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Bruins' GM Chiarelli knew team was special

by Dan Rosen /

VANCOUVER -- Boston GM Peter Chiarelli knew after Game 3 in Montreal that something special could happen this spring.
"We were down 2-0 (in the series) and we came back," Chiarelli said while standing on the Rogers Arena ice during Boston's Stanley Cup celebration after its 4-0 win in Game 7 Wednesday. "It was in that Game 3 that I saw our resiliency really come to the surface."
He needed it to happen. His job may have been on the line.
Chiarelli made moves near this year's trade deadline to put the Bruins in position for a Cup run. He acquired Tomas Kaberle from Toronto, Rich Peverley from Atlanta and Chris Kelly from Ottawa.
In three moves he picked up a puck moving defenseman, an offensively gifted yet gritty winger and the ideal third-line checking center.
Now the Bruins had to make at least a deep playoff run. They were too deep not to.

"The deals that Peter put together before the deadline to get these guys into the mix before our West coast trip, it was really helpful," Bruins President Cam Neely said. "We were fortunate we didn't have too many injuries."
Kelly and Kaberle made their debut in a 4-2 win in Ottawa on Feb. 18, days before the Bruins went west for games against Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton. Peverley joined the group in Calgary, where the Bruins edged the Flames, 3-1.
They beat the Canucks 3-1 at Rogers Arena on Feb. 26. The team was gelling and Chiarelli was looking good.
"You could see us really coming together," Neely said. "I felt like we could have a really good run if we could stay healthy."
They did for the most part, but adversity also had to become Boston's friend.
They dropped those first two games of the playoffs at home to the hated Canadiens, but the Bruins won Games 3, 4 and 5 to take a lead in the series. They lost Game 6 in Montreal, but Nathan Horton scored in overtime of Game 7 to push the Bruins into the second round.
After a four-game sweep of Philadelphia, Chiarelli's job was safe.
The Bruins went on to knock off Tampa Bay in seven games and come back from another 2-0 deficit to beat the Canucks in seven to win the Stanley Cup.
"We're a cap team and we built this team to win, but I can't say I'm not surprised," Chiarelli said. "It's such a long two months and we had our ups and downs. That series was a tough series, but we came back.
"Game 3 was for the turning point for me. I liked the way responded and never gave up. Sometimes it's easy to pack it away in a game and we didn't. They all played well that game."
They continued to have some bumps, but for the most part the Bruins never stopped playing well.
With 17 players that suited up in Game 7 signed for next season and restricted free agent Brad Marchand likely to re-up, Boston could be in for another Cup run next season.
Once two losses away from potential unemployment, could Chiarelli now be presiding over the NHL's next dynasty?
"I'm not in the planning mode yet, but we actually did have our pro and amateur meetings in Vancouver," Chiarelli said. "We've got some good players under contract and these guys are a great bunch of guys. Anything is possible."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl

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