April 18, 2012

Kelly: Confidence key in Bruins' quest to repeat

By Stan Fischler

Chris Kelly was the unlikely scoring hero for Boston when the Bruins beat Washington 1-0 in their series opener.

Interviewed by our Jared Lane, Kelly discussed the following topics. 

Chris Kelly played a huge role in the Bruins capturing the Cup last spring. (Getty Images)

* BRADEN HOLTBY:

Obviously he’s a very capable goalie. He’s played some good games so far and his performance is one of those things that’s part of the game of hockey.

He’s out there doing his job, just like everyone else. You’ve got to stay focused and work through those tough situations and not get frustrated.

* PRESENCE OF BRIAN ROLSTON:

I’ve always been a fan of his game. I remember him in Minnesota; he dented my pads with his slap shots.

You know he can shoot the puck, he skates well and overall plays a smart game. He’s good in his own end, he holds on to the puck in the offensive zone and doesn’t make high-risk plays.

I also enjoy playing with Benoit Pouliot. We’re getting familiar with one another and while we’re not the flashiest of players, we’ll never be mistaken for that, but we’re using one another well and we come up the ice together well and support one another.

* DEFENSIVE NATURE OF PLAYOFF HOCKEY:

Both teams have played well in their own end for the most part. We were feeling each other out for the length of the first game.

We’ve given them some strong power play moments, but other than that they haven’t had many scoring opportunities and neither have we.

The Capitals played well in their own end and that’s playoff hockey. There are not too many high scoring games anymore.

* MOLDING HIS GAME TO FIT THE BRUINS:

I try to play my game and be consistent. Sometimes the bounces will go our way, sometimes they won’t.

It’s important to stay focused because it’s a long regular season. I try to work hard and be better prepared to handle pressure situations in these playoff games.  

* WINNING THE CUP:

You’ve got earn every inch of ice for a full 60 minutes. The level of competition is through the roof and that’s something we’re seeing in every series around the league.

It’s important to play with confidence and consistency in all three zones especially against a team such as Washington, which has been playing well defensively.

It’s a tough challenge for our club, but as I stated, when we play confident that’s when we are most successful.

30 SECOND THIRD DEGREE -- GARRY GALLEY

Longtime NHL defenseman and current “Hockey Night in Canada” commentator Garry Galley has seen the game transform in front of him over the years.

TFR’s Max Henson caught up with the former Bruins defenseman and got his thoughts on assorted topics.

* DIFFERENCES IN TODAY’S GAME:

Bigger. Stronger. Faster. Players are in much better shape and the game has changed. The guys who blocked and shots and were hitters – there was less of them when I played.

Now everybody gets in the shooting lane and finishes their checks. It’s really difficult to maneuver through the game now and you don’t have a lot of time and space.

* CHANGES IN GOALTENDING:

When I started, goalies mainly used a stand-up style. But then Patrick (Roy) came in and the butterfly took over.

I’ve seen both sides of it. The goalies are great athletes now and big. If you’re not 6-foot-2 it is hard to play goalie in the league.

* BEST PART OF TODAY’S GAME:

I like the speed but it is a reckless speed and at times I think it has gotten a little too fast. That’s why we are seeing some of these injuries.

* FAVORITE MOMENT AS A PLAYER:

The Stanley Cup Finals in Boston. That was a dream come true, to be that close to winning the Stanley Cup.

Of course, I didn’t win it but being a Bruin was very important to me. I grew up a big Bobby Orr fan so that was a highlight just getting to the Finals.

* MOST EMBARASSING MOMENT:

When I was with the Capitals they stole my Jeep doors once. Dale Hunter and Greg Adams stole them so I ended up having to drive down the Beltway with no doors on my car.

My boss, Bryan Murray, drove right by me and shook his head and kept going. I was frozen and they kept the doors for two weeks.

* CBA NEGOTIATIONS:

I really hope that they realize that this game can’t afford stoppage. There is some give and take that has to go on for both sides.

There are some bargaining chips both sides are holding. I hope they find a way to make it all work and I think they’ll find a solution.

GOSSIP

Two major issues in Pittsburgh as defined by a Steel City insider: “Marc Andre-Fleury has turned back into the ‘head case’ that he was a few seasons ago. And Dan Bylsma has lost control of his team’s discipline.” … 

Capitals coach Dale (Only One Year On My Pact) Hunter led Washington to the playoffs after taking over mid-season, but there is a chance Hunter could choose to leave when the Caps’ campaign ends. He could return to coach the successful franchise he owns in the OHL, the London Knights. “It’s like everything. You’re here,” says Hunter. “You’re here to win. Whatever happens in the future happens.” If the Caps beat the Boston, we’ll bet that Hunter will stay in D.C. …

The Habs are seeking permission from the Kings to talk to Luc Robitaille, the team’s president of business operations and assistant GM Ron Hextall about their general manager vacancy. However, Los Angeles has informed Montreal to wait until the first round of the playoffs is over. … 

Scott Gomez may have played his last game for the Canadiens. The injured center expects the Habs to buy out his contract. TVA Sports speculates that Gomer could wind up with his former team, the Devils. We doubt that – very much!