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Sports

July 9, 2013

New Bruins F Eriksson hoping for playoffs

BOSTON — Loui Eriksson played in too few playoff games under too many coaches with the Dallas Stars.

Now the high-scoring forward gets a chance with a more successful and stable franchise.

“The last time I was in the playoffs we went to the conference final,” Eriksson said Monday, four days after being traded to the Boston Bruins. “It was real fun to go that far and the last five years in Dallas we haven’t made the playoffs. So it’s been a while.”

The Bruins have reached the playoffs in each of their six seasons under Claude Julien. They won the Stanley Cup in 2011 then lost in the finals in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks this year.

Eriksson led the Stars with 150 goals over the past five seasons, but did it under three coaches — Dave Tippett, Marc Crawford and Glen Gulutzan. On June 21, Lindy Ruff was hired to replace Gulutzan.

Eriksson’s two-way playing style is different than that of the key player he was traded for, the offensive-minded Tyler Seguin, and suits Julien’s disciplined, defensive approach better.

“I’ve been through a lot of coaches and it’s always nice to find one that likes your style,” Eriksson said. “It’s been tough the last couple of years because (the Stars) have been changing coaches almost every second year. So I heard a lot of good things about the coach in Boston.”

Eriksson played both wings in Dallas and was told by Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli that he’ll play right wing, a position he prefers. The Bruins had vacancies at that spot on their top three lines when Nathan Horton left for free agency, Jaromir Jagr wasn’t re-signed and Seguin was traded.

Eriksson, an alternate captain with the Stars, provides some of the toughness Horton had and a better scoring touch.

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