Julien: 'When you get tired of losing, you do something about it'

Julien: 'When you get tired of losing, you do something about it'

BOSTON – It was going to take a different mindset to end the Bruins stretch of futility, and get them back in the winning direction after a season-worst losing streak.

Bruins coach Claude Julien made some minor tweaks re-inserting Jimmy Hayes back into the lineup on the fourth line, and bringing both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller back into the fold from injury problems. But the bigger change was getting the kind of desperate, determined effort from the Bruins that had been missing far too often this season, and riding it to a 4-3 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden.


It was an impressive show of resiliency for the Bruins after they blew their early lead in the second period, and watched Tuukka Rask give up a soft goal for the Tomas Tatar go-ahead score toward the end of the middle 20 minutes. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves or curling up into the hockey version of the fetal position like they did against Pittsburgh, the Bruins dusted themselves off and tied things up in the third before taking the two points in overtime.

Claude Julien said afterward that the Bruins basically refused to lose, and instead showed a desire to win up and down the entire lineup.

“There was no way that we were going to let anybody drag us down tonight. If certain guys wouldn’t have done the job, they would have been watching,” said Julien. “I think we were going to go with the guys that want to play and show what they had to do. And the guys – to a man – were out there and working hard. I think once in a while, when you get tired of losing, you do something about it. And I think tonight our guys had that determination.”

Clearly there were some standouts with Brad Marchand scoring a pair of goals including the game-tying strike in the third period on a second-effort score, and with David Pastrnak ripping a perfect one-timer past Jared Coreau for the overtime game-winner. But it was as much about those two as it was about Hayes screening the Wings goalie on Kevan Miller’s first period goal, or Ryan Spooner stepping up and paying the price in front of the net just like everybody else.

The Bruins seem to understand now they’re in a dog fight for a playoff spot, and it’s exactly the kind of tireless effort they’ll need to produce the majority of nights for the rest of the season given their situation.

“There are some games where pucks bounce our way and we are able to score goals easier, but there are not easy games. We can’t expect that from here on out,” said Brad Marchand. “You know we got to win games, and we have to expect to come to work every night and lay it all on the line and be exhausted by the end of it. Then you get back to work the next day.

“You know with that, and with the group we have in here, I think we are all willing to do that and hopefully continue to play good hockey.”

The Bruins pushed back into the playoff picture at least temporarily with the overtime win against Detroit on Tuesday night, but the trick now will be building on it rather than the inevitable slide back everybody has seen all too often from Boston this season.

Cassidy eyeing possible Bergeron return this weekend

File Photo

Cassidy eyeing possible Bergeron return this weekend

Bruins star center Patrice Bergeron has been dealing with a fractured foot injury since late February. He sustained the injury while blocking a shot in the loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Coach Bruce Cassidy is predicting a return for Bergeron this weekend against the Minnesota Wild if he is medically cleared. He will be evaluated tomorrow.

Depending on the results from the evaluation, there might not even be a need to rush Bergeron back with the Bruins clinching a playoff berth in a 2-1 OT loss to the Blues yesterday evening.

MORE BRUINS: Bruins clinch playoff berth in 2-1 OT loss to Blues​

The Bruins currently sit two games behind the Tampa Bay Lighting for first place in the Atlantic Division. Ten games currently remain on the B’s schedule with the Presidents' Trophy also hanging in the balance.

If the B’s decide to make a run for the Presidents' Trophy, Bergeron would definitely provide a boost in play in addition to leadership for the final stretch of the regular season.


Now that they're officially in, Bruins need to get healthy

Now that they're officially in, Bruins need to get healthy

Here’s what we learned from the Bruins' 2-1 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night at the Scottrade Center:

1) This team is now bona-fide playoff material. 

We knew this was coming for months after the Black and Gold went on an epic three-month hot streak that catapulted them to second place in the Atlantic Division and within a couple of wins of catching the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now that the Bruins have hit the 100-point mark and clinched the playoffs with the overtime point they got Wednesday, it’s now going to be about positioning for the postseason. That means giving all their injured players ample time to heal and be as close to 100 percent as possible and perhaps even eventually giving up on catching the Lighting for the No. 1 overall seed if it means sacrificing anything for full readiness in the postseason. But that’s a story for the first few weeks of April. On this Thursday, let’s just appreciate a Bruins team that’s clinched a playoff berth weeks ahead of time and is considered one of the odds-on favorites to go on a run this spring. Whether it’s fighting through the adversity of  injuries, getting major contributions from perhaps the best rookie class in the history of the Black and Gold or showing the heart of a champion in many, many memorable comeback wins, the Bruins have shown an “aura of greatness” this season. Not the greatness that comes along with being a longstanding dynasty, but the greatness that comes along with the promise they hold for doing great things in the Stanley Cup playoffs. This Bruins team is worth your time and interest and could very well produce the best sports experience for a Boston fan this spring. All of those bode very well for where the Bruins are headed.

2) How about that Ryan Donato? 

Two goals in two games is pretty darned good for the 21-year-old and he once again showed his nose for the net and his excellent shot while burying a puck on edge in the slot area thanks to a bad decision Alex Pietrangelo. All that being said, Donato was very quiet after that point in a heavy, physical game and didn’t do much after Dmitri Jaskin blasted him into the side boards in the second period. Clearly, Donato is courageous for a young guy and has the willingness to go to the scoring areas, but it will be instructive to see how he responds to the heavy, hard-hitting treatment he’s going to get in the NHL. As he scores and gets notoriety, there is going to be more punishment and hard hits thrown his way and it’s going to be up to him to adjust and continue to be as effective. Donato will get that chance, but he now knows it’s not going to be as easy as it looked on that first night at the Garden.

3) The Bruins could use some good health soon.

With Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, David Backes and Rick Nash among others missing from the lineup, the Bruins become a much smaller, weaker team that’s increasingly easy to pick on. That’s exactly what the Blues did after falling behind early. There were heavy St. Louis hits thrown all over the ice, including the culmination when Brayden Schenn drilled David Krejci in the corner of the rink. The Bruins never really responded to any of it and instead just kept taking hits and eventually got totally worn down in the third period and overtime when they were just hanging on for their playoff point. Certainly, they can survive in games here or there playing that way, but more Bruins are going to get hurt if opponents are allowed to simply tee off on them as they did on Wednesday night. That won’t be good for anybody associated with the Black and Gold.


*Anton Khudobin was blaming himself for the two goals allowed after the game was over, but the truth is that the Bruins wouldn’t have even got their playoff-clinching point if Khudobin hadn’t stopped a Dmitri Jaskin shot with his goalie mask in the closing seconds. Khudobin was the losing goalie, but he made the big save when the Bruins needed him on Thursday night.

*Donato scored the only goal of the night for the Bruins on a loose puck in the slot that was on edge. He now has two goals and
four points in his first two NHL games. Donato was pretty quiet after that, but how much can you really expect out of the 21-year-old at this point?

*All of the St. Louis offense was supplied by Jaden Schwartz, who beat the Bruins with a wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle in the third period and then went on a breathtaking one-man rush in OT for the game-winner. Schwartz stepped up with Vladimir Tarasenko down and injured right now.


*One shot on net for David Pastrnak in 20-plus minutes. He did alter the path of the Alex Pietrangelo clearing attempt that turned into Ryan Donato’s goal, but was otherwise quiet in a very physical game.

*Nick Holden played almost 25 minutes of ice time and blocked four shots in the absence of Boston’s top three defensemen and was, by and
large, pretty good throughout the game. But he did back off and give Schwartz way too much room to work with on the tying goal. It was also a tough line change as well, but somebody needs to step up and slow down the Blues there.

*Danton Heinen was called for slashing in the second period on a play that was literally a one-handed tap with the stick on a completely
inconsequential play. The NHL really needs to take a chill pill with these slashing calls. That one was bogus.