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Chiarelli Feels Good About B's Chances

Sunday, 04.8.2012 / 9:47 PM ET / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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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."   

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 81 23 32 2 55
L. Eriksson 81 22 25 1 47
M. Lucic 81 18 26 13 44
C. Soderberg 82 13 31 10 44
B. Marchand 77 24 18 5 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
R. Smith 81 13 27 7 40
T. Krug 78 12 27 13 39
D. Krejci 47 7 24 7 31
C. Kelly 80 7 21 6 28
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 34 21 13 .922 2.30
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .918 2.33
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