As the Boston Bruins embarked on their road trip through Canada, the injuries and sicknesses began to pile up, which led to Matt Fraser, Ryan Spooner and Nick Johnson being called up from Providence. The 60-minute efforts just weren’t there on a nightly basis, but what is most important is the team is finding ways to win with new guys stepping up every night.
The B’s have now won four consecutive games dating back to their wild win at home versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. They have beaten the Maple Leafs, Flames and Oilers over the past week on the road without putting their best foot forward.
The depth of the team and farm system is showing their true colors as many players are banged up, but the team isn’t missing a beat.
Chad Johnson stepped in for Tuukka Rask – who was battling the flu – and had a career night with 39 saves, while Fraser, Johnson and Spooner played key minutes for the Black and Gold against the Oilers and the list goes on.
Head coach Claude Julien preaches to have 60-minute efforts each night his team takes the ice, but with under these circumstances it’s tough and Julien is proud of his team’s effort the last three games.
“We have a shortened bench and didn’t have the energy to finish the entire 60, but we had the character to finish the 60, which is most important and I’m happy we got the win,” Julien said after Thursday’s 4-2 win over the Oilers.
The team now sits at 22-8-2 (46 points); good for first place in the Eastern Conference. It is hard to believe with so many players being injured over the last few weeks.
Forward Brad Marchand who netted a goal versus the Oilers knows it has been tough lately, but preaches winning is all that matters.
“We didn’t have the same legs tonight,” added forward Jarome Iginla, who scored twice in Thursday’s victory. “But, again, we just found a way to win and that’s most important.”
Despite the struggles in the second and third period, Iginla was happy about the fast start and how the team held on to get the two points.
“We had a great start and we wanted to focus on that and make sure we had that,” he said. “Give the Oilers credit, they’re a young team and they can create lots of chances and when they start feeling it, they can get it going.”
The Bruins will have a tough task at hand as they travel to Vancouver tomorrow night to face the Canucks. It will be the first time the B’s are back in Vancouver since they hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2011.
It is possible the B’s will start to get some bodies back for the big showdown, but they will need a 60-minute effort versus the Canucks if they want to see their win streak go to five games. The Canucks are fast, physical and very skilled and it will take a big effort for everyone on the B’s bench to escape with a victory and head back home with another two points.
See what Iginla, Marchand and Johnson had to say about the win in Edmonton Thursday night