BOSTON – The Bruins know what waits for them on the other side of Sunday night’s rivalry showdown with the Montreal Canadiens.
The Black and Gold will start their five day “bye week” on Monday where there will be no games, no practices and truthfully not much thinking about hockey for the players as they scatter to the four corners of the world. But it undoubtedly will be a much sweeter built-in vacation for the Bruins if they can muster up a little extra to take down the first place Habs, and head into that break 3-for-3 in the win column since interim head coach Bruce Cassidy took the reins earlier this week.
“They’ve played well all year and they always play well against us, so we definitely have a big matchup tonight. [A win] would definitely be nice going into that break,” said Brad Marchand. “We understand that we’ve put ourselves here and we’ve got to work our way out of it. The guys did a really good job responding in the last two games, but tonight is another big test.
“We have to continue to move forward, push on and worry about each and every game as it comes. We can’t get ahead in the schedule because everything is so tight right now [in the standings]. So every single game is huge.”
The Bruins might be catching Montreal at the right time with the Habs just 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, and Carey Price perhaps not as sharp as he’d been earlier in the season. On the other hand the Bruins have scored a combined 10 goals in their two wins under Cassidy, and their power play has scored in each of their last seven games at a blistering 43.5 percent success rate (10-for-23) during that span.
On the other hand, the Bruins are also 1-6-2 in the second night of back-to-back scenarios this season and that’s exactly where they find themselves on Sunday night.
So it will be up to the Bruins to dig deep and empty the tank like they haven’t so many times this season on home ice, and continue to show that maybe things are going to be a little different down the stretch this season.