Boston Bruins: Looking to Build on Successful Past Road Trips

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 11: Adam McQuaid
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 11: Adam McQuaid /

Starting Saturday night, the Boston Bruins begin their 10 day, five city road trip taking them from Western Canada to Buffalo. The team is looking to build off their last lengthy road trip, which turned their season around.

The last time the Boston Bruins spent a significant amount of time away from home was the week before American Thanksgiving. The team was treading water, with a record of 6-6-4 with just two points separating them from the basement of the Eastern Conference.

Staring them in the face was an upcoming four game trip with the first three coming in California before ending in New Jersey. The Bruins dropped the first game in Anaheim, before responding with hard fought wins in Los Angeles, San Jose, and a thrilling shootout victory over the Devils.

Bruce Cassidy spoke at length about that trip, which he views as the turning point of the season for the team.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 3: Boston Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy, center, smiles as he chats with players during practice and media day at the Warrior Ice Arena in Boston, Oct. 3, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

"That trip was the beginning of us, I don’t want to say rock bottom, because I don’t think we were there, but the turnaround. It had to do with us gutting out some wins, in typically tough buildings to win in [LA, San Jose]. Doby was in net, we were relying on some call-up guys, different guys contributed to get us going, along with our main stays of course. That’s when our D core stiffened up, got our heads above water and from there took off."

Since that trip the Bruins have been the hottest team in hockey, posting a 29-6-4 record in the following 39 games, vaulting them to second in the Atlantic Division, sitting three points behind the Tampa Bay Lighting, with three games in hand for the best record in the league.

Now the team is looking at five game trip, with stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto before ending in Buffalo against those pesky Sabres.

Krejci Speaks

Long road trips like this can prove to be great for team chemistry, even though going by the pulse of the locker room that is not much of a concern. However, the team is looking forward to spending some extra time together.

David Krejci talked to reporters about the trip, where it is also worth noting that the Bruins have been impressive away from the TD Garden, they’re riding a 13 game road point streak, the last regulation loss coming in Nashville back on December 4th.

Boston Bruins
DETROIT, MI – FEBRUARY 06: David Krejci /

"Going out there, taking it game by game, I think we’ve done a pretty good job playing the game, talking about it, and moving on to the next one. So just go out there, focus on the next one in Vancouver, and go from there. We obviously haven’t had a lot of long road trips, this one is pretty long, so go out there have some fun with the guys and also take care of some business."

Krejci’s sentiments echo around the room, where the the veterans know this is a business trip, and look to instill the mindset into the younger players as the playoff picture is starting to come into view.

Other Notes

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Jordan Szwarz was recalled from Providence for the trip, he may not see any game action, but the team is in need of forward depth with Frank Vatrano (Lower Body) and Anders Bjork (Upper Body) still sidelined.

Kevan Miller (Upper Body) traveled with the team and practiced Friday, albeit in a Non-Contact Jersey. He has been ruled out against the Canucks, but could return to the lineup against Calgary or Edmonton in the coming days.

Tuukka Rask will be in net Saturday, he will then split the remaining three games of the trip with Anton Khudobin, according to Cassidy.

The NHL Trade Deadline is a week from Monday. Judging off of comments from Cam Neely and Don Sweeney earlier in the week, it seems as the Bruins will only pull off a deal if the price and fit is right. The team is playing better than anyone expected this season, and messing with that by trading someone away is a huge risk. I wouldn’t expect a big name from the Rangers to be on the Bruins come deadline time, despite all the rumors that have been swirling.