Bruins look to build off four-game streak during four-game road trip
The Boston Bruins are off to a strong start to their 2018-19 campaign and are preparing for their first major road trip.
Since the opening night loss in Washington, the Bruins have rattled off four consecutive wins in impressive fashion, outscoring their opponents, 22-6.
Boston’s prolific first line has accounted for 13 of the 22 tallies, with David Pastrnak leading the way with seven lamp lighters, good for second-most in the league.
Carrying their hot streak away from the friendly confines of TD Garden and Warrior Ice Arena won’t be an easy task. But Bruce Cassidy feels pretty good about the Bruins’ recent four-game stretch.
“We needed to take care of business here at home this week after our start and I think we did a good job of that,” Boston’s bench boss said following Monday’s practice in Brighton. “We got progressively better away from the puck, which allowed us to be a lot better with the puck, and we’re finishing well obviously.”
The Bruins are set to play four games – all north of the border – in just seven days, starting with Calgary on Wednesday and followed by with trips to Edmonton and Vancouver before finishing up in Ottawa next Tuesday.
Cassidy’s squad currently sit in second place in the Atlantic Division, just four points back of the red-hot Toronto Maple Leafs with two games in hand. Albeit early, the Bruins don’t want to fall too far behind their Original Six rivals.
“Now we take it on the road to Calgary, who has played well and started out on the road a lot. It’s always a tough swing no matter what,” Cassidy said about the upcoming trip.
“I know people talk about the schedule a lot. I remember last year in the first five games we lost to Colorado twice and Vegas and we thought ‘wow.’ That’s why I never sort of like to get ahead of myself about the teams we are playing. You just don’t know how it’s all going to shake out so we just have to take care of business and now we have to do it on the road.”
First things first are the Calgary Flames, an all too familiar foe. The two teams journeyed together on a somewhat criticized 10-day preseason trip to China in which they played two exhibition games and took in all of the tourist attractions.
Although neither team had its full arsenal of talent with them, Cassidy noted that his squad learned several of the opposition’s tendencies that will help them prepare for this go around.
“They had more of their group there than we did so they were probably trying to incorporate their style of play with a new coach,” Cassidy said about the Flames. “Definitely on special teams we looked at, how they defend the blue line is more aggressive than most. I think it helps to see them.”
Ultimately, the Bruins are excited about the opportunity and challenge that awaits them in Canada and recognize that they just have to continue doing the small things right that have allowed them to string together four straight victories.
“It’ll be good to get back on the road. Early in the year, it’s nice to get out on the road and have a little bit of time together. Spend a little time bonding and really kind of test ourselves on the road,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. “It’s a bit of a different game with different matchups so it’ll be a good test for us.”
“It’s going to be important once we get there to rely on what we have been doing well here in Boston and bring that with us,” reigning NHL first star of the week Patrice Bergeron added.