<
>

Bruins impressed by Blackhawks' streak

BOSTON -- Due to the lockout-shortened, 48-game season, the only way the Boston Bruins will play the Chicago Blackhawks this year would be in the Stanley Cup finals.

That would be an incredible matchup of Original Six teams, but before we get ahead of ourselves, the Blackhawks’ streak of 24 consecutives games without a regulation loss is getting plenty of attention inside the Bruins dressing room.

“It’s creating a lot of attention, a lot of stir. I even saw them talking about it on the football channel the other day, so it’s a pretty big thing for hockey and it’s fortunate we don’t have to play against them right now,” said Bruins forward Brad Marchand.

“It’s pretty spectacular,” added Marchand. “They’re playing very well right now and it seems like they’re doing that because they have every guy going every night. Different guys are stepping up and that’s what you need. You need consistency from your whole team and they’re not getting ahead of themselves, they’re focused on each game and it’s great for them.”

Bruins coach Claude Julien remains focused on helping his team end a two-game losing skid when Boston hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night at TD Garden. But he’s been impressed with Chicago’s streak.

“How can it not be impressive?” Julien said. “It’s amazing what they’ve accomplished. Then, you look at how they’ve accomplishment it, too, with some in the last seconds of the game just to tie it up, or win it. They’re a real good team.

“I’m not surprised in the way they’re having success, but it’s no doubt pretty impressive when you haven’t had a regulation loss at this point.”

The Bruins’ Adam McQuaid and Dougie Hamilton are roommates this season. They were watching TV Wednesday night, but also knew the Blackhawks and Avalanche were tied at 2-2 late in the third period. Knowing this streak that Chicago is currently enjoying is a special one for the NHL, McQuaid switched the game on in time to watch the Blackhawks win.

“It’s kind of hard not to notice what’s going on there,” McQuaid said after the Bruins’ morning skate Thursday at TD Garden. “It’s pretty impressive. When you think about a short season like this, we’re at the halfway point, and they still haven’t had a regulation loss and that’s impressive.”

Last season, the Bruins produced an impressive streak in the November when they posted a 14-3-0 record in a 17-game span, which began with a 10-game winning streak. Even though the Bruins played consistent hockey at that point, it still doesn’t compare to how the Blackhawks are playing right now.

“It’s something everyone in the league wants to do and find that consistency,” McQuaid said. “Winning is always fun and it can make you mentally tough when you’re in those situations because to stay focused you need to stick with your game plan.”

After the NHL’s recent labor dispute with the players’ association that threatened the entire 2012-2013 season, a story like this has helped the game.

“It’s certainly getting a lot of attention and rightfully so,” Julien said.