So much of the talk before the Bruins faced the Red Wings was about the speed of Detroit, about the problems that would pose for Boston. And then the Bruins dispatched the Wings in five games.
The Bruins will face another skilled, speedy team in the Canadiens in the second round, and they are again fighting the suggestion that they can’t keep up. It was something that coach Claude Julien took issue with in the first round, and it’s something that rankles other members of the Bruins, as well.
“It’s too [much of a] stereotype, and we’ve improved our speed,” general manager Peter Chiarelli said Monday. “I just hear about it all year, too, and obviously Claude and I talk, and we get tired of it. But we have speed and we have heaviness and we have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder because of that, because of this label that we have.
“But fair enough. I understand where it’s come from. I understand when you bring it up in the context of the Wings and now the Canadiens because they’re both fast teams.
“It’s about closing gaps more quickly, it’s about establishing a forecheck and leaning on guys. It’s about our special teams — both PK and PP has been outstanding. We maintain that, and we’re going to have success.”
The Bruins, after all, managed to hold the Red Wings to just six goals in their first-round series, the same number Boston scored just on the power play.
“We can’t really control what’s being said about us,” said Zdeno Chara, who gets some of the credit for the perception of the Bruins as slow. “I don’t think we are a slow team. Obviously we are built a certain way and we want to thrive on the way we’re built and excel in areas that we are good at, but I don’t think we are necessarily a slow team.
“I think we are able to skate and make quick transitions as well as any other team. I know we can do it, and I believe that we can play with anybody.”
While the Bruins lost some of their speed in last offseason’s trade of Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to the Stars, they have gained mobility on the back end with some of their defensemen. That could help as they try to contain the Canadiens, especially noted Bruins killer Thomas Vanek and his line.
“Much is said about their size and their speed and, allegedly, that’s what gives us problems,” Chiarelli said. “They’ve got some speedy forwards, they made themselves better with Vanek. That line has had some success with Max Pacioretty and [David] Desharnais.
“Despite the common belief that speed kills, I think we’ve shown that we have some speed and we have some size and we have experience, so it will be a challenge, but I think we’ll overcome that challenge.”
No schedule yet
The Bruins-Canadiens schedule has yet to be released, and might not be released until all of the first-round series are completed, which could be Wednesday if Game 7’s are needed. Northeastern’s graduation on Friday morning at TD Garden complicates the schedule, as do previously scheduled events at the Bell Centre on May 5, 7, 10, and 13 . . . Chiarelli declined to give updates on the Bruins’ injured players, including Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly, neither of whom played in the first round. He did say that the layoff between series could help those players. “The few guys that are dinged up, it obviously helps them recover better,” he said.