Boston Bruins: No Time To Panic

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Just a week ago, the Boston Bruins seemed to have full control of their destiny. They were second in the Atlantic, and just one point out of first. Now, after suffering three straight defeats, the Black and Gold have fallen to fourth in the league and seventh in the conference. With tonight’s tilt against the Ottawa Senators, the Bruins have a chance to stop the skid and get back on the winning track.

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Bruins bench boss Claude Julien is doing what he can to stop the bleeding. He’s moving players around. It also appears that the B’s have called up Seth Griffith (who wasn’t at P-Bruins practice this morning). But the most important thing he can do for the team and the fans is not to hit the panic button.

“The biggest thing is, we can’t make everything dramatic.  I feel that in those three losses that we’ve had, I think we’ve played pretty well in two of those three losses,” said Julien of the B’s recent three game skid. “You’re disappointed in the way the Buffalo game ended because you have the 3-1 lead, but I think we played well enough [Sunday] in Ottawa to win. Unfortunately, it’s based on results, and we didn’t get the results we wanted, so we can’t be happy. But we can’t criticize the effort of the team and what they put in there. Same thing with St. Louis [on Dec. 22]. They had just blown a 3-0 lead the night before; they came in here prepared, and it was a hard-fought game right till the end. So you’ve got to put things in perspective.”

Still, Claude Julien knows there have been challenges presented to the Bruins this season. He had to start the season against sub-par expectations. He also knew that many of the media were wondering if and when his head would be on the chopping block. Still, the Bruins bench boss has been resilient. The team has exceeded most expectations as the Bruins approach the halfway mark of the season.

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  • “It’s a long season; I said it before, you’re going to have your challenges along the way,” Julien said. “I think the [important] thing is, how do you handle those challenges? Right now, as you know, we’re being challenged because right down the middle, we’ve gotten thin all of a sudden where we used to have a lot of depth. We’re talking about Krejci, we’re talking about Kemppainen, we’re talking about Kelly. The team takes a bit of a shot when you lose that many guys, but having said that, this is an opportunity for us, again, to show some character and go in there and find ways to win hockey games and find ways to continue to compete.”

    It’s still a very tight race in the Eastern Conference. Five points separate first from sixth place in the Atlantic. The Bruins need these two points tonight. A win puts them right back where they were a week ago, one point out of first place, and one point behind Montreal. A loss sends the Bruins tumbling back even further, down to fifth place in the division and out of a playoff spot.

    “We see that the whole not just division, but conference, is really clogged up,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. “Maybe five, six points, you have six, seven teams [fighting]. So that just shows you how close it is, how every game means so much, every point. It’s a chance, like I said, for us to grab it, and make the best out of it.”

    The Bruins will do their best to grab those points as they finish off the home-and-home with the Senators tonight.