BOSTON -- The Bruins have taken 66 shots on net through two games of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series with the Montreal Canadiens and have only one goal to show for it. While Carey Price has certainly been rock solid in net, one has to wonder what the outcomes of Games 1 and 2 would have been if more of the 46 shots that the Habs have blocked so far had reached Price.
The Canadiens' collapsing system and commitment to it has worked to perfection thus far, and the Bruins head to Montreal down 2-0 in the series and trying to figure out how to get more shots through the wall of bleu, blanc et rouge and commit fewer turnovers.
“We still got 36 and they blocked quite a few,” Julien said of his team’s shots on net in a 3-1 loss in Game 2. “And some teams do that. You have to give them credit for blocking shots. We’re certainly attempting them, and you say, well, you have to get them through. Well, we got 36 of them through. It’s still pretty good when you look at the average of shots per game.
"But having said that, we still have to score some goals and we have to get better. We still need to get better around the net and [Saturday] we scored one goal and it certainly wasn’t enough for our hockey club. We need to score more goals and maybe that will come when the rest of our game gets better. And that’s our execution and our decision-making.”
Defenseman Johnny Boychuk thinks he knows what he and his teammates need to do to get the puck through.
“Just get in the shooting lane and anticipate where the first guy is and the second guy is going to be right to the side of him. Things like that,” Boychuk said.
But as Julien noted Sunday afternoon, the Bruins need to execute and cut down on turnovers to crack the Habs’ system.
“It’s about making the right decisions,” Julien said. “We executed better in [Game 2] than we have so far, but at the same time they’ve also elevated their game. When you’re down 2-0, you take the responsibility that comes with your team but you don’t ignore that the other team is doing good things.
"The amount of shots that we’ve had, the amount of time in their zone, but the inability to score is something we have to correct. But they are really doing a good job of collapsing and keeping everything we have away from their goaltender, and when they need the goaltender to make the save, he’s there. It’s indicative in the scoring chances and indicative in the shots that we’ve had, but we have to find solutions.
"But on the other end of it, we can’t keep pushing ourselves out of the game early like we’ve done so far in both games. You give up early goals and you see how they play; it’s always a tough task to get back in games so we've got to get better in those areas.”
Julien isn’t concerned about stats and he knows his team can be better.
“We have to play better and it’s pretty obvious that we’re a better team than we’ve shown,” Julien said. “It doesn’t matter how many things look good on paper and everything else. It doesn’t matter at this stage of the year. It’s not about the number of scoring chances, it’s not about the number of shots. It’s not about the number of faceoffs that we’ve won. At the end of the day, it’s the outcome that matters and that’s what we've got to focus on, making sure that the outcome is in our favor. Confidence is a big part of it and we have to have that confidence that we can go out there and play our game and be a better team than we have shown.”