The Bruins practice in Wilmington today in preparation for Saturday night’s return match versus the Washington Capitals.
A victory will give Boston its first four-game winning streak since the 2003-04 season when they defeated Nashville, Buffalo twice, and Toronto, from March 9th to the 16th in 2004.
Goalie Tim Thomas
held court with the media for several minutes following the win, as did assistant captain Patrice Bergeron
and captain Zdeno Chara
, and the sense of relief emanating from the three men was palpable -- to put it mildly.
However, all three players consistently stressed that this current mini-roll should be a stepping-stone, and not a milestone. The Bruins are determined to make this current streak the first of several positive moments in the current campaign.
"We didn’t get discouraged in the third, even though we missed a couple of chances," said Patrice Bergeron
, the author of the game winner in OT. "And we got the results in the overtime.
And over the last three games the Black & Gold have really bought into Coach Lewis’ systems and defensive techniques.
"Not everything goes your way," said Chara, sitting in front of his corner locker following the game. "You really have to stick with the structure and the system.
"I really believe in that."
Thomas had, perhaps, his best game this year, but deflected all praise back to his teammates.
"I think we played a very disciplined game tonight," said Thomas. "That’s good because Toronto wasn’t taking a whole lot of penalties last night, either."
Noting that all of the Bruins wins have come by one goal, Thomas said, "that’s the reality of how we’re going to need to win and I’ve actually started getting used to it."
But Thomas acknowledged, quite seriously, that Boston hasn’t done anything yet.
"I don’t see any reason why we should stop now," said the veteran goalie. "I think we should keep going and push it.
"This was a lot of new guys on a new team to throw together and it might have taken a while, but we really are starting to turn into a team," said Thomas.
Bergeron had similar sentiments.
"It’s a relief to be in a winning [streak]…sometimes we have had good efforts for 55 minutes and we stop [skating] for 5 minutes and we were losing the games," said Bergeron, who has made the game winning play in the three wins. "We’re on the ’good’ side of the game now, you know? We’re getting results.
"A lot of people say that there’s a thin line between winning and losing, but when you do the little things to win, you are going to get on the good side of the line more often than not," explained Patrice.
Little things, huh? Sounds familiar, right coach?
"There is a sense of the guys…becoming a team," said Coach Lewis. "Suddenly, I had noticed some things in the past week, but you don’t want to be too excited about it.
"But now it’s starting to come together where they enjoy being around each other. They’re getting to know each other on a personal level and a professional level and I guess they are getting to know the coaching staff a little bit, too."
Coach was asked about the differences in the Bruins between the two Toronto games.
"We just stuck with the program, basically," he said. "Timmy’s gotten better. He’s playing with a ton of confidence now and special teams have been important…it’s a team effort."
But again, like his players, the coach stressed that the Bruins can’t get ahead of themselves.
"It’s still early…and we’re still starting to feel our way," said Lewis. "[But] we’ve found ways to win."Bear Bytes
"It’s nice to find the back of the net. It’s always great to get those game winners…and I am just happy I have been able to do that the past three games…and it’s great as a team to get that win in overtime like that, and not get desperate."Assistant Captain, Patrice Bergeron, on his current streak
"If you look at the records, this is a top tier team that we have been able to beat [on Thursday]. In my mind that’s big…it’s the team’s first back-to-back games…and with that kind of schedule you can tend to get into a rhythm…it’s the same thing for goalies. And I am feeling more comfortable."Goalie, Tim Thomas, on his own win streak
"Yah, I like winning one goal games. I am not going to rephrase that. I like winning one-goal games. I don’t care if [Marc Savard
] likes winning three goal games."Head Coach, Dave Lewis, laughing, and hearing that Marc Savard likes winning by more than a goal
"We looked good the other night -- and we should have with our hats turned backwards."Lewis, referring to the rally-helmets on Wednesday