Bruins aim to atone for last year

CHRIS STEVENSON QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:15 PM ET

BOSTON -- After making history -- the wrong kind -- last spring, half the Boston Bruins roster of skaters was history.

The Bruins became just the third team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series when they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinal last May.

Here we go again with that same matchup.

The Bruins will meet the Flyers in Philly Saturday afternoon in Game 1 of the second round with a revamped lineup that saw nine of the players who appeared in Game 7 last May hit the road.

"It wasn't the sole driving force for the player moves that we did. You look at the season, you look at the playoffs, you look at where you want to be, what you need," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Thursday. "Certainly you look at some of the performances in that series and you make your decisions. Maybe subconsciously it was driving us. Part of that is just normal turnover."

The core players are pretty much all back: Goaltender Tim Thomas, defenceman Zdeno Chara and forwards Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi.

Chiarelli said the returning Bruins and coach Claude Julien, who ousted the Montreal Canadiens in overtime of Game 7 Wednesday night, were looking forward to the chance to play the Flyers again.

"The players do," Chiarelli said.

"Claude had mentioned it to them at one point prior to the game, 'Here's another chance to redeem yourselves.' It's fitting that we're playing them."

Chiarelli said he liked the poise his team showed in winning three overtime games against the Habs.

"The common denominator we had in this past series was the players more or less were calm. You saw some frenzies here and there, but they were able to respond after those frenzies. I liked the way we handled that frenzy," he said.

"There were three overtime games and we won those games. Those are the highest pressure points in the playoffs and we managed to win those three."

After last spring's disaster, the talk here is certainly Julien's job was on the line going into these playoffs and maybe Chiarelli's, too.

"I don't feel that," Chiarelli said. "I can't speak for Claude. He's a good coach. I read everything that's out there, I try to keep abreast of things. That's what I see.

"I'm comfortable where I am. We want to win. We've got the pieces to win and I will try to do things to continue to win. Wherever the issues fall, they fall. I read it. I just get used to reading that stuff."


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