D-men show they can create offense

April, 9, 2013
4/09/13
12:43
AM ET
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins exploded for a season-high six goals in a 6-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, and the defense was stepping up and creating chances. Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg had three assists, Andrew Ference had a goal and an assist, and Dougie Hamilton had an assist. While the defense as a whole could've been much tighter in their own end, they were making better outlet passes, taking more shots and creating more chances overall.

[+] EnlargeAndrew Ference and Riley Nash
Winslow Townson/USA TODAY SportsBruins defenseman Andrew Ference produced a goal and an assist against Carolina.
"For us it's always been about supporting the attack and we want some good offense," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "The guys that seem to be doing it pretty good have been Hamilton and even [Matt] Bartkowski's come up and Ference is there a lot of times. But tonight we had everybody, which was good. Whenever the opportunity was there, Z [Zdeno Chara] jumped in and had an opportunity in the slot area. So it was nice to see everybody contributing in regards to that, because if you are going to score and get better offensively you need some support on the attack and the D's are the guys that can give you that."

Seidenberg believes that the defense corps should be more active in the offensive zone.

"We would love to get involved offensively. I mean, it's nice for [defensemen] to get points here and there, but again, you try in the game," Seidenberg said. "Sometimes it works better than others, and it was just a matter of us putting the pucks in the right places and getting pucks to the net."

The knock on Julien and his system is that he is a defense-first coach who would rather use a trap-like system every game than give his defensemen the green light to jump into plays and create offense. But Seidenberg disputed that notion.

"Are we a defense-first type team? Yes, we are. But, as we all know, a good defense leads to a good offense and we try to show that on the ice every night," Seidenberg said. "All you have to do is look at the stats the last few years and they speak for themselves. We've been right up there in goals scored, and that's because we are allowed to jump into the play when the time is right and if we see an opening. That is part of our game, and some nights we do it better than others but it's there."

Seidenberg also realizes the consequences of such an attack if the defensemen and forwards aren't on the same page. That has been the problem the past few weeks.

"We need to trust each other out there and if the play isn't there or we don't have the support we need it's going to end up an odd-man rush the other way," he said. "That's been happening too much lately and we need to correct that. But we try to contribute offensively whenever we can."

James Murphy

Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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