BOSTON The Bruins are ready for Round Two against the Flyers.
After Boston survived seven games against the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia made it through a seven-game battle with the Buffalo Sabres, it allowed for a collision course between the Bs and the team that crushed their Stanley Cup dreams last season.
Worse than that it made Boston the equivalent of the Washington Generals in the hockey history books after they lost four straight games to the Flyers and blew a 3-0 lead in Game Seven.
But enough about a collapse that will be mentioned another million times between now and the end of the series. While the fast, skilled, flop-happy Canadiens proved to be a difficult matchup for the Bruins in the first round, the bigger, deeper, meaner Broad Street Bullies would seem to be a better match for the Big Bad Bruins over the course of a seven game playoff series.
A team that pulled the starting goalie three times in the first round series against the Buffalo Sabres would point toward a huge flaw on Philadelphias roster, but Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli knows that his team will be up against an evenly-matched foe.
Well theyre bigger, first and foremost. I think thats a huge difference. You saw that Montreal stretched the ice, and theyre always coming at you, said Chiarelli. These guys dont stretch the ice as much, but they can go to the weak side a lot in their neutral zone.
Theyre coming in rushes, but they dont stretch it as much. Theyre like North-South, theyre like us to a certain degree. Theyve got skill players, theyve got some heavy players. Obviously there are more similarities between us and them than there are between us and Montreal.
The Bruins set an NHL record by going a fruitless 0-for-21 on the power play in the first round against the Montreal, and are the only NHL team to win a seven game playoff series without potting a power play goal. Chiarelli said that the coaches and players are doing everything they can to put some life back into the man advantage, and saw some problems cropping up from making too many changes to try and spark scoring.
I was thinking about this last night. Trust me, this is a topic that we have addressed all year, every day. I see a group of guys that -- beaten down is the wrong word but weve been on them so much to succeed and have different looks, said Chiarelli. You reach a point where you are diminishing returns as far as trying to make changes, so its been a frustrating exercise. The give away that led to the Tomas Plekanec shorthanded goal we tried to change the entry to a delayed entry, and it didnt work.
Because were having trouble getting set up on the power play. So its frustrating for me to watch. I know these guys want to succeed at it. I know the coaching staff thats been at the top of their list. Its been at the top of your list too, everyones list. Were going to figure it out. I know Tomas Kaberle has been under some heat too and its not his fault. Hes in the mix with everybody and were trying to figure it out. Part of it I think is nerves. Part of it is maybe they are squeezing their sticks too much. Its not fluid and these players have some fluidity to their game as far as making plays. So we have to figure it out and its going to be an important component again in this next series.
Chiarelli indicated that the Bruins escaped the first round series victory over the Montreal Canadiens with their health intact, and dont have any notable issues heading into the second round.