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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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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
2 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
3 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
4 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
5 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
6 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
7 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
8 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 54 21 26 10 47
L. Eriksson 55 18 25 12 43
D. Krejci 45 13 29 5 42
B. Marchand 50 27 14 14 41
R. Spooner 55 11 28 -8 39
Z. Chara 53 8 22 12 30
J. Hayes 53 12 14 -6 26
M. Beleskey 53 8 18 11 26
T. Krug 54 3 21 1 24
B. Connolly 52 7 12 -4 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 20 16 5 .917 2.55
J. Gustavsson 10 3 1 .913 2.54
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