- Joe McDonald, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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BOSTON -- After the Boston Bruins suffered a 1-3 record on their recent four-game road trip through Pittsburgh, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto, the Bruins are back home and will host the Maple Leafs to close out the home-and-home series tonight at TD Garden.
During Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs, the Bruins’ recent offensive struggles continued, scoring only twice on 33 shots. Defensively, Boston allowed only 13 shots, which gives coach Claude Julien a clear indication the team’s back end is doing its job.
In order to find a consistent scoring punch, Julien changed his lines during a 45-minute practice on Sunday. He replaced struggling forward Milan Lucic with Brad Marchand on the team’s top line, but the coach is not focused solely Lucic’s inability to score, which hasn’t occurred since Feb. 24.
“It’s pretty simple. When you don’t play well, you don’t look at just one guy,” Julien said Monday morning. “You don’t look at one line. You look at the whole team. Right now it’s not about one individual -- it’s about the whole team.”
When asked if the Bruins need to be play a more physical, angry game against the Maple Leafs, Julien wanted to focus on his team.
“I think we need to be angry with ourselves,” Julien said. “The Toronto Maple Leafs, this is a team that has improved. Randy’s [Carlyle] done a great job with them. They’ve added some toughness. They’ve added some size. They’ve got a certain structure that allows them to play well. There are a lot of good things going on with that team, so we recognize that.
“What is disappointing is that right now we’re not playing the type of game we should. Tonight, if we’re mad, we’ve got to be mad at ourselves for not playing our game, and going out there and being a little bit more hungry. Hopefully our work ethic and the talent we feel we have on our team will take over.”
If Julien decides to keep his lineup changes the same as Sunday’s practice, here’s what it’ll look like:
Tuukka Rask is expected to start in net.
7dJoe McDonald and Kyle Brasseur
43dKyle Brasseur, Special to ESPNBoston.com