BOSTON — The Bruins are 8-1-2 in their past 11 games heading into Monday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers at TD Garden.
Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
Boston’s lone regulation loss was a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Dec. 7. Suffice it to say that the past month has been a good one for the Black & Gold.
“Well, I think our guys are realizing more and more, game after game, we just have to bring what’s made us successful,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said following the team’s pregame skate on Monday. “You know, let’s not look too far ahead, let’s not look behind. There’s some games that were extremely poor, we pushed that aside and focused on the next one and had a better game.”
“So, again, there’s no secret — most teams will do the same thing as what I’m telling you. We just have to make sure that we’re focused on a game to game basis. Simple as that.”
MONTREAL — By the time the Bruins hit the ice before puck drop at the Bell Centre, the boo birds are always in full effect.
That’s what matchups between these two rivals provide — an already established backdrop of ill-fated opponents, no matter the eventual outcome of the game and no matter how heated the current rivalry.
Such was the case on Wednesday night in Montreal, as Boston entered hostile territory and came away with two victorious points in the teams’ final meeting before the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1.
The Bruins’ 3-1 win marked the first time that they had won in the Bell Centre since Mar. 12, 2014 and just the second win against their longtime rivals in a stretch of 13 games.
“It’s been a long time, you know, and the last time we were in here I thought we had a great chance to win and we foiled it there at the end,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. “But I thought we played well enough that we could have won the last game here, so we weren’t coming here discouraged or on our heels. We were coming here determined and hoping to get a better fate than we did.”
MONTREAL — The Bruins face the Canadiens in Montreal on Wednesday night in the teams’ final meeting before the much anticipated 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1.
Boston is looking to change its fortune against the Habs, while also getting back in the win column following Monday’s 3-2 loss to Nashville.
“I want to see a good effort for 60 minutes,” Patrice Bergeron said after pregame skate at the Bell Centre on Wednesday morning. “Obviously, I think when guys are going hard and playing our system, I think every time we do that — the Vancouver game was a perfect example — I think when you play within your strengths and you worry about what you can bring as a team, good things happen.”
The Bruins have kept referring to the 4-0 shutout of Vancouver on Saturday as a recent benchmark game to draw on. The fatigue factor no doubt set in on Monday against the Predators in Boston’s quick pitstop back at TD Garden, and that led to an undisciplined night spent far too often on the penalty kill.
The PK was also the story the last time the Bruins faced the Canadiens, back on Nov. 7 at the Bell Centre. Boston led 2-1 in the third period, before Lars Eller tied the game at 2-2. With the game all but headed for overtime, a late power-play goal from the Habs gave them the slight cushion they needed before potting an empty-netter for the 4-2 win.
BOSTON — The Bruins went right back on the road Tuesday after their quick stop back at TD Garden on Monday night that ended in a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators.
They next face the Canadiens in Montreal on Wednesday night in the teams’ final matchup prior to the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1.
Most of the Bruins did off-ice work on Tuesday morning before traveling. A group of 10 players hit the ice with Assistant Coaches Joe Sacco, Doug Houda and Bob Essensa. The group included forwards Ryan Spooner, Frank Vatrano, Jimmy Hayes, Zac Rinaldo, Tyler Randell and Landon Ferraro, along with defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Colin Miller. Both Tuukka Rask and Jonas Gustavsson were also on the ice.
Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien disclosed to media that forward Joonas Kemppainen would not be making the trip to Montreal.
A few hours after Julien addressed media, Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced via a team press release that Kemppainen had been placed on Injured Reserve with an upper-body injury.
Kemmpainen left Monday night’s game early in the second period and did not return. He logged only 3:04 in ice time, taking just three shifts in the first period before leaving the bench, and then two in the second frame before his night ended.
BOSTON — Playing the day after returning from a road trip out West is hard enough, even if NHL players are built for it — being highly conditioned and often well prepared.
When the Bruins faced off against the Nashville Predators at TD Garden on Monday night, they had their legs going early. They didn’t look they were playing their third game in four nights. They took a 1-0 lead just 4:13 into the game. They even went up 2-1 midway through the second. The game was tied at 2-2 late in the third. They could have at least squeaked out a point.
But too much time in the penalty box plagued the Black & Gold, as they dropped a 3-2 loss that snapped their season-best point streak that had seen them go 6-0-2 in their last eight.
The 26 penalty minutes handed the Predators seven power plays, including a 4-on-3 situation. They converted twice and ended a stretch of 13 straight kills for Boston.
The Bruins weren’t using outside elements as any sort of excuse. In fact, their effort was there. They just made it exponentially harder on themselves by playing down a man for most of the night.
BOSTON — The Bruins will host the Nashville Predators on Monday night at TD Garden, fresh off a three game road trip in Western Canada.
Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
Boston is currently on a season-best eight game point streak, with a 6-0-2 record in that span. While the start of the road trip was shaky, dropping a shootout loss in Edmonton and an overtime loss in Calgary, the Bruins brought their best effort in Vancouver for a 4-0 shutout of the Canucks.
“We’ve been on a pretty good run — I think we have points in eight or nine [games] now, so we want to continue to be better,” said Brad Marchand. “I thought we had a really good response last game and we want to continue to build off of that.”
“It’s a pretty quick turnaround, with a lot of travel in between, so we’ve got to make sure we’re really prepared to have a good game.”
The Bruins thought Saturday’s victory showcased the style and dominance with which they are capable of playing against any team.
“The intensity, the willingness to pay attention to details — we were pretty sharp throughout the whole game,” said Captain Zdeno Chara. “We had good legs, good jump, good focus.”
BOSTON — The 2015-16 Bruins may still be searching for consistency in their game, but they’ve been consistently generating one trend lately: finding ways to win.
The Black & Gold picked up their fifth straight win on Friday afternoon at TD Garden with a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers, a team who ranked third in the League entering the game and went a month this season without a single loss.
Twice, the Bruins found themselves trailing by a goal, and twice, they found a way to tie it up.
“This is a hard-working team right now,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said postgame. “I think that attitude of this group is they want to do well — whether they do it every night, their intentions are good. When they go out there and compete like they did tonight, it’s a lot of fun to coach these guys.”
BOSTON — The Bruins have plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
“I’m thankful for my teammates this year,” forward Zac Rinaldo said following a half hour tune-up on Thursday at TD Garden. A group of 11 Bruins hit the ice for a brief practice before enjoying the rest of their day.
The Black & Gold will host the New York Rangers in a Black Friday matinee (1:00 p.m. ET, NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
Rinaldo may be Canadian, but he’s sharing in the thankfulness with his American teammates.
“I’m happy for my teammates and the position that our goalies put us in,” Rinaldo smiled. “They did a great job this week, and I’m thankful for my goalies."
Rask and Gustavsson each notched a win on the recent road trip. The Bruins needed their strong goaltending as they found ways to win in Toronto (4-3 in the shootout) and Detroit (3-2 in overtime).
DETROIT — With 1:28 left in overtime at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday night, Frank Vatrano raced in and deflected in a shot pass from Colin Miller from the top of the crease to grab the Bruins a 3-2 win over the Red Wings — and give them their fourth straight win.
Those in red were stunned on the ice and on the bench.
Those in Black & Gold fled on to the ice and sandwiched a smiling Vatrano between themselves and the glass.
“It was kind of a blur,” Vatrano smiled postgame from the visiting team locker room. “It was an awesome feeling. I just remember the puck hit my stick and everyone coming off the bench, so it was a great play by both Beleskey and Colin Miller.”
Matt Beleskey had come out with the puck following a battle along the boards during the 3-on-3 overtime, feeding Miller inside the blueline, who then set up Vatrano streaking towards the net. Vatrano was glad to get the shift during extra time.
DETROIT — The Bruins cap off their two game road trip on Wednesday night in Detroit, looking to pick up their fourth straight win.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
The Black & Gold began their trip with a 4-3 shootout win over the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Monday. The victory wasn’t necessarily the all-around game they would have liked to see for 60 minutes, but they got the result.
They’ll particularly look for their NHL-leading power play to produce or at least generate momentum, unlike they were able to do in Toronto.
The Bruins have won five straight games against Detroit, and a sixth on Wednesday night would put them one point above the Wings in the Atlantic Division standings. Boston enters the game at 23 points and a game in hand, with Detroit sitting at 24 points. A win would put them out of a Wild Card spot and into third place in the division.