WILMINGTON, Mass. — Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien is going to give some of his players a rest, but when that will be is still up in the air. That resting period also appears to be at least a few games away.
The Bruins have just nine games left before the regular season ends, and the Bruins have all but wrapped up at least the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference. Their chances to get the No. 1 seed are improving daily. It makes sense that Julien would give members of his veteran-laden team a breather before the postseason, and the time for that rest may be approaching.
“It’s a plan that we’re probably implementing very soon, but to give them a rest now, by the time the playoffs start, that rest may not mean much,” Julien said after a spirited Bruins practice Friday. “I don’t want to leave it to the last minute, but probably a little bit more towards the end versus right now.”
The Bruins aren’t playing like they need any sort of rest, though. They’re about to begin a four-game road streak on the heels of a 3-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. Boston is 13-0-1 in March, but that rest could pay dividends in the long run. The B’s have five players who traveled to Russia for the Olympics as well as some younger players who could probably use a night off at the end of a long rookie season before gearing up for the postseason.
Julien was asked if the club might think about leaving players behind in Boston for road games, but that’s complicated some by the fact that the Bruins will be on the road for seven of their last nine games.
“Road trips might be easy because we only have two games left at home. But at the same time, a guy comes on the road trip, he can stay in hotel as sleep as long as he wants, too, right?” Julien said. “So there’s pros and cons when it comes to that. I’ve gotta weigh all of that.”
Julien certainly has the reinforcements to give rest. Andrej Meszaros, Corey Potter and Jordan Caron have all been healthy scratches lately and be inserted into the lineup in order to facilitate rest. The B’s could also turn to Providence and call up a player from the P-Bruins. That would not only allow the Bruins to rest regulars but also get a look at other players in the system.
“Right now, it’s all about rest, recovery and staying sharp,” Julien added. “We’re just really trying hard to balance that stuff. … I think overall, our guys are really benefiting from that.”