While the Bruins have played better at home in recent weeks, they remain a superior road team. In fact, they travel about as well as anyone in the NHL. Boston is second in the league with 32 road points so far this season, going 14-5-4 away from the Garden.
By comparison, they are just 12-9-3 at home, earning five less points in one less game than on the road. After a disappointing 4-2 loss to Buffalo at the Garden on Thursday, the Bruins hope a quick trip across the country will help them bounce back, as they head to Colorado on Saturday and Los Angeles on Monday.
“The road’s been good to us this year,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “We’ve played some great games and somehow the guys seem to really be prepared and they bond well on the road. This is another opportunity to get some points.”
It won’t be easy to get those points. The Avalanche and Kings are both battling for playoff spots, with Colorado currently sitting in the eighth and final spot in the West and Los Angeles just five points out.
“We know they’re going to be tough games because we’re going into some buildings where teams are battling for playoff spots in that conference,” Julien said. “They’re never easy games, and the travel and the time change represents a challenge in itself. So we have to make sure we’re prepared and ready to do the job here.”
The Bruins were prepared against Buffalo, and that poor effort cost them two points. But that lack of focus hasn’t been a problem on the road, where the Bruins are 5-0-3 in their last eight games. They’ve taken at least one point out of every road game they’ve played since falling 4-3 in Montreal back on Dec. 16.
“[Thursday] we didn’t have the results we wanted, but we have to get ready for a tough trip,” Bruins forward Mark Recchi said. “Colorado is going to be tough. L.A. is good. They struggled a little bit, but they’re still playing well defensively and they’re still a good team. And Colorado is a real good team.”
Colorado also presents the additional problem of having to adjust to playing at altitude in Denver. The Bruins plan to deal with that issue by limiting their exposure to it as much as possible.
“What most people seem to think is that the less time that you’re there before the game the easier it is to get accustomed to the thin air,” Julien said. “I think we’re taking that approach going there and playing [Saturday] and then moving on.”
The Bruins also want to move on from Thursday’s setback. And even with the thin air, Colorado might be just the place to do that. While the Bruins haven’t beaten Colorado at home since 1998 and are 0-4-1-1 in the last six games at against the Avs at the Garden, they have enjoyed some recent success in Denver, winning three of their last four games out there.
“We’ll just have to regroup,” Recchi said after Thursday’s game. “We’ve got a tough trip ahead of us and we’re a pretty good road team, so we have to again learn that consistency is going to be a big part of us being a great team instead of just a real good team. We’re getting there and we gotta keep pushing along here.”