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Defense Stays Strong

by Taylor Walker / Boston Bruins
WILMINGTON, Mass. – On Monday, Tim Thomas, this week’s NHL First Star of the Week, counted his blessings after practice.

Foremost in his thoughts was the Bruins defense.

“The team has been playing pretty good in front of me," said Thomas. "We’ve been getting some scoring, good defense.

"It’s been pretty fun to watch

Still, the Bruins D takes no credit away from the aptly named “Tank.”

“He is playing amazing, obviously," said Adam McQuaid, recently. "It gives the team a lot of confidence when we are playing in front of him.

"He has been there to bail us out when we needed him. That’s what you have to have from your goaltender."

“Everybody is chipping in,” defense Mark Stuart said of the overall defensive performance thus far.

“I’ve said it a million times, but it’s team defense. It starts with good goaltending, but…defensemen and forwards are getting into the fore check and pinning teams in their end.

“They’re back checking and getting back hard.

“It’s definitely a team effort.”

The Rochester, MN native went on to praise fellow blueliner Dennis Seidenberg.

“He’s really good. Really good. He just gets in front of them, good position, gets his legs out there, gets some kick saves, stuff like that. He’s one of the best.

“It’s definitely an art. He gets in front of pucks but he doesn’t take away the goalie’s vision or knock pucks into Timmy. When he’s blocking it, he’s blocking it and it’s going into the corner or out the other way,” he continued about B’s number 44.

The Bruins defense took a hit last week when power-D Johnny Boychuk was injured. Coach Julien urged the rest of the players to fill in the gaps left in Johnny’s wake.

“Obviously [Dennis is] turning a corner. Our whole ‘D’ I thought played pretty well and if anything, I think [Adam] McQuaid deserves a lot of credit for the way he played. I thought he had an outstanding game. He was solid defensively,” said Julien after the shutout against the Maple Leaf’s last Thursday.

As for the game plan for Wednesday’s game against Buffalo Sabres? Julien would like to see more of the same from his goaltending and defense.

“It’s just a matter of riding it. It’s as simple as that.”
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