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General Manager Peter Chiarelli Press Conference Transcript from 5/26

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Sunday, May 26, 2013

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI PRESS CONFERENCE AT 11:00 A.M.
On how the team played in the New York series...
I liked the way we played, generally. I’ve seen a bit of a collective surge in our play since the last series. That surge is comprised of a good forecheck, good puck possession as a result of the forecheck, and sustained pressure. I think that’s reflective of the attitude of the players, and you’ve seen that in the room in talking to them. I think, obviously, our power play is a lot better and is making a difference. 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, just giving 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. And 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.

On how important depth will be in this series facing Pittsburgh...
Yeah, we’ve all, in building teams, you want to be deep and you want to be deep with quality. You never know what things get thrown at you in the course of a series and you’re able to give different looks out of necessity, or out of your own desire if things aren’t working. When you’ve got depth in your existing lineup, meaning those players, and you saw that with us, four lines, six D that are all contributing and all playing good, quality minutes. That’s a bonus. And when you’ve got depth beyond that – and you saw that last series with our younger D [defense] that came in – it’s an added bonus. That continues to apply to us. With Pitt [Pittsburgh] they’re deep and they have veterans like us that have been through the wars. They’ve got some high end impact players, so they’ve got all types of depth. It will be a battle of deep teams.

On if there was ever a concern when Jarome Iginla went to Pittsburgh that you might see him in the playoffs...
I always thought you had to go through them to get to where we want to go at some point. It’s been well-chronicled, the Iginla stuff and the Jagr stuff, so we’re happy with who we got. I think Jags makes that switch that [Bruins Head Coach] Claude [Julien] made, Jags is really compatible with Bergy’s [Patrice Bergeron] line on the strong cycle and the wearing down of the opposition. I know he’s been snakebitten a little bit, but he’s had a lot of chances; he’s created a lot of chances. But more importantly, in addition to the looks he gives the PP, he wears down D, and there’s always two guys on him. In the context of your question, I think we would’ve been fine with either, but we’re very happy with Jags; and the price to pay, a first-round pick, you’ve got to pay to get a quality player. We’ve shown that we’ve been able to replace those types of players – Torey [Krug] wasn’t even drafted – through trade, through draft, through free agents. There’s different ways to skin the cat.

On what the depth the team has built says about the organization’s ability to identify and develop players...
It speaks volumes. I’d need a couple hours to give credit to everybody. It’s part of a successful organization. From the Bruce Cassidys of the world, whose team lost their two best players that we took away from them, to the Wayne Smiths and Scott Bradleys, to those scouts that pound the pavements, to our college free agents staff that Donny Sweeney’s heading and Ryan Nadeau, who helped identify [Torey] Krug, to our coaching staff, beyond the head coach. A lot of credit is do; I’d like to give credit to everyone I can. But you’re right, to put together the depth that we like and we’re able to use, and to manage it at all levels, at the minor-pro level, at the amateur level, and this level is a hard job and it’s a testament to those that I work with.

On how much Patrice Bergeron helps the team create matchup problems with an opponent...
It’s very helpful. It’s probably a better question posed to Claude [Julien], but he’s not here, so I’ll answer it. He’s obviously a defensive matchup, that’s the first matchup, but they can provide offense, too. The faceoffs is integral in this game, where it seems, at least, that there’s not as many penalties being called, so possession is that much more important. It highlights the faceoffs and Bergy’s terrific at faceoffs and the timely goals. I can’t say enough about Bergy [Patrice Bergeron], he’s got that solid two-way element that is hard to find and he’s one of the primary leaders of the team. You can match him up defensively, and on the road when you can’t maybe the idea matchup, their lines still has an offensive angle to it, too. Obviously, very versatile and a terrific player.

On if the matchups against Pittsburgh are more of a two matchups and two pairs situation...
I don’t know. They mix and match the [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, often they’re together, and sometimes they’re not. It seems like their top two lines are in pairs and then they switch the other guys. Their third line is a solid line and the fourth line is a lot similar to ours. What we can provide is we have a strong defending lineup, and I think we’ve had success on the road. It shows that. I’m not looking closely at that stuff, I rely on Claude for that stuff. That’s what I can give you.

On if his tenure as general manager has played out the way he expected, as far as the team’s success...
Yeah, I mean, things change so quickly. You’ve got to move with the changes and the trends. We’ve got a real good foundation and we’ve had success. Things can change quickly, you’ve got to move quickly to make decisions soundly and quickly. You have to be proud of what we’ve accomplished here. But having said that, it’s a demanding town and they expect the best. We try and give it to them.

On how he explains the team’s ability to comeback and deal with disappointment...
Well, there’s disappointment every day in professional sports, every game there’s areas of disappointment, whether you win or you lose. I think having been part of the sport for a long time, the group that we have in place, just to have a tougher character. You just labeled off seven years of success. We don’t ignore the failures, we try to build off of them, focus on the success, too. Just come to work every day and try to do your best, simple as that. Obviously my job is to look more into the future. You grind, that’s what you do.

On how the team is looking health-wise...
We’re pretty good, actually. We’ve got Andrew [Ference] out, he’s making progress. Wade [Redden] is close, if not ready. Just the bumps and bruises are minor We got Dennis [Seidenberg] back. We’re in pretty good shape right now, knock on wood.

On the shape the team is, considering before the year more injuries were expected with the shortened schedule...
I’m happy that we don’t have as much as I thought we’d have. It’s been a different year from that perspective. The whole – and we’ve talked a lot about it – managing, coaching in a condensed schedule has been difficult and different. I’m glad we’re at this juncture now with the bodies that we have because I really thought, especially with those postponed games, I thought we’re going to get hit at some point and we lost Dennis, he plays a physical game, we lost him and got him back. We’re pretty good.

On his lasting impression of this series…
I like the consistent surges in this series. I really liked the push, the sustained push. I said it last time, you can’t have it for the full 60 minutes, but when we had to, we had real good collective pushes by the lines. I liked Tuukka’s [Rask] big saves. We had some real good games where, I’d have to go back and look, but I think we had a chance in every game. The last game, he had those two saves in the third. Not part of sustained pressure. You see a bunch of saves, it’s like point-blank [Ryan] Callahan to [Rick] Nash—those are big saves. His ability to bounce back from the game before, I like that. It really is about, I talked about it earlier, it’s about the surges. And I like that we’re more of the same.

On the depth of the team’s defensive corps…
The three young D [defensemen], what they gave our back end was a different look, and it helped out speed. It’s not a knock on the guys that have been in there, it’s just that we got fresh, young legs in there. They’re prone to mistakes here and there, but it really helped our speed. I didn’t expect it that early with Bart [Matt Bartkowski] and with Dougie [Hamilton] and with Torey [Krug], these are higher-end prospects that at some point we knew were going to help us. Torey, the last half of the year in Providence was maybe the best player in the league. He was terrific. It was good to see that it’s helping us earlier than expected, and they’re three really terrific kids. It’s good to know that the depth is there.

On not giving Tuukka Rask a contract extension before the postseason…
I’m happy for him that he’s playing well and he’s helping the team. It’s always easier to sign these guys after success. He’s showing some resiliency, which I like, and some durability, which I like.

On Matt Bartkowski’s play a positive of the Jarome Iginla trade falling through…
He was in that deal because of John Weisbrod. John knows Bart [Matt Bartkowski] really well. I don’t know if anyone else on other teams know Bart as well as Weis was, because he was here. If you’re asking me am I happy because I kept him instead of getting [Jarome] Iginla, yes. Now, yes. He’s helped us. You’ve seen him emerge. But it also shows you that we’re willing to give up good players to try and help the team win now. We’ve got a lot of good players now. We didn’t want to give up Bart, but that was the case at the time. The depth that you talk about that’s helping us now, we had it further on down the line in the organization. That helps us deal for players now, but I’m glad to have him right now.

On carrying momentum into the next round…
That’s the surges I talk about, too—the ability to maintain it line-to-line. I saw it all series, so I would anticipate that it will be there for next series. Pitt is a heck of a team, and as I said earlier, they’ve got those veterans that can play that heavy game. You don’t have to be a heavy player to play a heavy game. They’ve got those games that can play that game. Although we haven’t had a lot of success this year against them, if you look at the games closely, they were battles for a while. So, that’s how I would anticipate the series.

On bringing more players up from Providence…
We may create a mini taxi squad. We’re just toying with that right now. They’d be separate from the team, but just from a depth perspective we may do that.

On bringing up players who have seen game action recently…
The next guys who play will be part of the group that’s already here. We’re tinkering with maybe putting a mini taxi squad together—a mini black ace squad. You may see that in a couple of days.

On keeping the core of the team together…
Those are decision that we make, that I make, that you get to know the players. There’s a fine line between loyalty to these players and making the right decisions, and that’s what I have to do as a manger. Two years ago you did what we did, and you see how these guys work and how they will go to the wall for you. The initial premise isn’t difficult. It’s like, ‘wow, we’ve won.’ Historically, it’s been a difficult exercise for teams that have won and then have tried to keep the core together, and then you make some mistakes. Like I said earlier, it’s about day-to-day and you see what players are going to bring you, then you look long-term. It’s easy to say let’s just keep everybody and see if we can do it under the cap and all that, but that’s not always the right thing. It’s a challenge. It is a challenge.

On maintaining continuity in the salary cap era…
I think salary cap or no salary cap, I think if you’ve got certain types of players that you can win with it’s just common sense that you would try to keep them together. When you put in the salary cap you have other challenges. We’ll have challenges next year, as will other teams with the lower cap. That’s where the depth comes into play. Your example if L.A. is a good example of depth. They brought up guys that had helped them last year when they won. Their fourth line and the [Slava] Voynov’s now, you see the younger players that probably you’re not necessarily forced to put them in, but as a manager you have to maybe act a little early to get them into the lineup. The continuity of the core is ideal and you always want to do it for a winning organization, but you have to be cognizant of getting these younger guys in.

On how he expects the team to elevate its game as the playoffs progress…
I would expect that would come natural, just from where we are at this level in the playoffs and with the team that we’re playing. There’s some storylines that I’m sure will be highlighted that’ll probably help them a little bit whether they admit it or not. I think it’s just now we’re at a stage where, I can recall the last time, there was no issues in getting them up for Tampa. I think they’re at a stage where that comes natural, and I’d be disappointed if they weren’t. Now, this is a tough team we’re playing. It’s going to be a tough battle and you’re going to see ebb and flow with these series, too. I would think that they would be up for it.

On his range of emotions watching Milan Lucic this year…
Going into this year, I said this will be different. I’ve got to temper my emotion by the way I assess this team differently. I can’t act too rashly just because it’s going to be a different year because of all the things we’ve discussed—the short practice, the no practice, the every-other-day playing. As it applies to Milan [Lucic], I tried to keep that in check. He had some struggles there early, and, really, up until the last little bit. But, now he’s sometimes a man among boys the way he’s playing. He’s rolling. For the end, like I said, whether it’s him or another player or the whole team, I just had to be careful I didn’t act too rashly as far as my assessments.
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