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Bruins’ GM Chiarelli pleased with youth, depth on the blue line

Feb 11, 2014, 1:00 AM EDT

Peter Chiarelli AP

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.

  1. blomfeld - Feb 11, 2014 at 1:50 AM

    The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is a United States division of Swiss confectioner Lindt & Sprüngli. The company was founded by and is named after Italian chocolatier Domenico Ghirardelli, who, after working in South America, moved to California. The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company was incorporated in 1852, and is the second-oldest chocolate company in the United States, after Baker’s Chocolate.

    • govtminion - Feb 11, 2014 at 3:14 AM

      I’ll bite. What on earth does that have to do with anything in this article?

  2. opattytheirishrover - Feb 11, 2014 at 5:55 AM

    Clever pun mr. Minion. And “comrade” blomfeld, once more I am regaled by your stories on PHT, and at times struggle to find the correlation to the articles, inevitably the “a-ha” moment comes and I am awash with newfound knowledge and a hearty chuckle. A good day to you sir.

    • blomfeld - Feb 11, 2014 at 9:39 PM

      May it be that the commenter known as ‘Patty the Irish Rover’ soon comes to encounter ‘lakes’ of expensive wine and ‘armies’ of highly attractive women … inshallah.

  3. lowenni - Feb 11, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    Am I the only one who doesn’t think Dougie Hamilton will turn into the Norris-calibre defenseman everyone thought he would be?

    • ironyisadeadscene - Feb 11, 2014 at 7:40 AM

      I don’t see that at all. I see a player in his second full season steadily improving on last years abrupt training camp and season of defensive struggles. His timeline rmeinds me of Joe Thornton’s (granted, not a defenseman) whom the Bruins gave up on too quickly but blossomed once he grew into his body (cliche, but it works here)

    • nunan - Feb 11, 2014 at 7:53 AM

      I like the way he is playing this year. Not anything to go overboard about but he’s clearly more confident, especially when carrying the puck up ice. He’s made some strong moves to the net in the offensive zone. It’s slowly coming together for the kid. He isn’t being rushed and he’s learning from guys like Chara and Seidenberg. He’s only 20. Steady improvement.

    • pastabelly - Feb 11, 2014 at 9:08 AM

      He is still growing into that body. I think you need to relax a bit because there is an awful lot to like about his game.

  4. ajsjr40 - Feb 11, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    D men take a longer to come along. Hamilton’s skill set is impressive though he may need to bring a little more sandpaper to his game to become a dominating d-man.

  5. dolanster - Feb 11, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    I’d be targeting Matt Greene (Kings) if I was Peter — he’s got to be available as he’s been a healthy scratch several times this season. Big, mean, hard to play against down low. Not a replacement for Seids, but maybe McQ, who seems made of glass.

  6. bruins4ever - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    You have to remember that Hamilton is only in his 2nd season, and the first was a 48 game year. He really is just finishing up the one full 82 game season now, he’s 20. This guy is going to be a stud, minute cruncher and possibly a point producer. Look around the league and how long it takes some d-men to develop, guys like Pietrangelo in St.Louis come to mind. Give him a little time before you decide he won’t develop as hoped.

  7. slaugin - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Hard to make that judgment on a guy who is only 20. He has a bright future, the one thing about him that worries me a little bit is his attitude. I’d like to see a little nastiness in the future

  8. djshnooks - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Buffalo is looking to trade Tallinder, McBain, Ehrhoff and possibly Myers (though I hope they don’t).

    Only thing is, besides draft picks, what do the Bruins have in their forward ranks that would be of benefit to Buffalo? (I’m asking Bruins fans, not insulting the Bruins).

    Who are some young forwards on the Bruins who could fetch, say…Ehrhoff?

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