A warm March day in Boston found the Bruins with their eighth consecutive win, topping the Carolina Hurricanes with brute force 5-1. It’s been a team affair in terms of success, with contributions coming from all four lines night in and night out.
“You know it seems like we’re playing at our highest level throughout the season so far and it seems to have gotten better since the start of February,” said Lucic, “you know after the Olympic break and see where we are now and we’ve just got to, like I said, not get too high, not get too low and stay even keeled and just stay focused on what we need to do to keep our game sharp and the coaching staff has done a good job of keeping us energized and giving us our rest when we need it and like I said we’re just having fun looking forward to every game that’s ahead of us.”
Now sitting high atop the Atlantic Division with a cool 95 points, the Bruins are poised to keep their surge going for the remainder of the season.
“Well if he thinks we’re peeking too soon I can show him a lot of areas where we can get better,” lamented Head Coach Claude Julien when asked about Lucic’s remark of peaking too soon. “That’s not hard for me to find, but no we’re playing well we’re playing hard I think we’re doing a lot of good things here but we just got to stay the course here. Again, I don’t think we are doing things to peek too early I think we are utilizing our players, our bench as much as we can, giving guys some rest and all that stuff – doing the best we can.”
The night hosted an offensive surge from veteran forward Jarome Iginla, who netted two goals in the win.
“He’s exactly what he was advertised as, as a good team player, a hard-worker, competitive guy, and again I can see why he had a letter in Calgary because he’s got that leadership quality in him,” said Head Coach Claude Julien in regards to Iginla. “As I mentioned before, we have a lot of guys here that could easily wear that letter, but he’s part of our, what we call, our core group. When there’s some decisions to be made between coaches and players he’s part of that group, it’s been around a long time. But he’s exactly what was advertised, there’s been absolutely no surprises with him.”
It hasn’t been Iginla powering forward alone, it has been the offensive push and chemistry from line-mates Krejci and Lucic as well.
“Krech [David Krejci] and [Milan] Looch [Lucic] – it’s been fun playing with them all year, and they have a great chemistry with each other and they have been great to join,” said Iginla. “And Krejci can pass it anywhere, you know he has his sauce, and he can shoot he can score. And Looch competes and works as hard as anybody, and he’s fast. You know we’ve been building chemistry throughout the year, and it’s been fun as a group.”
While superstars are an added benefit to any team, having a roster full of depth and determination is key. In a system designed not for a superstar but superstar talent from all it’s inhabitants, the Bruins are certain to shine. Pushing hard for a full 60-minutes, wearing down opponents and finding a way to get it done is the definition of Boston Bruins hockey — a premise that has skated with the team since the first puck drop of the season.
“Yeah it’s been a lot of – all year, it’s been fun. But especially in the last 20 games or whatever each line is finding ways on different nights to put a lot of pressure on the other team,” said Iginla. “We have a very balanced attack all the way through – different guys, different lines, our D-men jumping up on the play. We’ve been able to get that zone time and be good offensively, but also still defensively. So things are going well and it’s a fun roll that we’re on as a group. But nobody is complacent. Every day we’re trying to come and stay focused, and the coaching staff and Zee [Zdeno Chara] has got us focused. It’s game time, it’s ready to go. But it’s been a lot of fun too.”
The chemistry that has placed the team at the top can only continue to grow. Boston will looks to make it lucky number 9 when they face the Minnesota Wild in a St. Patrick’s Day showdown at TD Garden on Monday. Minnesota currently sits at number 4 in the central division with 79 points, trailing Stanley Cup champion Chicago who sits in third. The Wild 6-1-3 in their last ten games will head into Boston with the will to win and upend the streaking black and gold.