Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and head coach Claude Julien boarded a plane to Sochi, Russia on Sunday along with the remaining four B’s players destined for the Winter Olympics, and did so with a greater piece of mind about the team they were leaving behind.

That’s because the Bruins stabilized their lineup without the service of Dennis Seidenberg, and did so while playing their best hockey of the season in an 8-1-2 stretch over the final 11 games leading into the Olympic break.

Even more impressive was the B’s snatching three of four points against the Blues and Senators without Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara after he’d left for the Olympic opening ceremonies.

By all rights the Bruins should have beaten the Blues after taking the game over in the second period, and controlled play right up until Carl Soderberg’s pass was intercepted by T.J. Oshie behind the Boston net. Part of Boston’s success against St. Louis was the ability of Boston’s young defensemen to break the puck out of the zone quickly, and that can really add a little needed speed to the Bruins’ attack.

“Claude and I talked before that [St. Louis] game – they’re a heavy team – about getting the puck out quickly. So those are the [David] Warsofskys and more [Torey] Krugs and more Barts [Matt Bartkowski] and more [Dougie] Hamiltons, those are the types of D that can do that,” said Peter Chiarelli. “You know, at the end of the day, it would be nice to have that component all the time in the back end. It helps us with our speed, and we’re not the speediest team.

“You give up some in defending. We didn’t have Zee [Zdeno Chara], we didn’t have [Adam] McQuaid, we didn’t have Seids [Denis Seidenberg], those are three really good defenders. Our challenge is to find the right balance. But that was a good game, they are a heavy team. I think we’ve outplayed them both times we’ve played them, but we haven’t won. I’ve been happy with the way we played them both times, so it’s a good measuring stick game. It’s nice to say we have a measuring stick game instead of us being the measuring stick all the time.”