BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins are enjoying a couple days off before their current road trip continues Thursday night in Tampa against the Lightning.
The B’s will hit the practice ice on Tuesday before heading to Florida on Wednesday. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Johnston & Flynn on Tuesday, and said the Bruins are making the most of their time off when they can.
“The schedule has been pretty nice to us right now. For us to be practicing and going over video when we can is crucial right now,” said Boychuk, who said the Bruins’ “next game” approach has been a big part of their early-season success.
The Bruins defense has been strong this season, but Boychuk said they are working on a few little things as they catch a breather this week.
“There are little plays that teams have been doing (against us). When we go over video we try to watch what they do and prepare for the next game to know their tendencies, so when those situations occur we’ll know what we’re doing,” he said.
Goaltender Tuukka Rask has been solid in net this season, sporting a 7-1-2 record and just a 2.06 goals against average. Rask is stopping 92-percent of the shots coming his way this season, but the B’s aren’t surprised at the 25-year-old’s success.
“We’ve been comfortable with him since Day 1. Tuukkla has been with us for a while and we know what kind of goalie he is,” said Boychuk.
“When we have a guy like Tuukka – and Anton [Khudobin] is more than able as well – it doesn’t matter who is in net,” he added. “Both of them are pretty good at playing the puck. All the D-Men are comfortable with both of them in net. That’s a good thing to have when you have a team like ours.”
As always, the Bruins lack of success on the power play was also a topic. The Bruins are scoring on just 13-percent of their chances with a man-advantage – with that number improving Sunday night thanks to Brad Marchand’s game-winner in Winnipeg. But Boychuk has seen improvements on the unit, and is confident it will turn around soon.
“Our power play doesn’t have the best percentage, but we’ve been doing a lot of good things lately. It has been clicking — we just have to bear down on our chances,” said Boychuk. “I’m not really on the power play, but I think they’ve been shooting a lot more and it has been helping. I think before we were trying to make too many passes, and with guys shooting more it gives us more scoring chances.”
What teams in the Eastern Conference has Boychuk been impressed with so far? And who pays for dinner on road trips — veterans or rookies? Find out as Johnny Boychuk joins Johnston & Flynn!