Like a gambler on a hot streak, the Bruins would probably prefer to continue playing rather than stepping away from the game. The 21⁄2-week NHL shutdown for the Olympics comes at an inopportune time for the B’s, who, after battling inconsistency earlier this season have settled in and played their best hockey in the past three weeks.

Capping the stretch with a ridiculously one-sided 7-2 rout of Ottawa on Saturday — prompting humorous Senators coach Paul MacLean to quip, “We probably owe them a couple of bucks for the clinic they put on today.” — the B’s went 8-1-2 during Jan. 16-Feb. 8.

With the lone exception of a terrible effort in a 4-1 loss to Montreal, the Bruins played well enough to win each game. In the 11 games, they outscored their opponents, 44-23.

The obvious question: Will they pick up where they left off when the sprint to the regular-season finish line begins Feb. 26 in Buffalo? Well, if they can maintain the same one-game-at-a-time mindset that’s driven them during this last stretch, yes.

“I feel like the last 10 or so games we’ve played really well,” top center David Krejci said after Saturday’s game. “So we don’t want to look too far ahead; we don’t want to look to the playoffs. We want to come back after the break and start where we left off. That’s been very important.”

That will be the key for the Bruins: Don’t worry about the standings, about trying to catch Pittsburgh for the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference, or about Tampa Bay or any other team in the Atlantic Division race. Simply play the game the right way, night after night.

The Bruins, despite all their injuries and illnesses and other absences, have done a splendid job of focusing on the task at hand.

That will be critical during March, a crazy month in which teams pay the price for their Olympic vacations. The B’s play 17 games, with nine on the road and six sets of back-to-backs. It’s going to be a brutal month.

“We have a lot of veteran guys here in the locker room,” backup goalie Chad Johnson said. “I think we just come back and continue to keep doing what we’ve been doing the last couple weeks, or the whole season. We have a lot of games there in March. So I think we just come back ready and focused. You kind of take the break for what it is and then come back dialed in.”

This is a very good team, with skill and balance and depth. When the B’s approach games with the proper emotional investment — working, skating, hitting, pressuring opponents all over the ice — it’s a team as good as any in the NHL.

So look at the obvious benefits of the Olympic break: giving the injured the chance to heal and the banged-up — which is just about everyone after 57 games — the time to feel better.