B's must raise game vs. East-leading Flyers

December, 16, 2011
12/16/11
6:51
PM ET
The Boston Bruins will be in the City of Brotherly Love on Saturday afternoon to take on the Flyers, who have won seven straight games and lead the Bruins by two points for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

[+] EnlargeTim Thomas, Tuukka Rask
Travis Golby/Getty ImagesThe Bruins have been asking an awful lot lately from goalies Tim Thomas, left, and Tuukka Rask, right.
While the Bruins have won three straight games, they're not satisfied with their game of late. They have allowed 40-plus shots in all three wins and know that they can't continue to depend so heavily on goalies Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas -- regardless of how good both have been.

"Both games, we were bailed out by our goalies," winger Brad Marchand told Boston.com. "We wouldn't have won without them. We weren't tight defensively. We were letting teams walk through."

While the Bruins didn't have the services of captain Zdeno Chara (lower-body injury) for the past two games, they know his absence wasn't the sole reason for the amount of rubber they've let reach their goalies.

"Z's not that good that he's going to cut down the shots against by 25-28 shots," Boston coach Claude Julien told the media following his team's 5-2 win Wednesday at Ottawa. "We're certainly a much better team. He plays big minutes against big players. But right now, we just have to look at our game. It has nothing to do with Z more than it has to do with every one of our players right now letting their game slip a little bit and not being at the top of it."

The 6-foot-9, 255-pound Chara skated through a full practice with contact Friday and will be a game-time decision Saturday.

The Flyers will be without captain and defensive stalwart Chris Pronger for the rest of the season due to post-concussion syndrome.

The Bruins are focusing on getting back to their defensive fundamentals.

"The foundation of our game is a strong system," defenseman Andrew Ference said. "With that strong system, which is something going back almost four years that we've tried to build, is our work ethic. On most nights, it's unmatched by other teams. That used to win us games by itself -- not our skill or a super-tight system. We've seen that reversed the last couple nights."

James Murphy

Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?