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Ray Bourque on M&M: Bruins ‘shouldn’t lose’ to Canadiens in potential playoff series

03.25.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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Bruins legend Ray Bourque appeared on the Mut & Merloni show Friday to talk about the NHL‘€™s crackdown on hits to the head, rookie Tyler Seguin and what to expect from the Bruins in the playoffs. To hear the interview, visit the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Bourque said that not only are hits to the head more noticeable now because of the NHL‘€™s crackdown, but also because it seems like there are just more of them. ‘€œI think some of the stuff has changed,’€ Bourque said. ‘€œYou might’€™ve seen certain hits that were similar in our day, but it seems like there were less head shots.

‘€œJust flagrant elbows to the head, you’€™re seeing a lot more it seems like, like [Matt] Cooke a few times that he’€™s done,’€ Bourque continued. ‘€œI don’€™t think you used to see that as much. I’€™m not sure why you’€™re seeing more of that now, if it’€™s lack of respect for each other out there or what. I’€™m happy that they’€™re really trying to cut it down.’€

Bourque also discussed Mark Recchi‘€™s comments about the Canadiens embellishing the severity of Max Pacioretty‘€™s concussion after Zdeno Chara‘s hit on him. Bourque said that sometimes it’€™s necessary for a veteran leader to step up and take some pressure of a teammate.

‘€œThat was a nice veteran move and great leadership in terms of taking a little of the pressure off and moving it on him and bringing some things up for question that were being talked about,’€ he said.

The guys asked Bourque about Seguin and some of the challenges he’€™s facing as a rookie, particularly when it comes to the physical play in the NHL. ‘€œWell, I think that’€™s a big part of it, the physical part of the game,’€ Bourque said. ‘€œBut also, he’€™s such a young guy. You’€™ll look at this kid three years from now, in terms of maturity mentally and physically, he’€™s going to be in a different place. That’€™s what he has to gain and he has to grow.

‘€œAnd he’€™s in a different situation than Taylor Hall,’€ Bourque added. ‘€œTaylor Hall, [the Oilers] can play him all they want. He can make mistakes and they can keep throwing him out there. That’€™s not the case with the Bruins. The Bruins are going for something here. Every shift is an important one for them.’€

Bourque said the key for the Bruins in the playoffs will be consistently playing like they did in Thursday night’€™s 7-0 win over Montreal. ‘€œI think just start playing the way they did last night,’€ he said. ‘€œThis team, when they have their skating legs underneath them and they go out and skate the way they did last night, they’€™re a very good team.

‘€œSome nights, it’€™s not there. I think it’€™s consistency going down the stretch and playing that type of game game-in, game-out. The playoffs is totally a new season in terms of the excitement and the expectations.’€

Some of the pressure to finally advance past the second round will undoubtedly fall on Chara, the team’€™s captain. Said Bourque: ‘€œI think he expects that from himself. I don’€™t think anybody’€™s tougher on themselves than Zdeno is. He leads by example big-time.

‘€œBut you don’€™t do it by yourself. You’€™ve got to rally the troops, and that leadership and that will has been maturing every year. I think it’€™s statement time for this team. Within that room, I think that’€™s what you’€™ve got to talk about. ‘€˜We’€™ve got to find a way to get things done here and get to that next round.’€™ ‘€

Bourque said he definitely sees the Bruins as a viable candidate to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup finals.

‘€œI think you’€™re talking Philly, Washington, Bruins and Pittsburgh if [Sidney] Crosby comes back,’€ Bourque said. ‘€œThose are the teams you’€™ll probably see battling in the end, and the Bruins are really part of that mix. I think they’€™ve shown that this year in a lot of different areas and at different times of the season, that they can play with anybody. It should be interesting to watch. It’€™ll be fun.’€

The Bruins and Canadiens would meet in the first round if the season ended today. The guys asked Bourque if, as a player, you would want to avoid Montreal in the first round because of everything that’€™s happened this season.

‘€œIn some ways, I think you may be right that way, but in other ways, the Bruins are a better team than Montreal,’€ Bourque said. ‘€œIf they play their game, they shouldn’€™t lose to that team. It looks like it’€™s going to shape up that way unless something changes. When you talk about hype and everything that’€™s happened this year, there will certainly be a lot of things to talk about going into that series.’€

Read More: Mark Recchi, Ray Bourque, Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara
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