Bruins coach Claude Julien had a simple message for his team late last week. In a stretch of some inconsistent play, Julien told his players to take pride in their game. The team listened and the Bruins are in the midst of playing solid hockey against some of the best teams in the NHL. On Monday, Boston defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 at TD Garden. The Bruins received timely offense, strong defense and solid goaltending en route to the victory. Despite taking a 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at United Center, the Bruins played well and followed that up with another solid performance. In fact, in their past three games, the Bruins are back playing their brand of hockey. "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," Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron said. "I thought [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. "Tonight was, I guess, 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." Prior to the 4-2 win in Dallas last Thursday, Julien looked at the schedule and examined the team's play. He spoke to the players and stressed how important it was for team to finish strong in the last 11 games before the Olympic break. "I think it's always better when you can take a break and feel good about yourself versus the other way around," he said. "Those were the goals and so far in these first three games we've done a good job. I've told the guys if we worry about our team game and how well we play, the wins normally follow." One reason for the improvement is the solid play of forward Brad Marchand. After struggling to provide offense on a consistent basis, Marchand has been zoned in the past few games. He scored twice against the Blackhawks on Sunday and added another pair of goals Monday against the Kings. He has six goals and one assist for seven points in the past four games.
Bruins working hard before break
ESPN Boston | Jan 21