After watching his team lose for the second time in three home games to start its Stanley Cup championship defense, Bruins coach Claude Julien called out his team after what he felt was a soft effort in a 1-0 loss to the Avalanche Monday afternoon at TD Garden.
"We got outworked by a team that was a lot hungrier than we were," Julien said of a young Avalanche team that is rebuilding and earned its first win. "Right from the get-go, as soon as they got the power play, it gave them so momentum and they just never looked back. Throughout the game, I felt our team was second on the puck, losing races, and also whenever we got there and got into a battle, they were certainly a lot hungrier than we were.
"It's one of those games you hope will give your players a opportunity to realize what we've talked about since the beginning, about every team coming in here and playing us hard is going to happen. From the start, from the time they were in the [dressing] room, I could feel that there was maybe a little bit too much comfort. We have to understand that if we're not going to get prepared from the start, we're going to have more of those nights."
Julien said he was concerned about his team's approach well before the game started.
"Tonight, I came in and I told my coaches, bringing it to their attention before the game," Julien said. "I said, 'We seem a little loose in here. We might want to focus a little bit better because we're going to be surprised if we're not.' "
Julien also made a point of not using Sunday's trip to Gillette Stadium and the Patriots-Jets game as an excuse. The Patriots welcomed the Bruins and the Stanley Cup just prior to a 4:15 afternoon kickoff, with the players leaving by halftime in order to get rest for Monday's matinee.
"[Sunday] had absolutely nothing to do with us today," Julien said. "I think [Sunday] was great for the guys. It was great that the Patriots acknowledged us. And, as professionals, you certainly should be able to turn the page the next day and do your job. So, if there's somebody to blame, it's ourselves and nobody else."