Bruins hoping for hearty effort in thin air of Denver

Denver has historically been a pretty welcoming place for the Bruins since the move of the Quebec Nordiques to become the Colorado Avalanche.

Boston has won three of its last four on the road against the Avs. Today they’ll look to duplicate what they accomplished the last time they visited the Mile High City, as they left town with a 5-4 win Oct. 9, 2008. The Saturday matinee starts at 3 p.m. EST.

The thin air of Denver shouldn’t be an issue. Most of the players asked after yesterday’s practice in Wilmington, Mass., said the key is to just not think about it and fight through it if it becomes an issue. Head coach Claude Julien and the Bruins brass had the team fly out yesterday afternoon rather than Thursday night in an effort to make this trip to Denver one of the shorter stop-overs of the season.

“What most people seem to think is that the less time that you’re there, the easier it is to get accustomed to the thin air and I think we’re taking that approach going there and playing [Saturday] and then moving on,” said Julien, whose team will complete its mini Western road trip Monday in Los Angeles. “It’s something that a lot of teams, whether it’s football or hockey, have discovered. We’re no different. We’re trying to take advantage of the situation as we can.”

The Bruins could take advantage of a shorthanded Avalanche team, which learned this week forward Tomas Fleischmann will be lost for the season with blood clots in his lungs. Sure, Peter Forsberg decided to start skating with his former team. But he won’t be in the lineup, nor will he ever again be in the form that made him a Stanley Cup champion and future Hall-of-Famer.

Colorado is 13-9-3 on home ice this season. For comparison’s sake, the Bruins are a 12-9-3 home team, and we all know how beatable Boston can be when on its own rink. So with a strong start and solid 60 minutes, the Bruins should be able to exploit the Avs and feel like they were never a mile high.

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