Kukla's Korner Hockey
by pcoffey on 06/06/11 at 11:55 AM ET
The Vancouver Canucks have held serve, that’s all, winning the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.
That needs to be the Boston Bruins’ mantra heading into Game 3 Monday night in Boston.
But that being said, the pressure is squarely on the Bruins’ collective back now. A home loss in Game 3 or 4 conjures up talk of the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and no team wants to discuss coming back from the dreaded 1-3 deficit.
Truth be told, the Bruins lost two one-goal games on the road, which is hardly reason for panic. But how Game 2 ended makes it a bitter pill for the Bruins, with their top two players, Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara, making crushing mistakes that allowed the Canucks to net the OT winner before many in attendance had settled into their seats at Rogers Centre.
Another point the Bruins must address immediately is the Canucks’ ability to swarm their end and dictate the action in the third period. Playing on your heels takes away breakout plays, good passing, is exhausting, and the chance to win.
“I don’t know if it’s them taking over in the third period,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “I think our team certainly has to be better with our puck management, our decision making. We need to play a little bit more like we did in the second period. We’re capable of doing that.”
That capability needs to emerge now.
“In the last two games here, we’ve lost by one goal and still I don’t think we’ve played the way we can,” Julien said. “We’re a better team than we’ve shown. We got to go back home and start showing that and get ourselves back in this series.”
The Bruins have precious little choice in the matter. Drop Monday’s game and for all intents and purposes, you’re done. Talk of the ‘42 Leafs or any other comeback team just illustrates the desperation of the situation.
“We’ve been able to bounce back before,” Julien said. “We’ve gone through the experience of being down 2-0 against Montréal, probably even worse because we lost to them at home. So it’s probably a better team here, absolutely a team that makes it to the final is a better team. It doesn’t change the fact that we’ve been through it. We didn’t come here just to roll over.
“I don’t think there’s any reason here to not be positive,” Julien said. “You don’t get this far, guys, and all of a sudden hang your head. They had home-ice advantage, won their first two home games. We got to go back home and do the same. One game at a time, as you hear always.We win the first game, it builds up momentum, and you get yourself back in the series.
“It’s not the end of the world here, guys. We lost the game, but we’re a better team than that, and we’re a team that’s bounced back all through the season.
I don’t see an issue here.”
Very true. Heading into Game 3, the Canucks have held serve. Now, the Bruins need to volley back.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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