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Sunday, October 30, 2011
Players defend Julien, redirect blame

By James Murphy

MONTREAL -- The losses are starting to mount for the last-place Bruins. The defending Stanley Cup champions, with their 4-2 loss at the Bell Centre on Saturday night, were swept in a home-and-home set with the Canadiens and have now lost three straight, falling to 3-7-0 and sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and the Northeast Division. But having just led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup championship, could head coach Claude Julien actually be on the hot seat already for his team’s dismal start?

Well, that was the chatter around the press box at the Bell Centre and among some NHL scouts and league executives in attendance. But as far as Bruins players are concerned, the idea of Julien's job being in jeopardy is simply ludicrous.

“In those kind of situations I try not to read or listen to any stuff that’s being written or said because it’s tough and it’s everywhere,” defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said. “But in order to get rid of it, we just have to play better and execute better than we have the last few games.

“It’s us on the ice. We don’t do the right things, we don’t play the way we’re supposed to,” Seidenberg said. “Really, it’s not what he does, it’s what we do on the ice. It’s tough to hear that.”

But Seidenberg can understand the frustration of fans and the chatter amongst the media. He realizes that while a Stanley Cup hangover was expected, by no means did anyone think it would be this bad.

“Honestly, this is so frustrating,” Seidenberg said. “I don’t know. It’s like we can’t buy a break right now and we just keep getting deeper. We need to turn this around.”

That frustration is translating into a lack of discipline on the ice, and Brad Marchand -- a player that is depended upon to agitate the opponent without putting his team in jeopardy -- knows that he and his teammates are letting this bad start get the best of them.

“We can’t be retaliating,” Marchand said. “We can’t let those little shots get to us, we have to be able to take it and hurt them on the scoreboard. We know what we have to do, we’re just not doing it. We have to be better. Every loss is the same and it’s a bad feeling. It doesn’t matter who it’s to, we just have to stop doing what we’re doing. We all want to win.”

As for the Julien talk, Marchand agreed with Seidenberg that the players are to blame and can silence any criticism of their coach by getting their act together.

“We’re not worried about that, we’re just worried about each game and I guess we’ll just deal with that when it comes,” Marchand said. “We know that comes from not winning and if we win there won’t be that talk.”