Boston Bruins Playing With Confidence, Win Back To Back Games


There is always a little tension when the Boston Bruins play back to back games. It was the bane of the B’s existence last season, and their poor performance in them was one of the reasons why they failed to make they playoffs. This year, the Bruins needed a solid effort in their two game road trip to Florida.  The Bruins found that extra gear last night as the beat the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The B’s won both games in their road trip, moving to 6-3-1 and have now moved into second place in the Atlantic Division.

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“I really feel good about this win for different reasons,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien  after last night’s game. “ It was our first test of back-to-backs, against a team that was waiting for us here and a team that’s a good hockey club.”

“We just seemed to keep getting better all the time and I thought our forecheck, our determination, our battles, and everything seemed to be there,” offered the B’s bench boss. “The decision-making was really good, putting pucks in and not turning those pucks over that much, got great goaltending again, so I thought it was a really good effort.”

Bruins forward (and former member of the Lightning) Brett Connolly put in what would be the game winning goal. Connolly wasn’t seeing much quality playing time with the Bolts, and is happy to be in among the top-six forwards. Connolly has put in four goals in his last eight shots on net, and is one of the team’s snipers with a 28.6% shot percentage. Obviously, he was thrilled to put one in against Tampa Bay.

“I wanted to have a good game, I wanted to play hard and most importantly I wanted us to get a win, and I thought we played a pretty good road game,” offered Connolly. “[We’re] playing really well right now and it’s a fun time to be playing. Obviously to see that one go in, it felt good — at the time of the game too, to go up by a goal in the third period, it’s obviously a good feeling and against your old team, it makes it that much better, so it was good to see that one go in.”

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  • Jonas Gustavsson was strong for the Bruins in net again. He’s now 3-0, with a 2.00 goals against average, and a very respectable .914 save percentage. Both Gustavsson and Tuukka Rask did well in their mini-Florida road trip, and they’re becoming one of the more reliable goalie pairs in the NHL. Gustavsson believes the Bruins recent success has to do with them not overthinking games and getting back down to the fundamentals.

    “We’re just keeping it simple,” said Gustavsson. “We’re playing really simple, not trying to make too many fancy moves and we’re making those moves when it’s time to make those moves and other than that, we’re just playing a solid road game.”

    “Not giving them too much and making them turn over the puck and then we have our speed and we’re going to use that, so we’ve just been sticking with our game plan and battling really hard, that’s why I feel like we’ve been having a lot of success.”

    Gustavsson’s reliability and Rask’s return to NHL-level play has certain invigorated the rest of the team. Knowing that reliable goaltenders have your back only boosts the rest of the squad’s confidence level, and that has spurred the current ‘Bruinnaisance’ in Boston.

    “When both goalies are playing like that, it’s a lot of confidence on the bench,” said hometown Bruin Jimmy Hayes. “Because you know if you make a mistake, that he’s going to be there to bail you out and we try to limit those mistakes. It’s nice to have a nice backbone back there.”

    That backbone will be tested again tomorrow night when Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Stars return to the TD Garden.

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