Bruins need to reverse course fast

BOSTON -- Bruins captain Zdeno Chara normally keeps his postgame interviews basic and brief. What he tells reporters isn't necessarily the same message he gives his teammates behind closed doors.

But on occasion he's compelled to deviate from that philosophy, and after Saturday's ugly 4-0 loss to the Washington Capitals at TD Garden, Chara spoke his mind publicly.

"We just got embarrassed and we all have to really look at what we can start doing better and really take pride in that because a game like tonight is not acceptable," Chara said. "It's something we have to correct really fast."

With the 2014-2015 season just three games in, the Bruins are 1-2-0 and have played poorly in both losses, so Chara felt it best to express how important a strong start to the season is to Boston's success.

Chara doesn't like the team's attitude and body language, and he believes the players need to be mentally stronger and better prepared than what they've have shown so far. He wasn't making any excuses after Saturday's loss, refusing to blame the new players on the team or the fact that the Bruins have already played three games in four nights.

"There's been a few things said, but right now it's about the action, not just about the talk," Chara said. "We all know that the most important thing is to do it on the ice instead of just saying things in the room."

Chara wasn't the only veteran leader disgusted with the team's performance in the early going Saturday, especially after losing 2-1 to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena. The Bruins needed to respond versus Washington, but they showed zero desire.

"I don't think it was the bounce-back game we were looking for," said Bruins assistant captain Chris Kelly. "It's tough to put into words. We were outworked, out-battled and obviously outplayed over the course of 120 minutes, not just 60. The only positive I can think of is it's Game No. 3. Other than that, it's two poor, poor efforts."

When training camp began, Bruins management and coaching staff had more roster decisions to make this season than they've been accustomed to in recent years. For the most part, the Bruins have enjoyed consistency in their lineup and that chemistry has led to success.

The Bruins are a bit younger this season and the offensive lineup is different. Coach Claude Julien won't point fingers or place the blame on the team's inexperienced players. He says everyone in the lineup needs to be better. Still, changes should be coming.

"We certainly have to re-evaluate -- there's no doubt there," Julien said. "Guys are given chances, so when you play two games like that you have to re-evaluate and that's what we're going to do."

It also hasn't helped the Bruins' chances that top-line center David Krejci is on IR with an undisclosed injury. He skated for the first time Saturday morning since suffering the injury in the team's final preseason game a week ago. If cleared to play he'll be eligible to return to the lineup on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden.

Julien described his team as being out of sync. Without Krejci in the lineup, the coach has been forced to change his line combinations and the team's power-play unit has suffered, too. Boston went 0-for-4 on Saturday and is 1-for-10 on the season.

Getting Krejci back should settle things down a bit.

"He's definitely a big part of our team and we'll see what happens," said Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron. "He's definitely a great player. That being said, it shouldn't matter who's in the lineup, and we've got to do the job with who's in it."

Bruins fourth-line winger Bobby Robins has been the feel-good story of training camp. On Wednesday, the 32-year-old career minor league tough guy made his NHL debut and the fans love his energy. However, playing his style of game is different in the NHL than the AHL level.

Twice already this season he's been penalized and then followed it with a fight. On Saturday, his kneeing penalty at 11:18 of the first period allowed the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin to score a power-play goal that set the tone for the remainder of the game.

Robins thought when he went to finish his check on Washington's Matt Niskanen, the defenseman jumped out of the way, which forced the leg-on-leg hit.

"That's definitely not what I'm looking for," Robins said. "The refs call it pretty tight in this league and that's something I'm going to have to evolve in my game, learn from and grow and that's something I'm working on.

"It's unfortunate that put the team down and that's not my intention. My intention is to get the team up and get the team going, so it's back to the drawing board, looking at game film, learning and moving forward."

After the game, Julien said those situations would be discussed behind closed doors.

"Well, those are things a coach will deal with internally," he said. "I don't think it needs to be dealt out here. We don't want any bad penalties and he's not the only culprit. We took some bad penalties tonight, and against a team like that you can't."

Overall, the Bruins should be embarrassed. It doesn't matter that it's only the third game of the season. It shouldn't matter there are new players on the roster. All this team has talked about the last few seasons is how strong the core is and how well the chemistry works both on and off the ice.

Right now the Bruins are taking it on the chin.

"The main thing is we lost the way we lost and it's unfortunate," said Bruins forward Milan Lucic. "It seems like when we get down a goal, or two goals, we get deflated and that's not the team that we are. We're always a team that always has a lot of fight and fights its way back into situations no matter what they are, so we've got to figure it out here and hopefully after two games like that we can take this as a wake-up call and move forward."