BostonBruins.com – It has been quite the couple of days for the Boston Bruins. A tough shootout loss to the Canadiens on Wednesday night at TD Garden was overshadowed by swirling trade rumors that had winger Jarome Iginla on his way to Beantown from Calgary. Turns out, he ended up as a Pittsburgh Penguin instead.
With all of the outside distractions, it may have been easy to forget the fact that the Bruins have a big weekend of games ahead of them. The Black & Gold had their final two-day break of the season on Thursday and Friday, before a round of back-to-back contests Saturday and Sunday.
First, the Bruins face off in Philadelphia against the Flyers – who have lost four straight and six of eight, and sit in last place in the Atlantic Division – for a Saturday matinee at Well Fargo Center. Sunday night, the B’s will then be in Buffalo for a meeting with the Sabres.
Following a high-intensity practice at Ristuccia Arena on Friday, David Krejci was relieved to be asked about the Flyers, after much of the focus during the media availability had still been on Iginla and the upcoming trade deadline.
“That's the first normal question today, so thanks for coming,” Krejci joked to BostonBruins.com reporter Caryn Switaj, when asked about the match-up with Philly. “We've got a back-to-back, we've got an afternoon game tomorrow, so obviously there's not going to be any practice tomorrow morning. But, I think we got in a good practice this morning and we were able to work on some things."
"We definitely want to take it game by game," added Krejci, before simply stating, "But we're going on this back-to-back road trip with a mindset to get four points out of it.”
The Bruins' held a longer practice than they've been accustomed to during the shortened season (lasting a little over an hour), but Thursday's rest day gave their legs a new life heading into the Friday skate, and it was apparent as the B's tried to get the most out of their practice time.
They showed speed, and Coach Julien kept on stressing to his team to practice like it was a game, so much so, that he would blow the whistle to stop the drill if he saw something that he didn't think would work out on the ice in a game.
The rest, as has been the case all season long, was much needed.
“We had a day off yesterday, it was a tough month, and we know that there's another tough month ahead of us,” said Krejci. “Every single day off you get, you've got to take advantage of. You don't want to do too much stuff, all you've got to do is relax, rest, make sure you get your energy back and get ready for the next day.
“It's so many games in so many nights. It's not easy, but we're professionals here, and we know how to prepare for this kind of situation.”
Dennis Seidenberg felt that with the couple of days off and a productive practice, the team is ready to put forth full 60-minute efforts this weekend and build up some breathing room in the standings.
“We always work on putting out a 60 minute effort and it's not going to be any different tomorrow,” said the defenseman. “Again, we had a good practice today, we set our game plan and I think we're ready to hopefully win tomorrow [in Philadelphia] and then look forward to Buffalo.
“We've got to really focus on those two games this weekend and try to separate ourselves, just get back into winning ways.”
B’s Head Coach Claude Julien told the media that his team “absolutely” has to move on from the distractions of the last couple of days, and try to not worry about next Wednesday’s trade deadline.
“Well, we're going to do our best to kind of try and push that aside,” said Julien of the trade speculation. “They're all pros, every year we go through the same thing. Other teams are going through the same thing as well, so we're no different than anybody else.
“There's no doubt we feel it, maybe we feel it a little bit more because guys love being here in Boston and that's a good sign.”
The close-knit group has just under a month left in the regular season, and will be looking to use that camaraderie even more amidst the final push of the schedule.
"It's what we thought it would be, because when you look at four games in a week and seven to eight every two weeks, it's like a playoff series," said Coach, when asked if the schedule was as difficult as he though it would be heading into the compact season. "W'ere going through that and we know how exhausting that can be as you go through the playoffs."
"The good part about it is, for the most part, all teams are going through that, so it's not like we're the only team and we're going to pay for it at the end."
"It's going to be about endurance and it's going to be about, again, being used to playing with each other. We're a team that's very familiar with each other, and you hope at the end it will pay off."