Bruins Hit Road Looking to Get Game Back on Track
written by Nathan Simpson
Tonight the Boston Bruins embark on the first of a four-game road trip, travelling to the hockey hotbed of Raleigh, NC to take on the Carolina Hurricanes
née the Hartford Whalers. Ordinarily, most Bruins fans would likely be excited to resume hostilities in what was once the battle of New England. However, the majority of New Englanders will be (understandably) focused on tonight’s Patriots/Broncos playoff game, which admittedly carries a little more weight than game 41 of the NHL regular season. But while the Pats are busy making a Denver omelette out of Tebow Time, the B’s will be looking to cook up a little revenge for two early season losses to the ‘Canes. And for Bruins Coach Claude Julien, tonight’s matchup also offers an opportunity to clean up some aspects of his team’s game which, despite their continued success, he feels have become increasingly sloppy since the New Year. Coming off a successful four-game home stand that saw Boston go 3-1, Julien called out his team for its recent laissez-faire game play. When asked about his team’s on ice performance of late, Julien responded “Can't say I'm pleased with the way we've been playing lately” adding that “You can't just be happy with wins. You've got to be happy with the way you play.” Boston has been resting too heavily on their laurels as of late, and though they continue to win, they want to avoid building bad habits. The players know they need to get back to the level of hard work and execution that made them so successful during November and December. Defenseman Denis Seidenberg summed it up best saying “When you win a lot of games you become sloppy, complacent sometimes. Our goal is to get back what made us play solid games and just be smarter out there.” In the NHL, winning doesn’t come easy. Even a team like Carolina, who sit a single point out of dead last in the Eastern Conference and will be without the services of last year’s Calder winner Jeff Skinner, are no pushover. The Hurricanes are 4-1-1 over their last six home games and will be motivated by their early season success against the Stanley Cup champs. For Boston, who plays six of their next seven on the road, the key is to get back to putting in a solid 60 minute effort night in and night out. “We have to be better tonight,” said Julien. “We hope our game gets better, that’s our focus.”