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Ian Clark's On Hockey: Bruins earn their rest
Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin (6) falls on top of Bruins wing Shawn Thornton (22) Monday afternoon. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)
FACED with a challenging back-to-back schedule, the Boston Bruins were happy with the results.
The Bruins played a tough game in Chicago on Sunday afternoon and came away with a point in a shootout loss, then had to turn around and fly home in time to face Los Angeles (with its host of former Manchester Monarchs) on Monday afternoon.
"We've talked about the consistency that we had to establish that in the past few games and I think we've done that since Dallas (Thursday)," said Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron. "(Sunday) we couldn't get the extra point but still we played a solid game against a team that has a lot of speed and we matched it. (Monday was) a pretty gritty game and a hard-fought game and I thought we handled it pretty well. So we have to keep building on that and keep moving forward."
"I was pretty impressed with our team and how we've handled these last three games," Julien said. "I thought our guys did a great job coming out in the first period. We had a good start and I thought that was important for our team to come out and let them know that we were ready to play."
"You'll always hear the same answer from coaches: that's what confidence does to you. He's been playing well and he's feeling good about his game and when you feel good about yourself, you've got more energy, right?" Julien said. "He's got great speed now where before I thought he was playing at a slower pace and the confidence his game is showing, just by that shorthanded goal he scored, the patience with the puck and no panic and control of his emotions. He's not letting anything throw him off his game now."
"There was time when we were struggling that it was costing us. Leaving the zone early or opening up seams. But when you're making those decisions at the right time, you become a threat," Julien said. "It's always good to have those kind of players killing penalties because it keeps the power play on its heels and you need to respect the offensive part of our penalty kill and it has scored some big goals for us this year."
Ian Clark covers pro hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.