WILMINGTON, Mass. The Bruins prepared for their first back-to-back road games of the season this upcoming week at Ristuccia Arena.
Gregory Campbell was the only Bs player missing from the ice on Sunday, and both Steve Kampfer and Jordan Caron were promoted back to the NHL after tune-up games with the Providence Bruins.
The Bruins travel to Pittsburgh to play the class of the Eastern Conference on Monday night. That game will be a noteworthy event in and of itself, but then the Bs will feel the pain of their first road tilt against Southeast Division foe Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night.
The Jets are toward the bottom of the pack in the Eastern Conference, but theyre also 7-4 in their own building playing for fans drunk on the return of NHL hockey.
Pittsburgh is a team thats doing extremely well and we know what that challenge represents, said Claude Julien. But its also a good thing where its going to give us one of the best possible challenges we could have right now, and its not going to get any easier the next night when we have to fly to Winnipeg. Theyve been playing pretty well at home, so weve got two good tests there.
The road games kick off a busy week with four games in six days, including a home game against the Florida Panthers and another road tilt against the Columbus Blue Jackets to finish things off.
Tuukka Rask's start Saturday night against the Leafs will likely begin run of appearances for the backup goaltender with the density of games beginning to thicken for the Black and Gold. Expect Thomas against Pittsburgh and Florida, and a pair of likely outings for Rask against the Jets and Blue Jackets.
It was about giving Rask an opportunity to be as well-tuned as possible before this stretch, said Julien. Thats why we tried to give him some games even though the schedule was favoring us a little bit.
For Tim to have played as many games as he did last year, rest certainly isnt going to hurt him. One thing I really like about Tim is that he can get some rest and it doesnt seem to affect his game. He can come back and I havent seen him look rusty at any time. I think last year he took a whole week off and Thomas still came back strong.