BOSTON -- The Bruins jumped right back into work on Friday after straightening things up against the Maple Leafs at TD Garden, and looked ready to punch the clocks against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
The Sharks just like the Maple Leafs on Thursday will be arriving at the Garden on the second night of back-to-back road games, and they have struggled mightily to start the hockey season. But the Bruins were focused on themselves Friday, and had a little fun with the media when it comes to their colored practice jerseys denoting the line status.
Normally the Bruins top offensive line wears the white practice jerseys on non-game days and the fourth line dons the cranberry Merlot Line sweaters for practice, but Bs coach Claude Julien had Shawn Thornton and Co. proudly wearing the white practice sweaters on Friday morning.
They were terrible, cracked Julien about Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell getting their wink, wink -- big shot at No. 1 line status.
All practice high-jinx aside, Milan Lucic was missing from the practice session the morning after scoring his first goal of the season, and Jordan Caron was manning the left wing spot alongside Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin. Julien said it was a simple maintenance day for Lucic, and he was expected to be back in the lineup this weekend against San Jose.
Adam McQuaid was also present at practice after hed missed the skating sessions over the previous couple of days, and is still being listed as day-to-day with a head injury. He was jostling around with Caron at the end of practice indicating that he was being tested with a little bit of contact before the Bruins move forward.
Here were the lines at practice
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.
*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.
*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.
BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins are going through a nice, little bountiful stretch of offense right now after a half-season of struggle.
The Bruins are averaging more than three goals per game in their last 12 contests, and have scored a whopping 22 goals in their last six games including dropping six scores on the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Combine that with the 7-for-25 performance on the power play during the month of January, and things are finally starting to catch up with a Bruins team that was all shoot/no score for months of frustrating hockey this season.
“If you want sustained success then you have to be good defensively, but you also have to score some goals. That’s definitely part of it and we have to keep it going,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has four goals and eight points in his last nine games after struggling out of the starting gate. “You’re not going to get rewarded every night like we did [against the Flyers], but you have to find that consistency where you’re close to having that every night.”
One thing nobody should expect out of the B’s, however, is to get outside of what they do well now that they’ve started slapping some numbers up on the board. Instead the Bruins are intent on their bedrock of disciplined defense and sensational goaltending with the added offense just making it much tougher to beat them these days.
“I don’t know if we can stand here and say we’re going to sustain that we’re scoring lots of goals. I think what we need to sustain here is winning more games than we lose,” said Claude Julien. “That’s what we’ve got to sustain. Whether it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game, or it’s a 5-2 or 5-3 game it doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning hockey games much more than it’s about how much you scored, and how much you don’t score.
“Overall when I look at the scoring chances we’re giving up per game, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Goals allowed may have changed a little bit lately, but overall I think we’ve been very steady in that area [of defense].”
So now the Bruins will again be looking for that ideal balance of offense/defense when they take the ice against the Islanders on Monday afternoon for their second straight matinee at TD Garden.