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Bruins Notebook: At Full Force, Boston Focuses on Defense

Photo for Stanleycupofchowder.com: Morning Skate: Losing Loui

While this week was a successful one for Boston as they came out of their last two home games on top, let’s not forget the bumpy road that got them there.

The start of the 2017-18 season was one of the worst in Bruins history in terms of injuries. Complications aside, head coach Bruce Cassidy maneuvered the roster to keep them high up in the standings.

Now, with almost all of their pack back on the ice, they have almost two times the talent. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. If they keep this up, the Boston Bruins could just be headed to the playoffs.

Full force according to Cassidy

The Bruins are in full force after the return of injured players, and with the new rivalry between goalies Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin’s fight for net-time, the team looks strong. After all, Khudobin is currently tied for third in the NHL save percentage at .932.

David Pastrnak is tied for 8th in the NHL for goals while Charlie McAvoy is on fire at 8th amongst all rookies in assists. This team has talent, but it’s the planning work of Cassidy that continues to make or break the power of Boston’s roster.

Defense is his emphasis, and he’s made that clear in nearly every recent press conference, aside from the praise given to Rask, who made 30 saves on Saturday.

McQuaid’s return

Cassidy has begun to emphasize the importance of a strong back line since injured defenseman Adam McQuaid returned to the ice, Monday.

“I think it’s good for his teammates to know that he’s going to get in there, whether people think it’s right or wrong…he’s in there looking after one of his teammates, so guys appreciate that,” Cassidy told NHL.com

McQuaid was injured Oct. 19th by taking two pucks to the leg as a save, resulting in a broken Fibula. With McQuaid returning to the ice Monday, the question began to arise: was the injury worth the save?

“I can choose between getting hurt every once in a while and missing some time, or playing a different style and not playing at all. I don’t foresee anything changing that way, but when you get out there you just play.” He explained to NHL.com

Weekly recap

David Backes answered on Thursday against Arizona, scoring twice to help put the Bruins on top, 6-1, at home. The home game winning streak continued, with Saturday’s 3-1 win at home, against the New York Islanders. Tuukka made 30 saves and kept the team securely on their spot in the standings. Brad Marchand scored an overtime winner against the Detroit Red Wings yesterday to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory.

Next Week at a Glance

Thursday, Dec 14 at 7pm vs. the Washington Capitals

Saturday, Dec. 16 at 5pm vs. the New York Rangers

Monday, Dec. 18 at 7pm vs. The Columbus Blue Jackets

Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 10:30 vs. The Buffalo Sabres

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