WILMINGTON — The Bruins were all present and accounted for at practice Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena, which is probably more than can be said for Tuesday night’s game against the Kings, a disturbing 9-2 loss. The team is currently in playoff position in the Eastern Conference, but certainly didn’t look it as things fell apart against Los Angeles.
“Dissect what?’’ said coach Claude Julien. “That you played bad and you don’t normally play that bad? You’re wasting a lot of time there. There’s some games that you can throw in the garbage and move forward and that’s probably one of them.”
The Bruins went through a quiet, conscientious practice, spending time on defensive-zone coverage, as they get ready to leave on a six-game road trip, a 10-day run that will leave them a week short of the Feb. 29 trade deadline.
The Bruins have played better on the road this season than at home — 16-5-3 to 12-14-3 — but they’ll be tested as they travel to Winnipeg, then Minnesota, Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, and Dallas, playing every other day. Four of the teams are in the Central Division, against which the Bruins have a 2-5-0 record.
“We’re looking at Winnipeg tomorrow,’’ said Julien. “We understand and realize the importance of this road trip, so that’s where our focus should be.
“What’s ahead of us is more important than what’s behind us.”
Julien said the looming trade deadline doesn’t add any urgency to his approach to the long trip.
“That situation happens every year, so nothing changes there,’’ he said.
“I’m the type of coach that’s going to try and get the best out of every player that I have. I don’t complain about what I have and what I don’t. When I say let’s not compare, every year there’s changes made. It doesn’t mean it’s a negative thing. It’s just change.
“We’ve got some good young players here that have made some huge strides this year. That’s positive, it’s not negative.
“There’s times where you might feel certain nights, ‘Geez, I wish we could have a little bit more experience,’ but we’ll get to that point by playing those kind of guys. You’ve got to be willing to suck it up a little bit to make your team better.’’
Players, however, are aware that more games like Tuesday’s stinker could give general manager Don Sweeney reason to make some moves, whether it’s adding or subtracting. The team’s position at the end of this trip could go a long way to deciding whether it’s better to acquire talent for the short term or the long term.
“We all get along, we really like each other,’’ said David Krejci. “This group is so much closer than it was last year. It’s been so much fun, we want to stay together. We’re going to play for each other. We talk about it.
“We have a big road trip coming up so we don’t want to put any crazy idea in [Sweeney’s] head, so we’ve got to go out there, show up, and play.”
Moving on quickly is important. A quick response time could erase some of the embarrassment.
“We park it and move on,’’ said Torey Krug. “We’re a focused group on the next game. It’s crucial to respond and make sure we go out there with a great mind-set.
“You have to realize you’re still in the playoffs and moving forward. You have to keep taking steps in the right direction and keep getting points. That way, you can’t dwell on the past.
“It’s always important to keep that in perspective to make sure that each game is as important as the others.
“It’s a crucial road trip for us and everyone in here knows that. We’ll see the determination come out for sure. You have to realize that that game was only worth 2 points and the next game’s worth the same amount of points.’’
The team’s playoff position is on Julien’s mind, too.
“We’re in a playoff spot and that’s where we want to be,’’ he said. “The issue is not where we are, it’s where do we want to stay? These trips here become important. That’s where our energy is being put.
. . .
Defenseman Adam McQuaid (concussion) practiced with the team but there is no change in his status. Julien said, “We’ll see tomorrow where he is.”