Don’t Look for Fanfare from the Coaches’ Office
Saturday, 11.18.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
By John Bishop, BostonBruins.com
"I'm just looking forward to another game," said a serious looking Boston Bruins Head Coach Dave Lewis in front of the B's dressing room, round about noon on Saturday. "We've got three games in four nights and we're somewhat healthy, so I guess that is good."
At 7-7-2, the Bruins haven't excited too many pux people before now, however, three wins in a row has sent some hearts aflutter in the Hub of Hockey.
But that's not the story behind the head coach's desk.
"Just to keep things simple is good," said Lewis, making no mention of the spectacular nature of the team's last three wins. "It's still too early. We're [only have] three wins in a row and that's not a lot.
"I mean there are teams around the league that have won nine or ten in a row and put streaks together. [The win streak] does help.
"It helps with confidence and you feel a little bit better collectively as a group. And when you win, if you are not playing well it is disguised by the victories," said Lewis.
As they sit in fourth place in their division, the Bruins still do have some things to work on. However, with one of the newest and youngest squads in the division, the Bruins have played the fewest games in the Northeast and remain only six points out of a playoff spot. They are 9th in the league on the power play and stand 7th in overtime games with a 3-0-2 record.
And, perhaps most important to the Black & Gold turnaround, Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas, two of the heroes for the Bruins last year, have reverted to stellar form over the last three contests.
"Everybody works pretty hard," said Lewis of Bergeron and his important goals. "And you know, [scoring] that's the fun part about the game -- when you can contribute and score important goals and make important plays.
"It's a reward for the guys when they score goals," said the Coach.
And as far as the key saves coming from in front of the Boston goal, Lewis was just as cool, and just as complimentary.
"Yah, [Thomas has] looked as [good] as he has all season long in the last few games," said Lewis. "It's the same thing…he must feel good about that.
"And I know that it's important for guys to contribute and that's his way to contribute."
Just as he did when Brad Stuart came back and played with a broken finger, Lewis lavished praise on Brad Boyes, who played hurt last Thursday in the teams win versus Toronto after leaving the previous game with back spasms.
"I think he had one of his better games," said Lewis of his sophomore forward. "He fought through an injury and ended up with a big, big play in overtime.
"Just a simple wrist shot and Bergy was at the net for the goal."
"Simple" things like putting the puck on net lead to wins. And if you have been following along, you know that Lewis is a fan of simple things -- like structure, systematic play and discipline.
"Our record was an indication of a lot of things that didn't go right," said Coach on Friday responding to a question about Boston's early record. "It's still early, and there's some results now, [because] we found a way to win games.
"They were all one goal games, but those are the type of games that we have to play to win.
"I don't want to get our team into a wide open race up and down the ice," said Lewis. "You have to have structure, which we have had. And that's the way we have to play to win."
And tonight against the Capitals, Lewis just wants the team to do the little things -- or he knows the winning streak will most definitely not continue.
"The margin of winning and losing is so fine [in the NHL] that you have to make sure that you pay attention to all the little details," said Lewis, repeating a train of though that has laced its way throughout the campaign. "The little things are important."