BOSTON – According to Bruins head coach Claude Julien, the book is apparently out on how to beat the defending Stanley Cup champions. As Julien pointed out after his team’s optional skate in advance of their tilt with the Ottawa Senators tonight at TD Garden, opponents have found one way to get at the Bruins is goading them into retaliatory penalties. And the Bruins have been biting in recent games, especially in their last two losses to the Canadiens.
“We're being challenged a lot more than ever now because teams know how we play, especially teams that watched us play right 'till the end; teams that have won championships- other teams like to share information to try and beat those teams,” Julien said. “So there is nothing that's hidden or that's a secret about our game anymore and the one thing that's pretty obvious and I can say publicly is that teams don't … will not engage with us right now because they're being told 'they feed off that' so we've seen that. Right now, the minute we retaliate, we're being penalized for that stuff so we have to be smarter, we have to find ways to get around that, we have to go back to playing our game and right now we're the frustrated team instead of playing our game and frustrating other teams.”
As far as Julien sees it, his team needs to be more disciplined while at the same time playing their game and maintaining a physical edge. The Bruins know the referees will call the retaliatory penalties so they need to not give in and commit them.
“It's about not getting goaded in those kind of things and right now, we have that reputation and I said that the other day after the game,” Julien said. “We have that reputation so right now, the minute we retaliate, we're in the box and whether it's right or wrong, we have to take that responsibility to be smarter and if teams are smart enough to entice us to retaliate then that's our own fault. So we just have to be more disciplined, smarter, and more focused and if we get back to playing our game and we put pucks where we want and we go after them and initiate body contact, then that's our game and eventually teams get tired of that and then they start retaliating so we just have to be a smarter team and initiate our game and the rest will come.”