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Bruins limp toward trade deadline

BOSTON -- Let the countdown begin to Wednesday afternoon's 3 p.m. trade deadline.

And don't envy Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli's position, as he has to determine if his team should be a buyer or stand pat. Luckily for the players that want to stay in Boston, Chiarelli probably won't let Tuesday night's 4-1 loss to Montreal at TD Garden be a referendum on what he should do. If that were the case, no one would be safe.

After the Bruins squandered a 1-0 third-period lead and registered just one shot on net after the 9:25 mark of the period, most of the players toed the company line, saying the team as presently constituted is good enough.

"We know we have a team here that can definitely compete in the playoffs and do some damage," said winger Michael Ryder, echoing his teammates' responses to a question about whether the Bruins need to make a trade. "It's not up to us now. We have to play with what we have here and if something happens, something happens. But I think we definitely have the talent and the team here that can go far in the playoffs."

To read the rest of Matt Kalman's column, click here.