It took the Bruins almost two months to lose four games. But in a recent four-day stretch, they went down three times on the road — against the Tampa Bay Lightning (3-2), Florida Panthers (4-3 in overtime), and Carolina Hurricanes (4-1).
Not time to panic, though, according to Brad Marchand.
“We easily could’ve won that game in Florida,” Marchand said Tuesday. “Tampa, lucky goal. Yeah, we didn’t have a good game in Carolina. That’s going to happen.
“But if you break it down, we’re not concerned. No one’s too concerned about losing three in a row. It’s not ideal, but if you look at the way we lost, we’re playing really good teams and we’re getting the best from every team that we play. And we know that. So we’ve just got to dial back in a little bit and we’ll be all right.”
A visit to Toronto Wednesday might not seem optimal for snapping a losing streak, but the Bruins are anticipating the challenge.
“This is a great game for us going into the break,” Marchand said. “It’s a huge challenge. They’re a really good team, we had a really good game against them last time, and I think we’re all looking forward to it. So hopefully we can bring our best effort and start fixing some of that.”
The Bruins (38-7-5) went 0 for 12 on power plays in the last three games.
“You always go through hot streaks and cold streaks on the power play,” Marchand said. “We went through a streak we’d get one power play a game and we’d get a goal a game. That’s how it goes.
“If you look at the stats, defensively, we’re giving up a little bit more on that front, Grade A chances. And we’re not generating as much either. So that’s not a recipe for success.
“It starts with winning more battles, making plays, and supporting each other. You go through times where things don’t go well. Especially with the start that we had, it’s easy to get a little complacent, especially what’s known as dog days of the season, this time of year, with the break coming up.”
The Bruins won 10 of their first 11 games in January, including their first six road contests.
“You’re not going to coast through this league, regardless,” Marchand said. “And, listen, we’re not that good of a team. Yeah, we’re good, but we’re not going to run through this league and we never thought that for a second.
“Even if you look at the games we won early on, we won because we play the right way, we play hard, we just find a way to win. It’s not like we’re dominating every game. There’s too much parity in this league.
“It’s a very competitive league. The teams that come out on top are the teams that find ways to win, find ways to stick with it, and that’s where we’ve been really good.
“End of the day, it really doesn’t matter what you do in the regular season anyway. We could win every game, if we don’t win in the playoffs, it doesn’t mean anything. So, yeah, we’re good. There’s a lot of good teams. But we’ve just got to get to the playoffs and it all starts again.”
Coach Jim Montgomery put the Bruins through a spirited 30-minute practice at Warrior Arena Tuesday.
“Adversity only makes you better,” Montgomery said. “I truly believe that you fail in life, you get up, you get stronger, you get better. The way we practiced today, I was very encouraged by our group’s mentality.
“We’re ecstatic the way our record is and how well we’ve consistently played. Sometimes you get immersed too much in the now and you tend to dwell on what’s been happening. We’re trying to recognize what we’re doing wrong and correcting it so it doesn’t become a prolonged funk.
“But we also recognize that we’ve done some things well in these games. We close out the Florida game, is it a funk anymore? But we didn’t close out the Florida game, and we’ve closed out those games all year. So again we look at that: How do we get better, what were we doing wrong, and we move forward.”
Two up, one down
The Bruins announced the recall of forwards Jakub Lauko and Vinni Lettieri, but Lettieri sustained a lower-body injury about halfway through practice and will not be traveling, Montgomery said. Lauko, who has eight goals and six assists in 29 games with Providence, played seven games for the Bruins early this season. “My whole stint here at [the] start of the season was more than I expected, so I was just happy I had the opportunity here at first,” Lauko said. “The first month was kind of hard for me down there [Providence], I couldn’t get it. But the last month was great. I feel I’m in a really good place right now.” …Jake DeBrusk (lower body) skated before practice and is expected to return after the All-Star break.
Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at email@example.com.