There have been rough spots in the Bruins schedule this season. Starting with a preseason trip to China, then going out west twice in the first quarter of the schedule and complicated stretches of back-to-backs, they haven’t had it easy.
January has been a reprise of the difficulties, even while playing their best hockey.
“I think because we’re going well, the guys are excited to play,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “When you’re going well, I’d like to play six games to be honest with you. … Guys want to get back at it. It’s when you’re struggling that as a coach you want time to work on, practice time. But right now our team is playing good hockey…. I think guys are excited to play.”
After facing Montreal on Monday night, the Bruins have three more games (at Philadelphia on Wednesday, home against St. Louis on Thursday and New York on Saturday) before a 10-day break for the bye week and the All-Star Game.
It’s almost ironic that the break comes at a time when the Bruins are the healthiest they’ve been all season. Just Joakim Nordstrom is out with a broken leg.
Even the healthy guys are bound to have some dings, though, so it’s not the worst thing in the world.
“January, for us, with the exception of this week, is a good month for us to recover compared to earlier months,” Cassidy said. “The timing cheap nhl jerseys china
with the travel has been very light.”
With a break on the horizon, though, the Bruins are focused on making sure they don’t look too far ahead, even with the lighter schedule the first month of 2019 has provided.
“We’ve talked this last week of making sure this is a big week for us,” Patrice Bergeron said. “We’re playing some good teams and we’ve been playing some good hockey. Carry that over, keep playing well heading into the break.”
No one’s mentioned a goalie controversy in a long time, and with good reason.
Heading into Monday’s affair with the Habs, Tuukka Rask had allowed just seven goals in his past 304 minutes with a .954 save percentage and 5-0-0 record.
He’s gone on torrid stretches before, like last year’s midseason run that helped carry the Bruins to the postseason. After his shaky start this season and calls for Jaroslav Halak to play more (and he did), Rask has come around to old form.
Ironically enough, some of that might be because of missed time earlier in the season.
“I think he’s feeling pretty good right now,” Cassidy said. “Obviously he didn’t play his normal workload at the start of the year, so that probably has an effect on how he’s feeling now.”
The Bruins waived center Colby Cave on Monday morning. Cave produced five points (one goal, four assists) and scored his first career NHL goal on Dec. 17. He’d been a healthy scratch since the Calgary game Jan. 3.
No corresponding move was announced at the time, but the Bruins did trade for Paul Carey from Ottawa earlier in the week. He was sent to AHL Providence but has ample NHL experience.