When Bruins coach Claude Julien expressed that he was "disappointed" with his team following a 3-0 loss to the Ducks on Monday, center Marc Savard defended the coach's efforts after the game, saying there was only so much Julien could do.
"We've got to dig down," Savard told reporters on Monday following another listless Bruins performance. "I think the intensity level was lacking tonight on a lot of us and coach switched the lines there for the third. We seemed to have some more jump a bit, just to try and get some energy on the team because like I said, we were getting stale there a little bit.
"Claude is trying," he said. "I mean, he can't yell at us every single night. It gets long on him too, so it comes with the guys in the room here to pick up the slack and right now, that's what we've got to do. Like I said, this one more before Christmas here, we've got to have a huge effort."
Savard went on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Hockey Show on Wednesday night and stuck to that message.
"I think it's up to the players," he said in a phone interview. "The coach does his speech, and tries to get us going the best he can, but it comes down to the guys in the locker room taking control. It comes down to us to put it on the ice."
According to Savard, the B's have done that in practice the past couple of days, but now it's all about taking that to the arena, starting Thursday when the talented Atlanta Thrashers come to town.
"I just think it was the players taking it upon themselves to battle and went out there and put in a good effort," Savard said of the recent practices. "The boys worked hard and hopefully it pays off [Thursday night]."
Above all, though, Savard said that getting back to a familiar style of play for the Bruins will be the key to turning things around for a team that has one win in its last five games.
"We've got some skilled players, but we still need to work hard. That's the make-up of our team — we're a hard-working team and we need to get back to that," he said.