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Mike Keenan on D&C: Dwayne Roloson ‘a calming influence’ for Lightning

05.23.11 at 9:15 am ET
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Former Bruins coach Mike Keenan joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to talk about the Eastern Conference finals, which resume Monday night at TD Garden with the tiebreaking Game 5. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Keenan, who coached the Bruins in the 2000-01 season, one of eight NHL teams he helmed, said the B’s have to be hurting after blowing a big lead in Saturday’s Game 4 loss to the Lightning.

“How many times do you have a 3-0 lead in a series? And Boston knows this from Philadelphia [last year], it was 3-0, I hope it doesn’t end up the same result. But you have a chance to take the other team out. Then you have to look at yourself and say, ‘What happened?’ ”

Lightning backup goalie Mike Smith came off the bench and did not allow a goal Saturday, but Keenan said he would go back to Dwyane Roloson for Game 5. “He’s a calming influence for this group,” Keenan said of Roloson. “He’s got good leadership skills.”

Keenan said another reason to return to Roloson is to inspire the rest of the team. “There’s a great deal of respect, the players really like Roloson,” Keenan said. “And to show that they do, they’re going to come out and play really hard for him. And that’s part of what you take into account as well.”

While much has been made of the goalie situation on both teams, Keenan said the Bruins’ other stars need to step up. Said Keenan: “You’ve got to rely on your best players. … I want to see [Zdeno] Chara step up and take complete charge of the game. I want to see [Patrice] Bergeron. [David] Krejci, I don’t know if he’s ready for that. But you’ve got to go to your top players. [Mark] Recchi‘s going to help them. I want to see [Nathan] Horton step his game up and become a superstar.”

Krejci took a big hit in Game 3 from Tampa’s Marc-Andre Bergeron. Keenan explained why he felt Krejci was partly to blame. “Because all he had to do was have his head up,” Keenan said. “He had his head down. The kid [Bergeron] didn’t leave his feet. He kind of came in and he didn’t even really accelerate. He kind of let up a touch.

“And the one thing I’m advocating right now and asking the players on the ice to remember, you’re not protected by the rules. We’ve got this silly notion that the league is going to protect you, there’s going to be suspensions.”

Added Keenan: “You have no friends out there. This is a high-speed game. It’s a dangerous game — it can be. And you’re responsible for your vision. … You’ve got a responsibility. He should have had his head up.”

Read More: David Krejci, Dwayne Roloson, Mark Recchi, Mike Keenan
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