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Chiarelli Feels Good About B's Chances

Sunday, 04.08.2012 / 9:47 PM / Features
By John Bishop  -
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Chiarelli Feels Good About B\'s Chances
BOSTON, MA -- While much of New England was enjoying holiday festivities on Sunday, GM Peter Chiarelli was thinking about his club's chances against the Washington Capitals in the upcoming first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I feel good about our team," said Chiarelli. "I think we have more skill [than last season], because I think our skill has matured from last year.

"It’s so tight, I mean you got to get some luck along the way, but I think we’ve got as good a chance as any to come out of the East.

"We’re facing a pretty formidable foe to start, we haven’t matched up well against Washington and we kind of caught them when we were in a bit of a down swing each time it seems.

"So it’s going to be a good test."

The Bruins were 1-3 versus their rivals from the Southeast Division and Chiarelli anticipates that the Black & Gold will continue to have their work cut out for them.

"I mean aside from the last game, I don’t think we played very well against them," said the GM. "We went through a pretty long stretch when we were average and I think we played them twice in that stretch."

However, the B's clearly have a gameplan in mind for the playoffs games between the clubs.

"The big thing is, [Zdeno] Chara against [Alexander] Ovechkin," said Chiarelli. "Chara takes pride in shutting down Ovechkin, so I think obviously you’re going to see that matchup.

"They have some good skill, some real good shooters and it’s important to keep those guys on the outside inside.

"So, there’s a preliminary game plan for you."

The rest of the gameplan will take shape in the days leading up to Game 1, but Chiarelli confided that there really no surprise what the Bruins need to do.

"With our team it’s about playing to the man, play in hard, straight lines," said Chiarelli. "Getting pucks deep, getting behind the D and create plays both off the rushes and off the forecheck.

"I know that sounds very simple, but that’s what our strength is.

"Often times, it’s about playing to your strengths, rather than playing to what you perceive is the other team’s strengths to be and I think that’s the case here, too," he said.

But the challenge will be to employ that plan against a very talented and dynamic Washington club.

"I think we have to shut down their skill. Between Ovechkin, [Alexander] Semin, [Niklas] Backstrom, they got good skill in the back end," said Chiarelli. "They’re a high-end skill team, and I think it’s really important we play the gaps tight in all three zones with these guys.

"We can do that."   




1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
3 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
6 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
7 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
8 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43


P. Bergeron 61 18 26 4 44
L. Eriksson 61 14 21 2 35
R. Smith 62 12 23 11 35
B. Marchand 57 18 16 8 34
M. Lucic 61 13 21 11 34
D. Hamilton 62 10 24 0 34
C. Soderberg 62 10 24 6 34
T. Krug 58 11 20 6 31
D. Krejci 38 7 19 7 26
C. Kelly 60 7 19 8 26
T. Rask 25 16 9 .920 2.34
N. Svedberg 6 5 0 .917 2.39
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