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Loosening the reins

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  March 20, 2009 01:32 PM

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Claude Julien considered putting his players through a hard skate today before arriving at Ristuccia Arena. But as evident by the team's oil-leaking play, things are far too tense around the Black and Gold. So the best solution was to order a scrimmage and a breakaway competition to draw some smiles out of his club.

"After looking it over, thinking, and regrouping as a coaching staff, we really felt that our guys were wound up pretty tight," Julien said. "I guess the goal of today was to loosen them up a little bit and help them get that energy back. To be honest with you, I thought our scrimmage today was better than our game. We moved the puck a lot better. That tells me a lot. Hopefully this is something that is going to help us."

* GM Peter Chiarelli reiterated that his team's problems are all mental. Chiarelli noted that the recent tendency has been for the attack to regroup instead of driving up ice and creating opportunities. Chiarelli pointed to a lack of confidence that's prompting the regroup habit.

* Mark Recchi was given a maintenance day.

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