WILMINGTON, MA - Following last night’s 4-3 loss to the Habs, the Bruins held an optional practice today at Ristuccia Arena, with only 15 B’s hitting the ice with the assistant coaches. Per Coach Julien, all Bruins are healthy, including Tyler Seguin, who took a hit on his side that sent him to the ice in the second period vs the Canadiens.
The nine forwards on the ice included Milan Lucic, who was only one of his line out on the ice; Bourque-Paille-Kelly-Peverley in grey; and MacDermid-Pandolfo-Campbell-Thornton in merlot. The defensemen were Chara, Boychuk, Hamilton, McQuaid and Johnson, with Anton Khudobin in goal.
While the B’s were on the ice, Coach Julien addressed the media and there was still plenty of questions from reporters surrounding last night’s loss.
While addressing the game vs Habs, Coach was also ready to move on to their next opponent, Washington, that they’ll be facing on Tuesday night in D.C.
“It’s not the end of the world that you lose a game – I know it’s against a big rival. At the same time, we need to be thinking about Washington, who’s slowly, but surely, getting better,” said Coach Julien, as B’s still remained on the ice with his assistant coaches for the optional skate.
“We want to make sure we stay in the winning column, more than the losing one. We’ve just got to be ready to bounce back.”
Coach also added what the Black & Gold can work on to improve in their next tilt.
“I think what happened last night was expected – a pretty tight game, close game like it always is against the Montreal Canadiens,” said Coach.
“I just felt, defensively, we made too many mistakes. Puck management wasn’t what it usually is and it ended up costing us some goals.”
The Bruins will look to clean up their defensive play, especially against an offensively gifted team with Alex Ovechkin up front. Though Washington hasn’t been off to the best start and has an 8-11-1 record on the season, the Caps are coming off a 3-0 shutout over the Jets on Saturday.
“Ovechkin’s been playing a little better as of late. When you got guys like [Mark] Ribeiro that’s got 9, 10 goals and [Niklas] Backstrom’s back in the lineup,” said Coach, on the Eastern rivals. “There’s a lot of firepower in the back end, there’s some firepower there. And their goaltender has been playing well for them, I think he’s got two or three shutouts now.”
“They may have had a rough start, but they’ve been playing pretty well lately, they’ve been a really good team,” said Coach. “I don’t think we’re facing a team that’s underachieving right now. I think they’re finding their way right now, so we’re going to have a tough opposition.”
Thoughts on Last Night
Coach was asked about his comments following last night’s 4-3 loss, and reiterated his thoughts on the game.
“I didn’t question their character because they play hard, they’re a good team,” Coach said of the Canadiens. “The only thing I talked about was the embellishment. It wasn’t just directed at them, it was directed at what we’re trying to clean up in the league.”
“I have a strong opinion on certain things, and I stick by it. We’re a professional league here. Basketball’s been through it and they’ve kind of cleaned that up, and I’m hoping we’re going to do the same thing with hockey.”
For more coverage following today’s practice, stay tuned to BostonBruins.com and the Bruins Mobile App for additional features.
-Caryn Switaj ^CS