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A Good Break for the Bruins

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins – After the Boston Bruins took three days to spend time with family and friends over the holiday weekend, they’ll be spending time with each other as the team takes on a heavy road schedule through the month of January.

Over the next 15 games, the B’s will be on the road for nine contests, starting with a two-game stretch in Phoenix, and then Dallas Saturday.

“I actually checked [the schedule] out the other day. It’s pretty busy -- almost every two to three days we have a game,” forward Benoit Pouliot said. “A lot of back to backs, it’s just the way the schedule was set up for us this year.

"We started pretty spread out, pretty [much] at home all the time and now it’s going to be a tougher challenge – a bigger test. But if we keep playing like we’re playing, we go past through that and don’t worry about it too much.”

Forward Brad Marchand said he is looking forward to spending the week in warm weather with some bonding time with the team.

“It’ll be nice going on road trips, especially one in Arizona and Texas [where] it’s going to be nice,” he said. “There’s definitely times when you can bond with the team, especially after Christmas when you want to be with your family and friends.

"We have an opportunity to be together – it’s going to be big and hopefully we have some fun.”

After last year’s Stanley Cup run extended the Bruins season until mid June, the schedule makers seemed to help out the B’s with a hefty, 20-game home slate to start the season.

The abundance of home games not only kept the Bruins travel to a minimum, but also allowed Head Coach Claude Julien to give some extra days off, which is something he’s always been good at, according to forward Shawn Thornton.

“We’re probably going to have to find days here in second half, but he’s aware we played until mid June last year and rest is important,” Thornton said. “He’s been really good with days off my whole time here – they’ve been very beneficial through the stretch of the season.

"It’s not about December, it’s about the long haul.”

Thornton, like many players said he used the break to rest mentally and physically for the second half of the season.

David Krejci said he used the time to sort out the first couple months of the season.

“Some of the things didn’t go our way so we’ll forget about that,” Krejci said. “But there were some really good things happening -– the month of November and so far December -– so as a team I think we don’t want to forget about it we want to keep going.

"The break was a good time to focus on the positive things.”

--- Anthony Gulizia
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