Bruins second half season preview: 3 things to watch for

Tuukka Rask Bruins
Tuukka Rask deserves more than a few nights off in March and April. Credit: Getty Images

With the glow from the Sochi Olympics slowly wearing off, here are three things to pay attention to when it comes to the Bruins for the rest of the regular season and what they hope is another long postseason run.

1. How will their Olympians play?
The biggest thing to watch coming out of the break is how their five Olympians (Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Loui Eriksson and Patrice Bergeron) recover from the travel and games. All five played in at least four games while in Sochi and one could make the case that this five is the B’s top five. It’s hard to predict how the jet lag, time difference, mental and physical fatigue will play a role in Boston’s season the rest of the way. A side benefit might be the fact that head coach Claude Julien was an assistant for Canada. He obviously didn’t play in any of the contests but more than someone who was in the States over break, he should have a better idea how his players are feeling.


2. Getting enough rest for Rask and Chara
Even if this wasn’t an Olympic year, we’d still be talking about this major topic. Finding a balance for Rask and Chara is central to Boston’s success this spring. With Chad Johnson’s emergence in net, Julien won’t be losing much sleep when he considers benching his franchise goaltender from time-to-time. Rask isn’t the biggest player, so he tends to get worn down when he makes too many starts in a short period of time. Julien hates to ease back on Chara’s superhuman workload but this time, he might finally change his tune. The Bruins don’t have a replacement for Chara (who does?) but giving him a game off here or there could really help the captain by the time the playoffs roll around in mid-April.

3. Don’t be afraid to be road warriors
Boston is 14-10-2 on the road so far this season, which is fine, but it’ll need to improve on that mark in its last 25 games since 15 of them are on the road. The Bruins will have to get used to life on the road with three game road trip in early March and a four-game road swing at the end of March and into April. The B’s will likely be a top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, so technically they won’t need to win too many road games in the postseason to advance. Still, a road win sprinkled in makes life much easier and takes the pressure out of winning every game at TD Garden.

Games to Watch
Wed., Feb. 26: Bruins at Sabres. First game in 2.5 weeks, how will Boston look?
Wed., March 12: Bruins at Canadiens. Boston is 0-2 vs. Montreal this season.
Thurs., March 27: Bruins vs. Blackhawks. B’s lost 3-2 in a shootout in Chicago Jan. 19
Sun., April 13: Bruins at Devils. Boston closes out the regular season in New Jersey.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.