Feb 11, 2014, 1:00 AM EDT
Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli certainly likes the direction his team is going in, especially on the blue line.
And that’s without the services of the steady Dennis Seidenberg, out since Dec. 27 and done for the season with a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee. It’s also with a relatively inexperience group of young defensemen, including the likes of Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton.
But even with Boston’s improving and strong play on the back end, Chiarelli hasn’t ruled out adding another defenseman when the roster freeze ends at the conclusion of the Sochi Olympics and the NHL stretch drive begins.
“There are really not that many players available, so beggars can’t be choosers really at this point,” Chiarelli told CSNNE.com.
“With each passing game, I see our D maturing, I see them making fewer mistakes, and it makes it a little easier on me. But I always feel that we need eight good NHL defenders going in to the playoffs.
“While I’m certainly not going to replace [Dennis Seidenberg], he’s too good and those players aren’t available, you’d like to think that there is a player with a little bit of Seids’ [Dennis Seidenberg] defending that we could find, and [that could] help us. But this year’s been a story about our depth, and I’ve been happy with it.”
The Bruins, Stanley Cup champs in 2011 and finalists in 2013, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins are the easy favorites to emerge from the Eastern Conference later this spring.
The Bruins have opened up a seven-point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division and are five points back of the Penguins in the East.
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- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (74)