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Rejuvenated B's Head for the West Coast

by Anthony Gulizia / Boston Bruins – After the Bruins lost four out of five games last February, they got away. First they visited the New York Islanders, then toured Canada (Ottawa Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton and back to Ottawa) and returned home on a six-game winning streak – a trip that is often recognized as the turning point towards the team’s Stanley Cup run.

Looking at the team’s struggles in February and earlier this month – it appears as if the Bruins are poised for another momentum swinging trip, this time to the West Coast.

When the Bruins leave for San Jose on Wednesday, they’ll be riding the momentum of two home victories over the Philadelphia Flyers and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I think it was important to get back on the right track before we went out there,” Bruins forward Gregory Campbell said. “It’s not going to get any easier for us. San Jose and LA are fighting for that eighth spot and the top spot in the division, and Anaheim always plays hard – I think they’re one of the hottest teams in NHL after Christmas or All-Star break.

“I think we gained a lot of confidence with two 60 minute efforts, 60-plus on Saturday, and hopefully that serves us well on the road trip.”

On the last road trip, there wasn’t much that served the Bruins well as they surrendered early leads and lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins (5-2), the Tampa Bay Lightning (6-1) and the Florida Panthers (6-2).

But this trip, things will be different, according to Campbell.

“First and foremost our work ethic has been better,” the Bruins forward said. “We’ve been completing a lot harder, and we’ve been competing no matter the circumstances.

“We saw Philly tie it up late in the game Saturday, and I think we were a fragile group last week against Florida and Tampa and weren’t mentally strong enough to overcome those early goals. We could’ve folded and let that late goal effect us, but we kept working hard and picked up the extra point in shootout.”

The Bruins have also tightened up their defense around the net – most evident in Monday’s 8-0 victory over the Maple Leafs in which the Black & Gold allowed just 13 shots on net.

“We’ve been limiting the teams offensive chances and just being better defensively as a team, Campbell said. “That’s something that’s always benefitted us, to be stingy defensively. [Scoring] eight goals is few and far in between – we know the most important thing is to be a responsible, reliable team defensively heading into the last 10 games and the playoffs.”

That said, Campbell made it clear what the team wanted to accomplish on this trip.

“It’s fun to win,” he said. “And hopefully that continues.”
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