Sunday, April 15, 2012
Bruins intent on improving their offense
By James Murphy
Bruins winger Milan Lucic hopes to get back on track in Game 3 in Washington.
BOSTON -- There's no doubt about it: The Boston Bruins know they have been outmuscled and outworked in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals versus the Washington Capitals.
There are no excuses coming from the Bruins dressing room as the series heads to Washington for Games 3 and 4.
“Especially after being the second-highest scoring team in the league and only getting two goals in two games is obviously something that we're not happy with,” winger Milan Lucic said Sunday before his team departed for Washington. “Especially our top two lines, we got to be better, all of us, especially myself. We have to create opportunities in the offensive zone and we got to take it upon ourselves to be better."
The Bruins know they have find a way to get pucks through the Capitals’ defense, which has blocked 49 shots in two games. Capitals goalie Braden Holtby has stopped 72 of 74 shots.
One of the biggest problems for the Bruins thus far has been a lack of a net-front presence, but coach Claude Julien cautioned against overcompensating.
“It’s a double-edged sword. We talk about net-front presence and too much of it is not better,” Julien said. “Sometimes we had too much of it which, they are really covering us well, and when you have about five bodies in front of the net [it’s] pretty hard to get a puck through. So there’s a little bit of everything here that I talked about. You’ve got to have net-front presence at the right time and you’ve got to be able to make some plays in the area. We give them credit, they’re doing a good job of really protecting the front of the net and protecting their goaltender and trying to minimize the shots getting through. We’re going to make some adjustments here to try and rectify that.”
While the Bruins would rather be heading into Game 3 up two games to none, at least they’re not down 2-0 in the series, as they were twice in their 2011 Stanley Cup run. It’s certainly not too late to turn things around.
“The good thing is it’s still 1-1, there’s a lot of hockey left to play in this series and it’s up to us to kind of kick it into gear and find ways to battle through their tight defensive checking,” Lucic said. “That’s something that’s a mindset that we want to win those battles and we’re going to come out with the puck and when we get it we are going to make good strong plays and make the most of it.”