BOSTON -- The Bruins may be riding a four-game win streak into tonight's Northeast Division tilt with the Senators, but they realize that the first game back after a long road trip (4-1-0) has the potential for a letdown. The Bruins are a solid home squad at 4-1-1, but teams tend to fall into a dangerous comfort zone their first game back from the road, and it baffles NHL coaches.
"If I had the answer I'd correct it, but number one I think it's been a thing that's boggled the minds of coaches for years," Bruins heads coach Claude Julien said following his team's game day skate Thursday.
With the Senators and Bruins both tied with 26 points and chasing Montreal, who is three points ahead of them, the Bruins can not afford to fall victim to this phenomenon.
"We gotta stay away from that. We realize tonight that we're playing a team that's in our division and there's a bunch of us in the Northeast that are battling for top spots. We're all bunched up. So these games mean a lot and we just can't afford to fall into that trap. It's as simple as that."
Lines remain the same -- There shouldn't be any changes to the lineup tonight and Tuukka Rask should get his fifth straight start between the pipes. Julien was asked about the way in which he is monitoring Rask's rest.
"I think I'll have an even better idea going through this month, but right now he's a guy that's had lots of rest in those first two months because as you know our games have been spread out," Julien said. "So he's certainly not tired and I certainly don't want to bring him to that stage. So right now you have to realize he's also gotta get into a groove, and with those games and the three days rest he had and putting in the other goaltender, now you're talking about almost five to six days off and he's gotta get back into his groove again. So it's a balance."