WILMINGTON -- The Bruins got back to work after the end of their best winning streak in 40 years, and put in a full day at practice preparing for a rather important rest of the week.
Boston will host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday for the first time since painful Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, and then they'll travel to Washington and Philadelphia for games against Metro Division teams desperate for playoff pole position.
In fact, only two of Boston’s final 10 regular-season games are against teams completely out of the playoff picture (Winnipeg and Buffalo), so the Bruins can’t afford to get distracted bathing in compliments about a dead win streak.
“We weren’t worried about the streak so much as game by game, so nothing changes. We’ve just got to go back to the next and get on our horses, and work hard in the next game,” said Claude Julien. “I thought we played well enough to win that last game, but their goalie played well and we just couldn’t score on some of our opportunities.
“Right now we need to continue getting the challenges that we’re getting, and that’s what is going to keep us on our toes. We’re not looking for any easy games. It doesn’t suit us. As a team we like the challenges, and the games that are intense with some meaning to it.”
Intense hockey games certainly benefit the Black and Gold at this point in time as they have started pulling away from the rest of an Eastern Conference pack that’s full of flaws.
The Bruins have a 15-point lead on the Montreal Canadiens in the Atlantic Division with two games in hand, and hold a seven-point lead in the Eastern Conference against a Pittsburgh Penguins club that’s lost two straight games and five of their last seven.