Over a three-game stretch where the Boston Bruins took a possible five out of six points against the Dallas Stars, Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings, we can comfortably say the Black and Gold are continuing to build confidence after a tough road trip through California.
In their entertaining shootout loss to the Blackhawks, at the Madhouse on Madison, the B’s were one tricky bounce away from taking all six points in their recent three game stretch.
With a quick turnaround Monday afternoon, the B’s bounced back with an impressive 3-2 win over the Kings on Martin Luther King Day at TD Garden.
As the team nurses back to health and players are beginning to play up to their standards, they are becoming one tough team to beat. Head Coach Claude Julien knows his team is hitting its stride before the Olympic break, but does not mind the rest for his team that has been beat up all season long.
“We’ve played some, to me, probably some playoff hockey-type in the last two games,” Julien said after Monday’s win. “These last two days have been what you see in the playoffs-the intensity of it and everything else. It’s a welcome rest, I think. To me, it’s a mindset. When we get back to work on Saturday, we just got to be ready to compete again and be ready to play and I think we’ll be fine.”
As the team builds confidence, there is one certain player’s confidence that has risen tremendously since his early season slump and that is Brad Marchand. His two goal effort against the Kings was his second in as many days.
“Yeah, I think I knew during that stretch that eventually it was going to come around,” said Marchand, who has six goals in his last four games. “I mean bounces had to start going our way and I mean it’s nice that pucks are going in. I’m playing with Bergy (Patrice Bergeron) and Smitty (Reilly Smith), two phenomenal playmakers and they’re making it easier for me out there.”
Marchand also talked about the team’s recent progression in their past few games.
“Yeah, we’re happy,” Marchand said. “I mean two very good teams and back-to-back situation with travel. This game was definitely a tough one to get ready for, but we got to be happy. We played a great game yesterday, played a great game in Dallas and again tonight so hopefully we continue to play the same way.”
Each player is gaining confidence in some sort of way and young defenseman Kevan Miller is no different. Due to the number of injuries suffered on the back end, Miller got the call to step in and delivered some nice hits late in Monday's victory.
“When guys get out of the lineup like Seids (Dennis Seidenberg) and (Dougie) Hamilton, more responsibility falls on the guys in the line-up and it is obviously a confidence booster,” Miller said.
Patrice Bergeron was very pleased with his team being able to get 3 out of 4 points against two gritty teams in the past 24 hours.
“Yeah, I think we’ve talked about the consistency and that we had to establish that in the past few games and I think we’ve done that since Dallas,” Bergeron said. “I thought last night we couldn’t get the extra point (versus Chicago), but still we played a solid game against a team that has a lot of speed and we matched it. Tonight was, I guess, a pretty gritty game and a hard fought game. I thought we handled it pretty well. So, we have to keep building on that and keep moving forward.”
The Bruins sit at 31-15-3 (65 points) and second in the Eastern Conference. Their confidence is building and their team is starting to get healthy. It looks as if their mid season slump is over and this team is ready to make yet again a run into deep May or June.
See what Marchand, Miller and Matt Bartkowski had to say about Monday's win over the Kings:
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