‘Adversity is second nature' for flu-ravaged Bruins


BOSTON, Mass – It wasn’t the most dominant win that the Bruins will collect this season, and it quickly becomes just another two-point victory with the Bruins in a stretch where they’ve won 12 of their last 16 games. More to the point, the Bruins are winning while getting waylaid by the flu bug that kep Riley Nash and Ryan Spooner out of the lineup.

Brad Marchand also missed Thursday’s morning skate at TD Garden with the flu, but No. 63 played and topped 20 minutes of ice time in the Bruins 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets despite being a huddled, shivery mess in between periods. With David Krejci (upper body) also out for an extended period of time, that left the Bruins woefully undermanned up front, essentially plugging inexperienced rookie Colby Cave onto the second line against a stacked Winnipeg group.

The Bruins are no longer fazed by injuries or adversity when it hits during the season, and instead, they just move in lock-step with the rest of the group while using depth for the best plan moving forward.

“I think, clearly, experience is the best teacher. We went through it. A lot of different things came up, so the adversity is second nature now. No one feels sorry for you. You have got to plod along,” said Bruce Cassidy, who saw two defensemen step up and provide offense with Torey Krug (regulation) and Charlie McAvoy (shootout) score the goals for the B’s. “I think they understand, as a staff, we’re not going in there making excuses, and we are going to trust guys to do certain things that they wouldn’t normally be asked to do, and they’re going to have to handle it if we want to have success.

“Without putting a burden on them or pressure it’s like, here, this is what it is. Have at it. I think the veteran guys have done a good job getting them through it when we sort of push them. You’re seeing more of it now.”

The Bruins were undermanned on Thursday night against a stacked team from the Western Conference, but the character and force of will they built in their early season struggled has pushed them to 12 wins in their last 16 games. It also bodes well for the rest of this season where adversity and odd situations will crop up from time and time, and overcoming those challenges will be the mark of a good playoff team. 


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