WILMINGTON -- The Bruins have played just one game in the last three weeks, but things are about to get much, much busier.
Starting with Saturday’s matinee tilt against the Washington Capitals, the Black and Gold open a stretch of 17 games in 31 days during the month of March.
The busy stretch includes six sets of back-to-back games during the next month, and a six week remainder of the NHL regular season schedule that is going to pass by with ultra-quick rapidity. The busy schedule will test Boston’s depth and challenge their core of players, but it also provides the perfect setting for the Bruins to get back into their midseason form.
They’ll need once the “real season” gets going in April, and the remaining 24 games of the regular season are in the books.
“There are a lot of games in a short amount of time, but at the same time our players like to get into the rhythm of things,” said Claude Julien. “It’s going to be about managing some rest in between, the length of our practices and the quality of our practices.
“They’ve been off for a few weeks, so they’re looking forward to getting into the rhythm of it. The month of March is certainly going to allow us to do that.”
It was apparent the sloppy, mistake-filled effort against the Sabres earlier this week wasn’t something that screamed out “rhythm” or “tempo”, so that’s what Julien and his coaching staff are seeking out. That should change once players get their legs back under them, and a little additional wind in their lungs in the third period when it matters most.
The Bruins gave Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson both Thursday and Friday off and away from the ice to catch up on their rest after coming back from the Sochi Winter Games, and they kept their practices short, sweet and efficient headed into the glut of games.
Expect more of that -- and plenty of scrapped morning skates on game days -- to help keep a Bruins team fresh while they enjoy an eight point lead in the Atlantic Division, and solid footing as the No. 2 seed in the entire Eastern Conference. All that’s left is for the Bruins is to skate headlong into the March gauntlet, and get back into the “rhythm” of the regular season.