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Bruins will try more to block Ward's view

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The Carolina Hurricanes spent the better part of the opening playoff series against the New Jersey Devils focused on sending bodies to the net in an attempt to rattle goalie Martin Brodeur.

The Boston Bruins figure the way to discombobulate Carolina goaltender Cam Ward is to do as the Hurricanes did to Brodeur. Ward had 36 saves in Sunday’s 3-0 shutout in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup semifinals.

The Bruins will try to send more traffic in front of the net in hopes of screening Ward and being there for rebound chances. At Wednesday’s practice, they spent time on shooting drills, firing off one-timers in front of an empty net.

“That’s just one game of playing against them, one game,” said Boston defenseman Aaron Ward. “He saw every shot. It’s just Hockey 101. If you don’t have a net presence, you don’t have an opportunity to bang home rebounds and you don’t have an opportunity to disrupt the flow of the goalie and his feel for the game.”

Boston coach Claude Julien said it’s a matter of determination.

“Every team has that philosophy, whether it’s our series, another series, we always want to do that,” said Julien. “Now, how determined, how willing you are to do that, and how willing and determined the other team is to make it hard on you is normally what kind of dictates what’s going to happen.”

Ward, the Boston defender, agreed.

“I think it was self inflicted,” he said. “I think we lacked determination. Once we were engaged in a battle up front, we didn’t roll off picks, we didn’t roll of physical play. It takes a little more. And you know what, if you can engage a guy in front of the goalie, that’s now two people. He’s got to battle his defenseman plus you to get a view.”

Boston center David Krejci, who scored three goals and had four assists against the Hurricanes in the regular season, said the Bruins have just gotten away from themselves against Carolina.

“What we did all season is something we didn’t show the first two games, that’s for sure,” said Krejci, who called Ward one of the top four goaltenders in the NHL. “If you want to beat him, you have to make sure he doesn’t see those shots.”

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Boston tried

But they couldn't do it !! And The big & slow Boston Captain can be beaten. How ? Instead of trying to go around him...pass the puck close to him so he can't pull his stick in close enough to use it to block passes as well as aim for his feet...we have seen and while he is a good skater...he has as much grace as a club footed water buffalo...that way you take him out of the equation...but also double teaming him with 2 players fore checking and slamming him to the glass isn't a bad idea either...use his strengths against him...and keep those line shuffled as the bruins can't seem to compensate as our 4th line is out skating theirs.

Go Canes !!

One thing they did in Game 2

was put Chara in front of the net. It was at the end of the game and done out of desperation, but can you imagine how hard it would be to clear him out? It would take 2 guys on hiim, and that would open up a ton of ice for other skaters. Not to mention the possibility of him drawing penalties as peolpe crosscheck his knees trying to clear him out. Scary to think if they try to employ that tactic more often...

If the Bruins are focused tonight on getting in front of Ward it puts that much more emphasis on finishing your checks along the boards and controling the neutral zone. Don't let'em even get to the net. Backcheck, backcheck, backcheck! Forwards HAVE to maintain defensive zone responsibility so the D can keep the crease clean of any bear droppings...

Only 3 hours to go!!!

Yo Hickman

Chara is nearly always down in front of the net on the PP. It's been like this all year. You'll see him at the point. He'll make a D to D pass (usually to Bergy, who's manning the other point position). Then Chara will make a B-Line for the net, usually looking for a feed for a back door play. But when that doesn't work, he just backs into the front of the net.

And you can't move him.

It's a smart move,

although I guess it is bittersweet to take that big shot off the point. I guess as bad as the Bruins beat us in the regular season, I hadn't noticed them doing that. I thought is was a desperation thing.

1 hour and 14 minutes...Sharkie-just wait and see how crazy the RBC is tonight. It really is amazing how our fans electrify our building. GO CANES!!! 

Haven't watched

Ok gotcha, so their rotating him from the point to the front of the net and back. Hey troller, I'm relocated Canadian and have been nothing but cordial towards you and your fans. If this is how you'd like to represent you fan base feel free - ask Buffalo fans how it worked out for them in '06

No Canada...My Home and whatever whatever

No. He usually stays down in front of the net once he gets there. Look for him skating in on the backdoor attempt. He had maybe 3-4 goals this year doing that. But when he misses, obviously one of the forwards rotates back to the point when he goes in deep.

Right

That's how I figured they were using him, he's a beast and has to be hard to move in front of net. He's come a long way since his days on the Island.

Sounds Good

If they want to take the hardest shot in NHL off the point to screen Cam Ward have at it, he's also a pretty big target to shoot around and I'm not sure how effective he'll be at tipping pucks. Other teams have tried with little success - Edmonton Oilers did it with Pronger and I've seen Anaheim do it with Parros. We should be aware of what they're doing and make necessary adjustments, but not let it dictate our game.

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About the blogger

Javier Serna has covered sports for The News & Observer since 2007. He previously covered growth for the North Raleigh News, and sports at The Truth in Elkhart, Ind. E-mail Javier.
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