Christmas break comes at a good time for Bruins
Ah, yes. The Boston Bruins are hitting a mini-dilemma at the Christmas break.
For the next few days, the Black and Gold will cherish some much-needed time off feeling pretty good about themselves. They fought through fatigue and sloppy play during their 3-1 victory over the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings on Saturday at TD Garden.
Why have a break at all after matching a season-long four-game win streak – and 13 of their last 17?
Well, Saturday marked the seventh game in 11 days for Bruce Cassidy’s bunch. Further, it gives a few players a chance to recover from illness (Ryan Spooner and Riley Nash) and injuries (David Krejci and Adam McQuaid).
“When you’re winning you always want to get out there. Normally I’d say yes, but right now in this stretch, we’ve played a lot of hockey,” Cassidy said during his postgame press conference. “It showed today. We really had to dig deep. I think being away from the rink will be good for us – especially when guys are starting to get sick so now we have that out of our locker room, and guys can take a deep breath and get some rest. So, no, I think it comes at a good time for us because we’ve had a heavy workload.”
Indeed they have, and that heavy workload will continue coming out of the holiday break.
The NHL returns from their holiday break on December 27. The Bruins won’t have a single practice before their first rematch with the Senators following last year’s six-game series. They’ll follow with a two-game US/Canada capitol road trip the next day in Washington and three days later in Ottawa.
“Another hole in the schedule for three days to rest up some bodies, but not too far detached because we have a good thing going here and we need to keep this feeling,” David Backes said hours after welcoming Dawson, the newest addition to the Backes’ family.
“As I said before the stretch, when you’re feeling it and you’re playing well you’re not practicing as much, but you keep that good feeling going from game to game – and you’re picking up where you left off and finding ways to win on a regular basis. Three day’s we’ll rest the bodies, but we need to bottle this feeling up of dialing it in for each other and making sure we’re sacrificing ourselves so our teammates can have success, and we’ve been doing a lot of that…”
They hope to continue that success against two teams that have their number. The Caps carry an 11-game winning streak against the Black and Gold, while the Sens swept last year’s regular-season series in addition to their 4-2 series victory last April.
“It’s been a pretty busy stretch. We knew [the fatigue] was going to come at some point, because we didn’t have that many games [beforehand] and we had a lot of games to catch up,” Patrice Bergeron said after tallying the third-period game-winner and empty-netter on Saturday. “So, we did a good job. We said we were going to be able to settle down and rest during Christmas, and now we’re here and hopefully we’re able to do that.”
Hope, especially during the holiday season, is a good thing for the Black and Gold.