March 5th, 2014 by

Small upgrade(s) just what the Bruins were looking for

Small upgrade(s) just what the Bruins were looking for

Photo credit: AP

With an eight-point lead over the Montreal Canadiens in the Atlantic Division, it was safe to assume that Peter Chiarelli and company were content with adding some pieces to the puzzle, but not looking to make a big splash.

One can judge how the team missed out on Bruins killer Thomas Vanek, who was dealt to the hated Habs from the Islanders. They missed out on acquiring Stephane Robidas, who went from Dallas to Anaheim on Tuesday. And they missed out on acquiring some other names like Ryan Kesler, Matt Moulson and Chris Phillips, just to name a few,

At the end of the trade deadline, the Bruins came out just fine.

Sure, Andrej Meszaros wasn’t a hot commodity in the last several hours. But they filled their need in getting a big body who is also a left-handed shot, while only giving up a third round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers in return.

The Black and Gold also claimed Corey Potter from the Edmonton Oilers off of waivers, to provide the team with added depth as a seventh or eighth defenseman. And they gave up nothing to get him.

Going into the day, Chiarelli wasn’t looking to give up much to get a big name, and who could blame him? They didn’t have to give up Ryan Spooner, who still might get called back up to Boston before the season ends. They didn’t give up any of their other top prospects. And they didn’t have to give up any of their young blue-liners such as Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton and David Warsofsky, just to name a few.

Wednesday’s moves were only to improve the team’s depth on the backend. And that was just fine for Chiarelli and company.

“We’re looking to one, maybe two depth defensemen,” Chiarelli said to BostonBruins.com “When I mean depth, it doesn’t mean they cant play up the lineup, it just bolsters our depth and they’re servicable guys. So it’s a good day, it’s an exciting day and it’s a culmination of a lot of days.”

For a team that lost Dennis Seidenberg for the rest of the season back in December, the Bruins have had their share of holes to fill without him – most notably on the penalty kill where they’ve fell from the top five in the league to 13th without him. Although he’s only seen under a minute in shorthanded time on ice per game with the Flyers in 2013-14, Meszaros has been a solid penalty killer before and should see that time increase with the Black and Gold.

As for Vanek, Moulson and Kesler, they would’ve been nice, but they weren’t a high necessity either. With their current core of forwards, the Bruins are tied for fourth with the Eastern Conference leading Penguins averaging 3.13 goals per game. Moreover, with the top two lines occupied, it would’ve been difficult for Claude Julien to fit Vanek, Moulson or Kesler into the top-6 core of forwards.

The Hub of Hockey might be impatient now that Vanek, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and a notorious Bruins killer, is donning the uniform of Les Habitants. On the other hand, there’s always a potential of landing him in the off-season if the price is right. Or they could try to fit Kesler, who will likely want out of Vancouver at the end of the season. Or they could try to acquire Moulson, who was sent to the Wild on Wednesday.

Chiarelli might be disappointed that he didn’t do more to upgrade his team as he admitted during his press conference. But as for right now, nothing has changed as far as the Black and Gold’s status as Stanley Cup contenders. They only needed a small upgrade to their current core, and that’s what the got.

Your’s truly and Erika Leigh break down the day in part one of our trade deadline special. Look for part two shortly…

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