BOSTON — It’s a daily talking point around the Bruins whether you’re chatting with players, head coach Claude Julien or general manager Peter Chiarelli.
Today was Chiarelli’s turn to give his thoughts on the power play during a press conference at TD Garden on his team’s off day between playoff series.
“I was just thinking about this last night. Trust me, this is a topic that we’ve addressed all year, every day,” said Chiarelli, whose team became the first team in NHL history to win a seven-game playoff series without a power-play goal (0-for-21). “And I see a group of guys that we’ve been on them so much to succeed and have different looks. And you reach a point where you’re at diminishing returns as far as trying to make changes. So it’s been a frustrating exercise. Last night, the giveaway, we tried to change the entry, a delayed entry, it didn’t work [and Montreal scored shorthanded]. We’re having trouble getting set up.
“It’s frustrating for me to watch. I know these guys want to succeed at it. I know the coaching staff, that’s been at the top of their list. … We’re going to figure it out. I know Tomas [Kaberle’s] been under some heat too. And it’s not his fault. 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 that they’re squeezing their stick too much. It’s not fluid. And these players, if you go player to player, they have some fluidity to their game as far as making plays. We have to figure it out and it’s going to be an important component again in this next series.”
The Bruins made a couple tweaks to their forward alignment earlier in the series. Last night, they broke up Kaberle and Zdeno Chara as point partners, instead pairing Chara with Dennis Seidenberg and Kaberle with Johnny Boychuk. It still didn’t work, as the power play went 0-for-2.
If it’s any consolation, Philadelphia’s penalty kill was as mediocre in the regular season as Boston’s and hasn’t fared all that well (24-for-31) in the playoffs so far. Maybe the Bruins will be able to find the holes in the Flyers’ kill.