Don't call it a losing streak, though.
"I think a streak's three," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said. "So respect that."
That attitude may reveal more about how far the Bruins have come from their early-season struggles than their recently ended 14-0-1 run. The Bruins aren't happy with the outcomes of their last two games, and they are even less pleased with their efforts in those two games against Winnipeg and Florida that produced just one goal. But the knowledge of how good they can be that came from that recent run of success has the club confident of getting things turned around again quickly.
"We're pretty good at not getting too low," Thornton said. "I mean there's nothing you can do except refocus and get ready for Columbus [on Saturday]. Obviously they're going to be a tough team to play against. We've played them before, they're not easy. We were lucky getting the win last time we played them so we're going to have to bring a better game to get ahead of them this time."
The Bruins are capable of bringing a better game, and they know they didn't do that on Thursday.
"Sometimes it's not so much the effort, it's more, I guess, our mindset," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I thought tonight, we had about 40 shots on net, but I thought we forced a lot of plays where we could have taken it to the net. I don't think our decision-making was the best at times and we certainly didn't make it easy for ourselves. But again, there's four or five posts, and you can say what you want about those, but you've got to find ways to bury goals, and I think we've got to do a better job of that."
The Bruins were all over the Panthers early, but even though they beat Florida netminder Jose Theodore on a number of occasions, they couldn't beat the iron ringing the cage. Adam McQuaid hit the post in the opening minutes when the fourth line created a series of chances, and Dennis Seidenberg and Patrice Bergeron both heard pings about 30 seconds apart later in the first. Joe Corvo added another post shot on a power play in the second, and Theodore swallowed up the 40 shots that did go on net.
"They didn't go in tonight," Thornton said. "Started with us [on the fourth line], we had a wide open net and couldn't bury it too, so we got to bear down there. It's frustrating a little bit but once again, I think we had a chance to win so I guess we'll think about it 'til midnight and move on."
Even with the high number of near misses, the Bruins weren't wallowing in what could have been. They were focused on the lapses in their effort, which is something very correctable the next time out.
"Yeah, it is [frustrating]," Seidenberg said. "But in the end we just didn’t bear down hard enough to get lucky for those posts to go in. So we just have to be a little bit heavier on our sticks and just bury those chances."
Fellow blueliner Johnny Boychuk agreed that hitting the post so many times wasn't the difference in this one.
"It would have made it a little bit easier, but we still have to find a way to score goals," Boychuk said. "I think one goal in two games, you've got to find ways to score, and if you don't you're chances of winning aren't too good."
The Bruins made winning a habit over the previous five weeks. Now they need to get back to the kind of crisp play, steady effort and attention to detail that made them so successful.
"The last two [games], we've done a pretty good job getting shots and scoring chances," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "But that's all they are if you don't get results. I think the main thing right now for us is we can't get down on ourselves. We can't get frustrated. We have to pick ourselves back up and start over again, and remember what got us those 14 wins in 15 games. That's what should be our focus right now and not let frustration creep into our game just because we've had trouble these last two games."
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