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Bruins' power outage

by Adam Kimelman
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli met the media Thursday and talked about a number of topics. You can listen to the press conference here, or you can read this little bit about the Bruins' roster makeover since last year's series with the Flyers ended here.

One of the topics that came up was the Bruins' power play, which was perfect in the first round against the Canadiens -- 21 chances, 21 missed opportunities.

The Bruins were the first team in NHL history to win a playoff series without scoring a power-play goal.

The only surprise to Chiarelli was that it took 13 questions into Thursday's press conference before anyone brought up the power play.

"Trust me, this is a topic that we have addressed all year, every day," said Chiarelli. "I see a group of guys that … beaten down is the wrong word. We've been on them so much to succeed and have different looks. And you reach a point where you are diminishing returns as far as trying to make changes, so it's been a frustrating exercise."

The acquisition of Tomas Kaberle at the trade deadline was supposed to fix any deficiencies in the Bruins' extra-man attack, which finished 20th in the League at 16.2 percent. However, the Bruins now are 7-for-87 (8.0 percent) in 31 regular-season and playoff games with Kaberle, compared to 36-for-199 (18.1 percent) without him.

However, Chiarelli wasn't ready to pin the blame on the defenseman.

"I know Tomas has been under some heat, too, and it's not his fault," said Chiarelli. "He's in the mix with everybody and we're trying to figure it out. Part of it I think is nerves. Part of it is maybe, this is an extension of nerves -- they are squeezing their sticks too much. It's not fluid and these players have, if you go player to player, they have some fluidity to their game as far as making plays. So we have to figure it out. It's going to be an important component again in this next series."

Chiarelli said one reason for the power play's lack of success has been the absence of Marc Savard, whose season ended Jan. 22 due to a concussion.

"That's a huge point," said Chiarelli. "He's got the eyes and the sense. And you're right, he makes those plays. He's, and I'm not saying that the guys who filled his spot aren't worthy of that, but that's Savvy's bread and butter. So definitely we miss him."

Whatever the problem, Chiarelli said finding the power for their power play is at the top of the organizational to-do list.

"It’s frustrating for me to watch," he said. "I know these guys want to succeed at it, I know the coaching staff, that's been at the top of their list. … And we’re going to figure it out."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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