- James Murphy, Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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BOSTON -- The Bruins enter the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs as the only team left not to have scored a power-play goal. They were 0-for-21 in the first round against Montreal, and while they're excited to be advancing to the next round, they're not ignoring what has become a pressing issue that could burn them in their series with the Flyers.
Asked about the power play during his meeting with reporters Thursday, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said, "I was waiting for that question. I was thinking about this last night and trust me, this is a topic that we have addressed all year, every day. And I see a group of guys that, beaten down is the wrong word, we've been on them so much to succeed and have different looks. And you reach a point where you are diminishing returns as far as trying to make changes, so it's been a frustrating exercise.
"[In Game 7], the giveaway that we tried to change the entry [to] a delayed entry, and it didn't work. We're having trouble getting set up. So 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 and it's been at the top of your list too, everyone's list. And we're going to figure it out."
Defenseman Tomas Kaberle was acquired in February to improve the power play and be the piece the Bruins were looking for on the man-advantage with his passing and quarterbacking skills. But Kaberle has struggled and the power play has been worse since his arrival. The media and fans haven't been afraid to let him know he's struggling, but Chiarelli made sure to point out that Kaberle isn't the only one not getting the job done.
"I know Tomas has been under some heat too and it's not his fault," Chiarelli said. "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 maybe, this is an extension of nerves, they are squeezing their sticks too much. It's not fluid and these players have, if you go player to player, they have some fluidity to their game as far as making plays. So we have to figure it out and it's going to be an important component again in this next series."
Chiarelli sees the absence of Marc Savard, whose season was cut short in late January due to his second concussion in a year, as an important part of the power play problems.
"That's a huge point," Chiarelli said. "He's got the eyes and the sense. He makes those plays. I'm not saying that the guys who filled his spot aren't worthy of that, but that's Savvy's bread and butter. So definitely we miss him."
8dPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald