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Boston Bruins Relishing Golden Chance To Be ‘Road Warriors’



The Boston Bruins have shown they are ready for every challenge thus far this season, so why not throw another one at them in the middle of the regular season?

After last weekend’s win over the San Jose Sharks, the Boston Bruins are on the road and will stay on the road for the next few weeks with an NHL All-Star break thrown in for good measure. Following Tuesday night’s comeback 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre, the Bruins now head to Florida for road games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs headed into All-Star weekend.

The Boston Bruins will likely come home for a day or two in between the southern trip and the trek to Toronto, but they won’t play another home game at TD Garden until Feb. 11 against the Washington Capitals.

That is a lifetime from now in NHL terms, so the Bruins look forward to meeting the challenge away from TD Garden.

“Obviously this is a different feel at home with how we’ve played and they we’ve handled ourselves [at TD Garden],” said Nick Foligno. “But I think we just like the opportunity every single time to step on the ice and play really well. We talk about the process. Every time we step on the ice it’s a chance to assert ourselves again as a really good team.

“Then we get on the road, and we get to be road warriors. It’s a great opportunity coming up, hunkering down and going into other team’s buildings with them knowing who we are. Then it’s an opportunity to show them our best. That’s the motivation: Try to get to our best every single game and it’s worked so far.”

Clearly there is a bonding aspect to long road trips like this one for the Boston Bruins, and a chance to be away from some of the distractions that are naturally there during a long homestand. But it’s also a chance to find that adversity that the Boston Bruins have been looking for all year to test themselves after rolling through the league thus far at an unprecedented clip.

It hardly seems like a massive challenge for a team that’s the fastest in NHL history to reach 80 points, and is a dominant 16-4-1 on the road thus far this season. But it’s also a Bruins team that will be facing stiff challenges in the Lightning, Panthers, Hurricanes and Maple Leafs as four of the best Eastern Conference teams alongside them.

The Canadiens were the veritable pushover on this grinding road odyssey and the Bruins even needed to muster up their best against a motivated Habs team that had goalie Sam Montembeault standing on his head between the pipes.

“I feel like against Montreal, it’s always a special place to play, a special team to play against for myself, but I think for the whole group,” said Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. “I think we all recognize the rivalry but also the tradition on both sides. It’s always a lot of fun. It brings out the best in everyone. You can tell, too, Montreal wanted it and played a great game against us.

“A lot of good teams [during the road trip]. I think before the break, we want to end on a good note. I think we’ve been doing a good job all year of taking it one game at a time. Right now, we’re focusing on [the game in Montreal]. But definitely a good challenge for us for this whole road trip.”

Certainly it’s going to be more difficult for the Boston Bruins as they are a little more beatable on the road than they are at TD Garden where they have built up a 22-1-3 record, and enjoy perhaps the greatest home ice advantage of all time at this point in an NHL season.

“Man, it’s a lot of fun,” said Charlie McAvoy, of Boston’s home ice advantage. “[You] show up for work every night and you can feel like you can win every night. I think everyone brings out the best in each other. You just want to savor it right, because it’s really special what we got going on here.”

It’s loud, it’s intimidating to opponents and it’s going to become a big advantage come Stanley Cup playoff time, but it’s not going to help the Boston Bruins over the next few weeks while they become road warriors.

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