The Boston Bruins returned to the ice Saturday after being on the losing end of two consecutive brutal defeats in New York.
The Islanders, as you may have heard, claimed a 7-2 victory on Thursday while the Rangers followed it up with a 6-2 win over their own Friday.
Boston will play the Rangers again in New York on Sunday afternoon, and Bruins winger Brad Marchand explained where the team’s focus needs to be.
“Yeah, you know, that’s one thing that we’ve always been good at is being resilient. We’ve always had a really high compete level and I just think we just got a little bit away from that. So, we just have to get back to competing hard — that being the main part of our game that we need to focus on and everything else will kind of fall into play,” Marchand told reporters Saturday.
“We’re known to be hard to play against and we just can’t let a bad bounce or a bad break affect our game. We have to stick with it. And that’s why we come back in third periods or take over late in the game, because we just wear teams down. We just kind of got away from that a little bit, but that happens in a season. (You) just want to try to get ahead of it and get back as quick as you can, which is what we’re going to try to do.”
Marchand explained how important it is, especially during these trying stretches, to stay “even keel.”
“The biggest thing is just stick together. We’re all going through it together. It’s easy to get caught up in it when you — we’ve had a couple bad games, there’s no question we can be much better than what we were the last two nights — but we just want to stick together as a group. We’re going to go through good times, going to go through bad teams and you just want to stay even keel. I think that’s the biggest thing. You never get up you never get down, just always even keel.”
The message was heard loud and clear by defenseman Charlie McAvoy, and it’s something McAvoy has heard plenty of times prior.
“Something the guys like to say, something the guys harp on is ‘Never too high, never too low,’ ” McAvoy told reporters Saturday. “It’s definitely something to keep in mind right now.
“The culture of this team is winning. It’s what we’re accustomed to, it’s what we’re used to. So, when we’re losing games, you can tell. It’s not something we’re OK with. It comes down pretty hard. So, kind of like I said, we’re excited to get back it tomorrow and hopefully get back in the win column. But it’s definitely good to have that perspective that regardless of what’s going on and the immediate struggles that we’re having not to get too high, not to get too low ever. Keep that even keel. Stay positive.”
Here are Saturday’s other Bruins notes from media availabilities, transaction, etc.:
— The Bruins on Saturday claimed defenseman Jarred Tinordi off waivers. Tinordi played seven games for the Nashville Predators this season.
NESN.com’s Logan Mullen revealed what Tinordi will provide the Bruins. The 6-foot-6, 230-pound left-shot defenseman — who’s tallied one goal, 10 assists in 88 career games — was used in 5-on-5 situations and the penalty kill in Nashville.
— Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy explained how Tinordi, who he called a “bigger guy, stay-at-home guy,” provides the Bruins with a player that ultimately could end up complementing McAvoy, a first-pairing defenseman.
“I’m not going to say he’s going to go in the first pair because we haven’t seen him yet, but he is that type of defender who could find a lot of usage in our back end right now because we lack that, obviously,” Cassidy said.
Instead, it’s adding a player that could help offset the injury-related absences of Jeremy Lauzon and Kevan Miller.
“Wake up call? I don’t know,” Cassidy said. “Our depth has been challenged in terms of size. (Jeremy) Lauzon, Kevan Miller bring a lot of that element and with them being out — we don’t know on Miller obviously with Jeremy going to be four weeks minimum from his date of injury — so this gives us a different look back there, little more stout and stiffness.”
— Cassidy did provide a bit of an injury update, as well.
The Bruins bench boss said he considers defenseman Matt Grzelcyk “doubtful” for Sunday’s game. Miller, Cassidy explained, is “disappointed” as he works his way back from what seems to be knee soreness.
Miller will be re-evaluated when the Bruins get back to Boston.
— Cassidy changed up Boston’s lines/pairings after a second consecutive loss.
Here’s how they looked heading into Sunday’s 12 p.m. puck drop.