BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins were able to finish off their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 on Saturday.
So now, regardless of when the Bruins' Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens starts later this week, Boston will be rested, even if Montreal will have an edge on that front. The Canadiens won their first-round series in four games with a victory last Tuesday.
Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli is grateful for his team's respite.
"It helps, probably more mental than physical," Chiarelli said during a press conference at TD Garden on Monday. "These guys are terrific athletes. The few guys that are dinged up, it obviously helps them recover better. These guys are terrific athletes, and I just get the feeling that the mental rest, the two, three days away from the rink, is really helpful.
"Of course, the guys that are still on the mend that haven't been playing, the extra days help their recovery period. But in probably a day or so, they'll be itching to get back at it. I hear the Canadiens are having a closed scrimmage [Monday night] with their 'black aces,' so they're probably chomping at the bit to get going too. So we'll be there probably in a day or two."
Chiarelli would not give any update on the guys who are on the mend. But as of Saturday, coach Claude Julien confirmed forward Daniel Paille, who's returning from a concussion, was cleared to at least take the warm-up with the Bruins.
With or without the speedy Paille, the Bruins are going to have to contain the Canadiens' speed in the upcoming best-of-7 series. Montreal beat Boston three out of four times in the regular season, including one shootout victory. If the Bruins didn't prove their ability to skate with a high-end speed team by defeating the Red Wings in a short series, they'll have another chance against the Canadiens. Frankly, though, Chiarelli is sick of hearing about his team being deficient in the speed department.
"It's too stereotype, and we've improved our speed. I just hear about it all year too, so I get a little … obviously [coach] Claude [Julien] and I talk, and we get tired of it," Chiarelli said. "But we have speed and we have heaviness and we have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder because of that, because of this label that we have. But fair enough. I understand where it comes from, I understand when you bring it up in the context of the Wings and now the Canadiens, because they are, they're both fast teams. It's about closing gaps more quickly, it's about establishing a forecheck and leaning on guys. It's about our special teams. Both PK and PP has been outstanding. We maintain that and we're going to have success."
The Bruins' power play was 6-for-16 and their penalty kill was 18-for-20 against Detroit.