The Bruins earned a well-deserved day of rest Sunday after scoring a clinching 3-1 Game 5 victory over the New York Rangers to close out the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series, 4 games to 1. It vaulted the fourth-seeded Bruins to a berth opposite top-seeded Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference finals.
But Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli knew none of it would've been possible had the team not flexed its organizational might in a revealing show of depth that proved to be the difference-maker against the Rangers.
At the start of the semifinal series, the Bruins turned to a trio of rookie defensemen -- Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton -- to help overcome the loss of injured veterans Wade Redden (undisclosed injury), Andrew Ference (lower body) and Dennis Seidenberg, who missed the first four games vs. the Rangers after suffering a lower body injury on his first shift of Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals against the Maple Leafs
Offensively, Bruins coach Claude Julien rolled four lines, getting significant production from his fourth Energy Line of Shawn Thornton-Gregory Campbell-Daniel Paille, who were a combined 2-2--4 in Game 5.
Asked about what the depth said about the organization as a whole, Chiarelli replied, "It speaks volumes.
"I'd need a couple of hours to give credit to everybody,'' said Chiarelli, who met with the media Sunday at TD Garden. "It's part of a successful organization. From the Bruce Cassidys of the world, whose team lost their two best players that we took away from them, to the Wayne Smiths and Scott Bradleys, to those scouts who pound the pavement, to our college free agents staff that Donny Sweeney's heading and Ryan Nadeau, who helped identify Krug, to our coaching staff, beyond the head coach.
"I'd like to give credit to everyone I can," Chiarelli continued. "But you're right, to put together the depth that we like and we're able to us, and to manage it at all levels, at the minor-pro level, at the amateur level, and this level is a hard job and it's a testament to those that I work with."