Can the Penguins break through Boston’s ‘easy’ system?

21 Comments

It may be tough to beat, but if you ask Claude Julien, the Bruins’ defensive system isn’t complicated.

“It really isn’t,” Boston’s head coach said this morning. “What we try and do is eliminate the gray areas, make it black and white, and it really is easy.

“This game shouldn’t be a complicated one.”

Not that Julien was willing to go into specifics. He’ll leave that to the Penguins to try and figure out tonight in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals at TD Garden.

So far, the high-powered Pittsburgh offense has managed just one goal in two games against Boston’s uncomplicated defense that’s predicated on hard work and responsibility.

“I think it’s pretty obvious that we have layers,” Julien said yesterday. “Our guys are committed to come back and just making sure that there’s layer after layer that make it hard for them to get to our net.”

According to Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, one of the keys to getting back in the series will be to stay patient on offense.

“They’re a team who’s going to kind of wait for your mistakes,” he said yesterday, “and I think we’ve made a little bit too many with the ones we’ve made. I think we can just be a little bit more patient in our game.”

Other keys for Pittsburgh:

—- Try and score first. The Bruins have played with the lead for most of the series, and they’ve been very effective with it.

—- If the Bruins score first, try not to force it. Granted, that’s easier said than done when the panic starts to build, but attacking as a five-man unit is the only way against a team with numbers behind the puck. Especially one with Zdeno Chara.

—- Discipline. It’s going to be an emotional atmosphere at TD Garden. Teams have lost their composure before in that rink. Pittsburgh can’t afford to be another one.

“We haven’t really been happy with the way we’ve played,” Bylsma said today. “We’ve gotten off our game and deviated from it.

“We’re going to find out an awful lot about our mindset and our team in this game.”

Related: Vokoun to start for Penguins