BOSTON (CBS) – The Bruins were ill-equipped to stop the speed and skill of the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the postseason, so 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Massarotti show feel it’s right to point some of the blame at general manager Peter Chiarelli.
“I know there’s been talk about [Thomas] Vanek going to Montreal, and they’ve strengthened their team and good for them. It never seems that we’re the anointed winner of trade deadline day and I’m fine with that. They’re a better team and I look forward to facing them.”
– Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli following the trade deadline on March 5, 2014
Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti said before the series even started that a lot was at stake for Chiarelli following his perceived inactivity and conservative approach at the trade deadline, and now that the series is over it’s open season and fair game to make second guesses.
“Those comments came back to haunt [Chiarelli]. Shame on all of us for forgetting about that in the month of March, like a bunch of regular season games mean anything.
“We all just sort of thought, ‘Look! They don’t need that defenseman. They were right again! Ten straight wins! Presidents’ Trophy! Look at this!’ — so shame on all of us for sort of putting it to the side. Everyone, to a man, who said they were a defenseman short at the trade deadline forgot about it in March, April and into May,” said Felger to lead off the conversation.
Boston took rival Montreal to seven games and ultimately couldn’t prevail. The series ended up 4-3 in favor of the Canadiens, but anyone who watched understands the B’s were out-skated, out-hustled, out-coached — all of that.
Frankly, it was a miracle to even reach a seventh game the way the Bruins performed.
“I don’t know how you can come away from a game like that in a series like that and not have questions about the way they are built and the way they are at the moment,” said Tony Massarotti.
Marc Bertrand is taking a different stance. Fans are calling for major shake ups to the roster this summer after this disappointing, early round exit, but Beetle feels like Montreal just presented a bad matchup.
It’s hard to disagree with that stance. Tony’s tweet from earlier today best illustrates that point:
FWIW ... Bruins are 4-10 in last 14G vs Montreal. In the last eight Ls, they've scored 10 goals. That, friends, is a matchup problem.—
Tony Massarotti (@TonyMassarotti) May 15, 2014
But getting back to the personnel debate, a defensive breakdown by rookie blueliner Matt Bartkowski led to the Habs’ first goal and it was all downhill from there for Boston.
At the time of the deadline the Bruins were without Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid, and rather than trading for help Chiarelli elected to stand pat.
So for those who criticized the GM for his inactivity on deadline day, the Bartkowski-gets-caught-sleeping-in-Game-7 example alone should be all the proof you need that the Bruins were short on defense, and for that Chiarelli deserves blame.
Listen below for the full discussion: