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Taking a break

For those whose memory doesn’t go back that far, here’s a quick look at how the Bruins have fared leading up to and after Olympic breaks in previous seasons the NHL participated in the Winter Games:

* In 1998, Boston was 23-22-11 and went into the break 0-2-2 in its last four games. Out of the break, the Bruins went 3-0-2 and finished at 39-30-13, second in the Northeast Division. However, they still lost in the first round of the playoffs.

* The Bruins were 32-16-4-7 at the break in 2002, despite going just 0-2-2 in the last four games before the Olympics. Out of the break, Boston went 0-4-1 and finished the season 43-24-6-9. They captured the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but still dropped a first-round series to Montreal.

* The 2006 break proved the most disastrous of all. Boston was a respectable 24-24-10 after dropping four of five going into the respite. They then went 1-6-1 out of the break and won just five games total in the post-break schedule to finish out of the playoffs at 29-37-16.

We won’t know how the Bruins, winners of four in a row before this year’s break, will fare. All we know is that the break hasn’t been all that kind to past Bruins teams.