Friday, February 18, 2011
Bruins' new additions fit right in
By James Murphy ESPNBoston.com
OTTAWA -- Two of the four players the Bruins acquired since Tuesday night, forward Chris Kelly and defenseman Tomas Kaberle made their Bruins debuts Friday night in a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Neither registered on the score sheet, but their presence was felt right away.
Kaberle, who has been rumored to be coming to the Bruins since a 2009 draft-day deal that fell apart in the last minute, was simply happy to finally be a Bruin.
Chris Kelly looked solid in his first game as a Bruin -- against his former Senators teammates, no less.
"Seems like the last few years at the deadline, I was going to be dealt and then not dealt," Kaberle said. "It's not easy to think about it every time, and the whole month gets long and longer and you try to focus on the hockey games. Now it's over and I can just focus on the hockey games, and hopefully we can make the playoffs and make a good run."
Kaberle, who was paired with Dennis Seidenberg on defense during five-on-five play and then Zdeno Chara on the power play, knows exactly what his role is as a Bruin: to help move the puck up ice and boost the power play, which has scored in each of the past six games.
"I am just going to try and fit in there, and I'll do whatever it takes," Kaberle said. "Obviously, I am a puck-moving defenseman, and hopefully I can help the PP. All four lines are playing well and short shifts, and it's a young team -- fast -- and I think they got a lot of expectations and I am the same way."
Chara saw an immediate influence on the power play from his new partner on the man-advantage.
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"You could see it right away," Chara said. "We got some good opportunities and got some good shots. He brings so much to that power play and to our game, and it's very exciting to see and to have him, and it's an honor to play with him."
Bruins coach Claude Julien seemed impressed and excited to have someone of Kaberle's caliber on his team now and quarterbacking his power play.
"Certainly settles our power play down, and I think our power play will get a little bit better with a little bit of chemistry there," Julien said of Kaberle. "But he' an intelligent guy, defends well, good stick, and like I said, his poise with the puck is something that really stood out to us tonight."
As for Kelly, who ironically played his first game with his new team against his former team, the smart two-way forward felt right at home in the Bruins system.
"It was fun to play; guys move the puck, guys in the right spot and it was just an easy game," Kelly said of fitting in. "It was positive and I had a lot of fun tonight."
Julien also liked the way Kelly adapted in his first game.
"He was also good, and did well" Julien said of Kelly. "He has new linemates and showed up for us the first time today. It's a little tougher when you're trying to create offense, but what I liked about him was he understood how we play quickly and adjusted well to that."
James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.