OTTAWA, ON - Game in and game out, I listen to opposing teams’ thoughts on facing the Boston Bruins. And game in…and game out…the players and coaches talk about the B’s as a measuring stick for their hockey clubs.
I can credit part of this to the gentlemanly nature of the sport (and part to the parity in the NHL), of teams always applauding their opponents, the Bruins and otherwise, for their hard-fought efforts.
The B’s 16-3-3 record - and best road stand in the East at 8-1-2 - obviously plays a large role, when opponents take a look at the standings.
But more often than not, it’s the physicality of the Black & Gold, and their ability to roll four lines in stride, that make them one of the toughest tests of not only the East, but most likely, the NHL.
“It’s going to be a good test for us, but a fun one as well,” said Senators captain Daniel Afredsson following his team’s morning skate at Scotiabank Place.
“They’re a team that’s not going to give you much, you’re going to have to earn it. You have to play solid.”
Alfredsson said one of the key’s for a team facing the B’s, especially at home, is getting the early lead and getting some jump into the building.
“They just do everything right. They’re the best in probably the league top to bottom. Depth-wise, goaltending group, they’re very good, they’re very hard to play against,” Sens Head Coach Paul MacLean said without hesitation this morning, as he stood at his press conference podium, following Ottawa’s skate.
“They play the game, they just wear you out. They just keep coming over and over and over and over again. As far as I’m concerned, they’re the best team in the league, so we got a game on our hands here tonight. We better show up ready to play. We got to play a whole 60 minutes, otherwise they’re going to knock us out. ”
“The structure of our game is important, and our work ethic, we have to match their work ethic. The Bruins’ game is always physical, and we have to make sure that we equal that physicality to have a chance.”
-Caryn Switaj ^CS
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