RALEIGH — The Boston Bruins didn’t get off totally scott free yesterday when head coach Claude Julien called off practice and all player availability for the media. The players were still required to watch some video of their Game 3 loss to Carolina Wednesday night that put them behind 2-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Upon reviewing the game, Julien’s impressions were mostly the same.
“To be honest with you, and you’re going to say well look at the shots against and look at the game, we started things off well. We didn’t complete them well,” he said today after his team’s morning skate in preparation for Game 4 of the series at RBC Center. “Certainly, that didn’t bode well for us. But we have to finish our plays, we have to continue with our plays and not have those breakdowns that we had. And that’s what we have to do a little better tonight.
“As far as saying, ‘well, they wanted it more than we did.’ I don’t think inside the players are feeling like they’re not giving the effort. But when you don’t work properly, it certainly looks that way. And that’s what we have to do. If we start making better decisions, start playing our game a lot better, our efforts won’t be questioned as much.”
Other than the video work, the Bruins had the day to whatever they wanted and unwind. Defenseman Aaron Ward even got to stop by his home in Cary to spend time with the kids and take care of some things. Defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Wideman both agreed with the coach’s decision to let his team take the edge off.
“Now is not the time that you need to be out there practicing a lot,” said Wideman. “It’s a long playoff series, a long playoffs, and you need to stay fresh.”
Added Chara: “I think that yesterday was a good day for that. You have to pick your days, obviously, and make decisions. But I think it was a good day to stay away from the rink and just relax and clear our minds and not worry about any meetings or any stuff like that. Just really enjoy the day off and get ready for today.”
Julien said yesterday that regardless of tonight’s outcome he made the right decision. But the choice will be judged by what it says on the scoreboard after Game 4.