BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been awhile since 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show spoke to Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, and in his radio absence the Bruins embarked on a 12-game winning streak, which came to a screeching halt Monday night at the Garden.
The B’s currently hold a 7 point lead in the Eastern Conference over the idling Pittsburgh Penguins, and with 10 games left to go in the regular season the team has a clear, virtually unabated path to the no. 1 seed.
With a condensed March schedule (17 games in 31 days) due to the Winter Olympic break, it now becomes paramount to rest key players with postseason play nearing – which is something the Bruins have the luxury of doing.
“We’re cutting and reducing [Zdeno Chara’s] minutes. And if you look at his minutes over the last few games they are going down. That’s a discussion I’ve had with our coaches, to rest certain guys as the games progress and he’ll be one of them,” Chiarelli told T&R Wednesday. “We’ve given the Olympic guys selective days off in addition to the regular days off and excuses to not attend certain things since the Olympics. That’s something we’ll continue to do.”
Chiarell is comfortable with the organization’s depth in Providence, so he hinted we might see some P-Bruins crack the lineup over the next few weeks to give his players rest.
The B’s failed to make it a baker’s dozen in their March winning streak by way of a shootout loss to the Canadiens earlier this week. The shootout seems to be the Bruins’ one true weakness, which is something that doesn’t matter at all in the playoffs.
Chiarelli thinks it’s “very entertaining” for the fans but is not a fan of it in general. He admits he’s biased, because at the moment his team is ranked near the bottom of the league in the shootout, but even in good years he doesn’t’ like seeing games decided by it.
“We try not to go to the shootout,” Chiarelli said during his bi-weekly appearance.
The GM also admits he’s been playing close attention to Detroit, Washington, Columbus and Toronto in recent weeks due to the fact those teams could square off in the first round of the playoffs. One player that’s been credited to the team running away with the conference is veteran Jarome Iginla, who will once again hit free agency at season’s end.
Chiarelli told Toucher & Rich they haven’t had many internal discussions about retaining Iginla’s services, and that, “It’s something we’ll discuss after the completion of our games. He’s been good for us. He’s a guy we’d like to keep.”
Bruins president Cam Neely responded to a question from Tony Massarotti during his weekly appearance last Thursday regarding the potential return of Dennis Seidenberg in the event of a deep playoff run. Neely said it would be unfair to place any added pressure on Seidenberg, but also didn’t rule it out.
Seidenberg suffered a torn ACL on Dec. 27, and it’s been assumed that he won’t play until the 2014-15 season. Chiarelli is not banking on his return, but he’s not ruling it out either.
“His rehab has been going very well. There’s been talks the last week about him potentially coming back. I guess there’s that chance. He’s a very well conditioned athlete and he’s ahead of schedule. I’m not counting on him coming back. It’s an ACL/MCL that takes a certain amount of time to be biologically healed, but you can never say never.”
Listen below for the full discussion, including the GM’s thoughts on Chad Johnson and an update on Adam McQuaid: