With the Bruins in the midst of a rare five-day break this week, general manager Peter Chiarelli joined Toucher & Rich on Friday morning to help fill the hockey void.
Chiarelli will be heading to the Olympics with Team Canada, but he said he’s not overly worried about security concerns in Sochi. As for the team here in Boston, Chiarelli was asked if the workload has become too much for Tuukka Rask, who has struggled lately.
“It doesn’t concern me. Prior to this year, not in the NHL, he’s played a lot of games. He’s been a workhorse,” Chiarelli said, likely referencing Rask’s 2008-09 campaign, when he played 58 games in the AHL and one in the NHL. “Mentally, he’s capable of handling that stuff.”
Since Dec. 28, Rask has posted a 2-4-1 record, 3.92 goals-against average and .889 save percentage.
“Players go through dips,” Chiarelli sadded. “It’s very rare to see a player or a goalie have a consistent performance every night, and you may be seeing that a little bit in Tuukka.”
Chiarelli said that Chad Johnson’s recent string of success should make it easy for the team to get their goaltending plan back on track, in terms of workloads.
“It looks like maybe Tuukka was tiring. He said that he’s not — it may just be a dip in his play. We played him a little bit more, Chad had a couple of struggles, and now we hope to get back to our plan.”
Chiarelli offered some praise for defenseman Kevan Miller, who signed a two-year deal with the Bruins this week, but he cast aside the suggestion that such a signing indicated a trade would be imminent.
“That’s a quantum leap,” Chiarelli laughed. “We look to improve this team. We lost Dennis Seidenberg. He’s a top-two D-man for us, especially defensively. I’ve been trying to look around to see if we can somehow fill that void a little bit. Signing Kevan Miller was neither here nor there with regard to Seidenberg, but it does give us depth and he’s shown that he can play and give us good minutes. So no move is imminent, but I haven’t stopped looking.”
Chiarelli then discussed Brad Marchand getting back to normal, Peter Gammons’ suggestion that the NHL is a minor sport, and the now-infamous line brawl in the Canucks-Flames game over the weekend.