BOSTON – It’s no surprise the vibe emanating from Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli’s post-playoff series press conference was much rosier after the second round victory over the New York Rangers, than it had been after squeaking by the Maple Leafs in seven games.
The Bruins needed just five games to dispatch the Blueshirts, and they appeared to be the better hockey club in all five playoff tilts despite letting one slip away in New York amid a series of goofy mistakes.
Chiarelli termed it a “collective surge” in the play of the Black and Gold that’s been observed up and down the lineup, and essentially it comes down to playing good, hard, playoff hockey. The Bruins were out-shooting and out-changing the Rangers in their games, blocking more shots, winning more one-on-one battles and simply looking like a hockey club that wanted it more.
“I’ve seen a bit of a collective surge in our play since the last series. That surge is comprised of a good fore-check, good puck possession as a result of the fore-check, and sustained pressure,” Chiarelli said. “I think that’s reflective of the attitude of the players, and you’ve seen that in the room in talking to them.”
Even better, the Bruins were 4-for-12 on the power play in the five games against the Rangers for a 33 percent success rate. It’s an area that rookie Torey Krug and future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr had had a direct impact, and Krug walked away with three of those four PP goals against New York courtesy of his booming, accurate point shot. Jagr and Krug are, of course, operating on the different PP units for Boston, and giving each of them their own distinct personality.
The Bruins coaching staff moved Tyler Seguin with Krug on the second unit, and they connected for the important PP score in Game 5 that finally opened up the scoring for the Black and Gold.
“I think, obviously, our power play is a lot better and is making a difference," Chiarelli said. "I think that’s probably due to a number things, but I think the additions of [Torey] Krug and [Jaromir] Jagr have helped that power play. [They] just give it different looks and different types of puck movement, so to speak.
“Jags on the half-wall and Torey [Krug] on the blue line. It’s loosened us up, it’s loosened our guys up. We’re moving a lot better. I just liked the poise that we had throughout the whole series and composure, while still maintaining a level of intensity. That’s the tough part is getting that balance.”
The Bruins have found that elusive balance after dispatching the Rangers in five game, and now they must simply maintain it while getting ready for a Pittsburgh Penguins juggernaut capable of generating awesome offensive firepower.