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Dougie Hamilton on M&M: ‘We have to play our game and not cross the line’

04.30.14 at 2:11 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday afternoon, a day before the B’s return to the ice to start their second-round series against the Canadiens. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins have been off since dispatching the Red Wings in five games on Saturday.

“It’s been good just to refresh a little bit, and I guess able to refocus,” he said. “Now we’re prepping hard for Montreal tomorrow. I think we were kind of expecting it to be Friday or Saturday, but nicer that it’s already tomorrow. I guess we’re all excited to get going now.”

Hamilton made two key offensive plays that led to goals vs. Detroit by taking advantage of a gap in the defense.

“Right from the start of the series they were kind of taking away everyone else and then kind of leaving me,” he said. “So I think it was up to me to make the good play and figure out how to beat that. I thought skating was the best idea. I guess I got, I don’t know, lucky on those two plays. But I think just they were really similar, kind of just holding the first guy off and getting through the blue line and then making a decision after that.

“I’m sure this series the penalty kill will be different, and I have to go back to how it was in the season.”

Hamilton said the Bruins will continue to be physical against the Canadiens, while trying to avoid ending up in the penalty box.

“We have to play our game and not cross the line,” he said. “I think obviously when you’re playing a team in a series I think you can wear them down. When we’re effective I think we’re chipping pucks in and forechecking hard and making their ‘D’ make mistakes. I think that really helps us. I think we’re definitely going to have to do that and keep hitting them and kind of try to wear them down, and hopefully not make them want to have the puck. Obviously not cross the line, but I think it’s a different mindset in the playoffs. But we’re definitely going to try to be physical again and fast, and hopefully get on them.”

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Brad Marchand returns to Bruins practice

04.30.14 at 1:22 pm ET
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Brad Marchand was back at practice Wednesday after not taking part in Tuesday’s practice. Though he did not say why he was absent Tuesday, his voice was hoarse on Wednesday, suggesting he was ill.

With Marchand back at practice, Daniel Paille returned to the Merlot line after skating in Marchand’s place Tuesday. Wednesday’s lines and pairings were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille/Caron – Campbell – Thornton

Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Boychuk
Krug – Miller

Dennis Seidenberg practiced again and did not take contact. Corey Potter remains absent after appearing to injure his shoulder last week in practice.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Chris Nilan on D&C: ‘If anybody has an edge in any way in this series, it’s Boston’

04.30.14 at 10:16 am ET
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Former Canadiens and Bruins forward Chris Nilan joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming playoff series between Montreal and Boston. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Canadiens and Bruins met four times during the regular season, with Montreal winning three and Boston winning one. Despite that, the Bruins finished with the best record in the NHL and are considered not only the best team in the Eastern Conference but the favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Nilan sees Boston as having the slight advantage because of its tough, hard-nosed approach.

“If anybody has an edge in any way in this series, it’€™s Boston, and I think it’€™s the edge physically and size-wise,” Nilan said. “Montreal, I think they’€™re a better skating team, but if Boston takes that away from them, and they’ve done it before, then the Canadiens will be less effective. If Montreal can get their skating game going, and they have good support in all the areas of the ice, and they’€™re willing to pay the price, they’€™re willing to go the areas that are difficult to go to, then they can have success.”

Nilan, a Boston native who played for the Canadiens for 10 years and the Bruins for two years, has seen the rivalry from both sides.

“When you’€™re in it and you’€™re involved in it, you quickly realize how difficult it is to play against — I mean when you’€™re on either side,” Nilan said. “I was on both sides, I was in Montreal, and being in Montreal playing against the Bruins back in the day was extremely difficult. You’€™re always in for a tough game. You had to fight, you had to take the hit. You had to do some things that were very uncomfortable.

“It was the same for the Bruins when I was there. The same thing. Both teams come on at each other. Both teams dislike each other. And it doesn’t matter back in ‘€™53 or what happened in ‘€™79, but it all builds and it all lends credence to the tradition of such a great rivalry.”

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Chris Nilan, Montreal Canadiens, NHL

Source: Bruins-Canadiens to begin Thursday at TD Garden

04.29.14 at 6:08 pm ET
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The Bruins and Canadiens will begin their Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday night at at 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden, according to a league source. Game 2 is expected to be played Saturday, with the likelihood that it will be a matinee.

RDS reported the schedule for the series earlier Tuesday, which falls in line with all of that information. According to RDS, the schedule is:

Game 1: Thursday, May 1, 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden
Game 2: Saturday, May 3, 12:30 p.m. at TD Garden
Game 3: Tuesday, May 6, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 4: Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 5: Saturday, May 10, TBD at TD Garden
Game 6: Monday, May 12, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 7: Wednesday, May 14, TBD at TD Garden

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Daniel Paille cleared to play, Bruins glad to have Dennis Seidenberg practicing

04.29.14 at 1:18 pm ET
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Bruins forward Daniel Paille said after Tuesday’s practice that he has been cleared to play after recovering from a suspected head injury.

Paille hit his head on the ice after a hit from Jake McCabe on April 12 and missed the entire first-round series against the Red Wings. Given that Paille had two concussions earlier in the season, he said Tuesday that the team was extra careful in bringing him back this time.

“Because it’s my third injury this year, there’s a lot more precautions to kind of rule out,” Paille said. “I believe I could have played midway through the series — I didn’t feel like I had too long of any symptoms/injuries — but there was a lot of precautions and I had to continue with that process.”

Paille began taking light contact last Thursday, but Tuesday’s practice saw him participate in battle drills. As for the notion that he could have been brought back sooner, Claude Julien said the Bruins simply followed protocol during the last round.

“I waited for the OK from our doctors. That’s basically what I waited for,” Julien said. “To say that he might have been ready, I needed to know that he was ready. I know he’s ready for the next round now.”

Paille practiced Tuesday on Patrice Bergeron‘s line in place of Brad Marchand, who did not practice. With Paille back, the assumption is that he will slide back into his old spot on the fourth line in place of Jordan Caron. Julien cautioned against assuming Paille is in the lineup just because he is cleared, but there is no doubt that Paille would be an asset against the speedy Habs.

“We’ll see where we are, guys,” Julien said. “The series hasn’t started yet and we haven’t made any decisions yet. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here.”

Dennis Seidenberg also practiced Tuesday, but he did not take contact. Julien said that Seidenberg is skating with the team to prevent the “boredom” that comes from skating on his own each day. Seidenberg was initially ruled out for the season after tearing his ACL/MCL in late December, but he is well ahead of schedule in his recovery.

“It’s great to see. It gives you an emotional lift to see your teammate battling like he’s been battling just to be better,” Bergeron said. “Obviously he’s been doing that for a while. It’s nice to see him back out there, and obviously I don’t know what the timeline is there.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Dennis Seidenberg, Daniel Paille practice with Bruins

04.29.14 at 11:22 am ET
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The Bruins returned to practice Tuesday at TD Garden, with Daniel Paille and Dennis Seidenberg both participating. Chris Kelly, Corey Potter and Brad Marchand were all absent.

Paille, who has been cleared for contact since last Thursday, participated in battle drills and skated on Patrice Bergeron‘s line in place of Marchand. Seidenberg did not take contact.

Seidenberg skated on an extra pairing with Andrej Meszaros, with the rest of the lineup looking like this:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Paille – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Caron – Campbell – Thornton

Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Boychuk
Krug – Miller

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Daniel Paille, Dennis Seidenberg,

Speed kills: Why the Bruins are annoyed with what you think of the Canadiens matchup

04.28.14 at 1:35 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien gets visibly annoyed when people talk about other teams’ speed being an issue for the Bruins, or the Bruins being too big and slow to hang with any squad with zip.

Turns out Peter Chiarelli does too.

After eliminating a fast team in five games, the Bruins once again face a speedy opponent in the Canadiens, and they’d like to be given a little more credit.

“It’€™s too [much of a] stereotype, and we’€™ve improved our speed,” Chiarelli said Monday. “I just hear about it all year, too, and obviously Claude and I talk, and we get tired of it. 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 coming from, I understand when you bring it up in the context of the Wings and now the Canadiens because they are — they’€™re both fast teams.”

Chiarelli traded away a lot of speed last summer when he shipped Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to Dallas, but the team has hardly turned into a bunch of cavemen on skates. The development of strong skaters on the back end in Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski has actually made the Bruins a faster team in getting out of their zone and getting through the neutral zone.

Montreal is faster, to be sure, but the Bruins have quickness of their own to go with their physicality, which was seen throughout Boston’s five-game elimination of the Wings.

“It’€™s about closing gaps more quickly. It’€™s about establishing a forecheck and leaning on guys. It’€™s about our special teams,” Chiarelli said. “Both our PK and PP has been outstanding. We maintain that and we’€™re going to have success.”

Indeed they have. The Bruins scored six power-play goals in a series for the first time since 2010 in going 6-for-15 on the power play while holding the Red Wings to two goals on 20 Detroit power plays.

The biggest victim of the “Bruins are slow” narrative is Zdeno Chara, both literally and otherwise. The 6-foot-9 Norris finalist has never been a great skater, and the fact that he’s gotten up there in age and got injured late last postseason has painted the picture in some minds that he can be exposed. That’s yet to really happen though.

“We can’€™t really control what’€™s being said about us or maybe other teams, when they play us,” Chara said. “It’€™s more how we’€™re going to play and how we do things on the ice. 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 what we can do it, and I believe that we can play with anybody.”

Said Chiarelli: “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.”

Read More: Peter Chiarelli, Zdeno Chara,
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