BOSTON (CBS) – After a 3-6 start to the season, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins find themselves in a place they never thought possible: dead last in the Eastern Conference.
“I don’t know if I imagined any of that stuff right now. I’d probably get nightmares thinking about how we’re playing right now more than anything else,” said head coach Claude Julien after a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night. “It’s more about our team right now. I don’t care where we are in the standings. What I care about is how we play, and right now, we’re not playing at all to the level we should be.”
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The Bruins are the first defending Stanley Cup Champ to be in last place off their Conference through games of Oct. 27 during the expansion era.
“We obviously have to work through it and find a way,” said forward Patrice Bergon, who was credited for the Bruins only goal on the evening. “It’s one thing to realize that and see that we’re right there, but that’s not good enough. Right now it’s about finding answers and not getting frustrated and down on ourselves. We’re character guys in here and we have to show it.”
“In the record we’re getting too far off, but as far as our game I don’t think we’re too far off. The margin of error is very small,” said goaltender Tim Thomas. “It’s something we’re working on addressing daily. We realize we need to start putting wins in the win column. We’re going to try our best to make that happen.”
The main reason the Bruins find themselves in the Eastern Conference basement Friday morning is their inability to score. They got one puck by Habs netminder Cary Price, and that was off the stick of his own teammate, Tomas Plekanec.
But the Bruins head coach says the problem is far deeper than not taking advantage of scoring chances.
“I need to look further than just missed opportunities. If we want excuses, they’re out there for us, and the one thing it won’t do for us is get us going in the right direction,” said Julien. “I think what we have to look at is, what is the issue. Yes, we’re not scoring, that’s certainly one of them, but it’s only part of the problem right now. The execution is not there. We’re not moving the puck from the back end to the front end and making plays like we know we can, so there’s more to the issue than just not scoring enough.”
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“The inability to focus for 60 minutes is pretty obvious and apparent,” he said. “When you play the way you do the first period and seem to be heading in the right direction, then come out in the second period and play that way, it certainly shows a lack of focus, and what that translated to was a lack of execution. It just kind of follows suit, and your game gets worse and worse. That’s what we’re going through right now.”
“Unfortunately, we’re not sitting here looking at one or two players you can move around. You’re looking at the majority of the team. That’s where the issue is, and this is what we have to find a way to correct,” said Julien.
The Bruins will get another shot at the Canadiens Saturday night in Montreal.
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