BOSTON (CBS) – The Bruins’ march to the regular season finish line this past month has been nothing short of extraordinary.
After losing their first two games back from the Olympic break, the B’s rattled off 12 straight wins and surged atop the Eastern Conference standings in the process.
The Bruins secured their first 50-win season since 2008-09 after beating the Blackhawks 3-0 last night at the Garden, improving their record to 13-0-1 in their last 14 contests.
The goaltending from Tuukka Rask, who’s making a nice case for the Vezina Trophy, and Chad Johnson has been outstanding, but it’s really been more of a team effort according to defenseman Johnny Boychuk.
The 30-year-old veteran blueliner (fresh off his new haircut and shaved head) came on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show Friday morning to talk about the team’s hot streak, one that includes just 23 goals allowed in 15 games in March, and 10 straight games of allowing two goals or less.
“We’re doing excellent back in the defensive zone. It’s not just the defense, it’s the goaltending and the forwards have really been helping out with the back pressure. That helps everybody out. If we work as a team good things happen and that’s what’s been going on.”
If defense really does win championships, the B’s are in very good shape to contend for another Stanley Cup.
As for their win against Chicago, Boychuk acknowledged the stakes were high in that locker room and sealing the victory was a top priority, especially given how last season ended. But what made it even more important was the ability to bounce back from a tough shootout loss to Montreal, one where Johnny lost his cool from the actions of one P.K. Subban.
Like when a bull sees red, there’s just something about the Canadiens that gets Boychuk’s blood boiling.
“I like playing against hockey players. I don’t like when guys go down easily like soccer. Sometimes when we play a tough game the emotions get the best of us,” said Boychuk to T&R. “I don’t know what it is about them that we get so fired up.”
Another player that was fired up Monday night in Montreal was Kevan Miller. The rookie defenseman knocked Travis Moen out cold, and the legend of Miller continues to grow.
“[Miller] works hard. He goes in there wanting to win every battle. He’s not gonna try and do anything flashy. He saves plays, makes strong plays trying to get the puck to the forwards, and when he sees an opportunity to lay a hit he’ll punish you,” said Boychuk of his locker room neighbor.
Listen below for Boychuk’s thoughts on the shootout, plus how having Tuukka makes everyone’s job easier: