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Losses to Montreal a Turning Point for Bruins

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- For the Bruins, who had struggled through the first month of the 2011-12 season, a home-and-home sweep by the Montreal Canadiens (2-1 in Boston on October 27 and 4-2 in Montreal on the 29th) was humiliating.

But the losses were also the wake up call that the Bruins needed and they haven't lost since.

"It was a slap in the face," said forward Brad Marchand before the B's traveled to Montreal on Sunday. "Anytime you play a home-and-home against a team you expect to at least win one of the games, you pretty much need to.

"Losing both, it was a big blow and a really big shot to the confidence," explained the left wing. "We thought we were going to be a very good team coming into the year.

"Losing those two games was a bit of a wake-up call. Since then we’ve turned things around and we’re playing a lot better hockey."

Since then, the Bruins have also chased the Canadiens and the rest of a division in a bid to overtake their ancient rivals and work toward supremacy in the Northeast.

The Bruins 6-0 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday put Boston one point ahead of Montreal for third in the division and just two points behind Wednesday's opponent, the Buffalo Sabres for first.

"We’re definitely happy that we were able to climb back into a playoff spot, but we’re still points within being back out of a spot again," said Marchand of the B's seventh place standing and undefeated November. "We’ve done a good job to, kind of, put ourselves back in the running, but we have to keep it going.

"We want to not only be in a playoff spot, but be as high...a seed as we can. We still have a lot of work to do."

However, to say that the B's, who currently ride an eight game winning streak, have been playing much better hockey would be a severe understatement.

"A lot’s changed," admitted Marchand, who is tied for second on the Bruins with 15 points off six goals and nine assists.

"We seem to be playing the way we need to play to win and everyone’s buying into the system and playing their role," added the forward. "If we continue that then we’re going to continue to be a dangerous team. But we can’t stray away from that and think that because we’re winning a bit right now that things are going to be easy.

"We have to make sure we keep doing the things we’re doing right now to win."
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