BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins have, for the most part, gotten healthy over the last few weeks. And, not so coincidentally, they're once again winning and climbing up the standings.
Sure, Charlie McAvoy is still out (though he may be close to a return) and Joakim Nordstrom will be sidelined for at least a few more weeks. But the rest of the roster is pretty much healthy and playing, and as a result the B's have won four in a row and seven of their last nine, including their come-from-behind victory at the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
The Bruins are scoring again, too. They've averaged 3.75 goals per game during the four-game winning streak and 3.55 in the nine-game stretch, which started with a 4-0 shellacking of the Canadiens in Montreal on Dec. 17.
Right now the B's have sole possession of third place in the Atlantic Division behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs and are tied for fourth overall in Eastern Conference. They're only four points behind the Leafs with a trip to Toronto set for this weekend.
Clearly it’s a time when the Bruins need to accumulate points and enjoy some success while the going is good. But it’s also a period where they don’t want to get too ahead of themselves.
“[We've] obviously been going well,” said Patrice Bergeron, but he added, “it’s about improving, just keep getting better and meeting the goals that we’re setting for ourselves as a team, whether that is defensively or offensively.
“We just need to keep chipping away at that. We are going good, but there are obviously some areas where we can be even better. Having the guys back [healthy] gives some stability to our lines and our D-pairings and whatnot, and it helps guys get established with their roles and gaining some chemistry with their linemates. That being said, I think our focus has been playing better and keeping improving, and I think we’re doing that. We’re not satisfied with what’s been happening.”
It’s probably not a very good idea to get satisfied in the middle of the regular season for a team still fighting its way upward in the playoff standings, so that’s a good attitude to hold. Now it’s a matter of proving it on Tuesday night against a non-conference opponent (the Minnesota Wild) that’s given them a lot of problems at home over the years.
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