Therrien: Bruins 'are at their best right now'

Therrien: Bruins 'are at their best right now'
January 30, 2014, 2:00 pm
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BOSTON -- One might expect the Bruins to get a little cocky and a little too happy about their overall game at the crest of a pre-Olympic break winning streak that’s seen them go 5-0-1 in their last six games.

The streak is something that the Canadiens have certainly noticed as they roll into Boston for the first time this season and down 10 points in the Atlantic Division.

The Habs have won just once in their last five games, and had plenty of dirty laundry drawn up during a four-game losing streak that saw voices gain amplification about firing the coach, or shaking things up.

A 3-0 shutout win over the Carolina Hurricanes gave the Habs a one-game reprieve, but they seem to understand they might be walking into a Black and Gold buzzsaw.

“They’re at their best right now,” said Montreal coach Michel Therrien of the Bruins. “It’s going to be a challenge for us.”

That tends to happen when you roll up six goals apiece against the Eastern Conference’s weak sisters in Philly, Long Island and Florida. At the same time, their run of success is something about which the Bruins have to be vigilant.

Bruins coach Claude Julien has tried to keep his team’s eye on the prize, though, and he pointed out some of the little things they could be doing better despite outscoring the opposition 18-6 in the last three games.

“It’s pretty simple. Even though you score six goals, that still doesn’t mean you’re playing a perfect game,” said Julien. “There are some areas we’re still looking at after games, and we’re bringing in players to have them take a look at things that happened.

“We’ve been pretty good at not getting satisfied when those good things happen. Right now it’s not so much worrying about that, as it is about continuing to bring that effort we’ve had for that last little while.”

What can the Bruins do better? Coming off of a concussion, Dougie Hamilton struggled a bit in both that win over the Isles and the Tuesday night win over the Florida Panthers. Also, the second period against Florida was a little bit of a sleepwalk for a team that wants to be playing in sprint mode for the last handful of games prior to the Olympic break. And the Bruins might be taking a few more penalties than would be advisable during leaner offensive days.

But all of that is masked by a PBR Line (Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Reilly Smith) that’s posted 29 points in their last seven games, and a KIL Line (David Krejci, Jarome Iginla, Milan Lucic) that’s put up five goals and 17 points in their last three games.

As long as those two lines are alternating big offensive performances, the Bruins are going to look far from a hockey club worried about things like complacency or getting stale.