Boston Bruins: Frustrated Bruins heading back to basics.


Dec 2, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman

Matt Greene

(2) and Boston Bruins left wing

Brad Marchand

(63) battle for the puck during first period action at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Frustration. The Boston Bruins are seriously feeling it. They played two solid games in California, both with minimal errors. Unfortunately, those minimal errors became opportunities. When you’re playing teams the caliber of the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings, those opportunities often end up as goals for your opponents. That’s what happened in Anaheim, and it happened again in Los Angeles.

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While the frustration is still there, the Bruins knew that they played some solid hockey in their first two games of the road trip.

“We had a couple of pretty good games – didn’t win, but played good hockey – and we can’t put too much pressure on ourselves, it never works out for you when you’re in a tough spell and you get really hard on yourself.” – Bruins forward Brad Marchand

The Bruins chose to hold an optional skate today.  More than half of the team showed up, including Tuukka Rask and Niklas Svedberg.  That sense of frustration fueled those players to try to do more to make opportunities happen for them. (In the case of the Kings game, Jonathan Quick was exceptional in the net.) The Bruins chose to mix it up. They went through a series of shooting drills.

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  • It’s going to back to basics. The Bruins know what they need to do, and today the practiced it. Get bodies to the net. Provide solid screens against the goaltenders. Play in the dirty areas in the attacking zone, and fight to get those garbage goals. (The last goal scored by Boston was the product of that effort.)

    “It’s obviously frustrating when you do put a good game together and you can’t score. It definitely gets frustrating, but we are getting opportunities and we have to tweak a few things in our game to start scoring goals and we will continue to work on that,” said Marchand after the optional skate. “So I think we’re going in the right direction, we’re playing good hockey and the opportunities are there and if we make those adjustments, then hopefully it will allow us to win.”

    We’ll see if that extra practice pays off when they take on the San Jose Sharks tomorrow night.