One beefy TV type compared the lengthy slump to a bruin going into hibernation for the winter.

Looking at Rene Bourque's stats since early December, it's hard to dispute the analogy.

The big winger netted just three goals and six points from Dec. 9 to Feb. 5 — a span of 26 games — before emerging from his cave this month.

In Sunday's Heritage Classic, Bourque was a total beast, wide awake and leaving a lasting impression on the 41,022 fans at McMahon Stadium.

He scored twice, including one that saw him corral a bouncing puck at full speed on the bad ice, then charge to the net and deke Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price for his second goal of the evening.

Bringing his totals to four goals and eight points in the last seven games, Bourque is back.

"I definitely struggled there for quite a while," Bourque said. "I just felt exhausted, tired, burnt-out. I'm finally getting back to playing the way I should be playing and helping this team win.

"The last couple of months, I don't have an excuse, but I just didn't feel good on the ice. I felt tired. I was always a step behind, a half-second behind on getting to the net or getting pucks to the net, or a half-step behind getting a breakout pass or whatever."

For whatever reason, he's feeling energized lately.