BOSTON — The Boston Bruins amassed a 6-1-3 record in their final 10 games before the All-Star break. They’ve rediscovered the defensive structure that has made them a perennial contender during the past half-decade. The goaltending has improved. The passion has returned, as has good health.

Now they just have to hope that all that good karma has not disappeared with the lengthy break.

When the Bruins return to game action Thursday on Long Island, they will have had a full week off. That’s a concern.

Remember, it looked like the team had turned a corner right before the Christmas break, only to suffer one of its worst losses of the season – a 6-2 shellacking in Columbus – in its first game back. With just 34 games left in the season, they cannot afford another false start.

“(The untimely break is) one of those things that you have no control of, so you just have to make the most of it,” said Patrice Bergeron, the team’s lone All-Star.

The Bruins will not be able to ease into their schedule. They play the explosive Islanders, then host the defending champion Los Angeles Kings on Saturday before traveling to New York for another battle with the go-go Rangers.

After that the Bruins come home for a rare Saturday-Sunday back-to-back with the Islanders and archrival Canadiens. After hosting Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Stars on Feb. 10, they embark on their longest trip of the season, starting in western Canada for games against Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton before difficult contests in St. Louis and Chicago.

If their heads aren’t right coming out of the break, problems could snowball quickly.

“It’s definitely going to be some tough matchups and big games, and we know that with the position that we’re in, we know we have to keep moving forward as a team and keep improving,” Bergeron said. “We need to refocus and be ready for the last stretch.”

Boston is close to securing at least the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, but not quite there. The team has a seven-point lead on Florida, but the Panthers have four games in hand. If the Bruins stumble and bumble out of the gate, the last three weeks of the season – during which they face Florida three times – could be uncomfortable.

The Bruins pushed hard toward the All-Star break, knowing that if they buckled down and played well, they’d be able to enjoy their time off. But now their only motivator is survival.

“If you look at the situation we’re still in, I think the carrot is still pretty easy to have,” Bergeron said. “We need to gain ground. You look at the teams behind us and they’re still winning, and they have games in hand.

“I think it’s about realizing what the situation is. It’s going to be close to 100 points if you want to make the playoffs this year, and the parity in the league is obvious. We don’t need much to make us realize we need to keep winning.”