered normal, but the way the six-foot-nine giant has been carrying himself lately seems a bit out of the ordinary. It could be the fact that in two of the last three arenas Chara has set foot in, the entire crowd has booed him. This is including a standing ovation after taking a puck to the chin and needing stitches in Montreal. Fans have a tenancy to play a big part in an athlete’s game, you take that away from him and it’s sure to mess with your head.
For the Bruins they need to focus on forgetting their frustrations with goals, or lack thereof and fans and focus on playing as a solid team with a full sixty minute effort.
“We win as a team and we lose as a team. We could all be better…that’s for sure,” said Chara. “I don’t think there’s any one thing that we can say that we’re doing well. We need to improve every aspect of our game. When we play our game its fun to play and when we don’t it’s just working hard. We’ve got to be on top of the things that work for us.”(via CSNNE.com)