|Barry Pederson on Sports Sunday: Bruins must ‘get physical’ to win Game 3||06.05.11 at 12:13 pm ET|
NESN hockey analyst Barry Pederson called in to WEEI’s “Sports Sunday” to discus the Stanley Cup finals. To hear the full interview, go the weekend shows audio on demand page.
While Pederson said that inserting Shawn Thornton into the starting lineup was important to the Bruins turning the Stanley Cup finals around, playing 60 minutes of physical hockey was essential.
“The Bruins have got to do what they have not done in the third periods of both games,” Pederson said. “When you listen to the coach, what he’s most frustrated about is both of those games they had an opportunity to win, and they lost non-Bruin-like, which was to sit back and allow the opponent to take the game to you.”
Pederson said that the defense had to tighten up in support of Tim Thomas and stop allowing outnumbered situations. Part of that means the forwards making smarter decisions in the neutral zone, and part of that means resting Zdeno Chara on the power play.
“[Chara] is the single best shut-down defenseman in the National Hockey League,” Pederson said. “So I want that matchup against the [Daniel and Henrik] Sedin twins. I know that [Vancouver coach] Alain Vigneault is going to be coming after every power play that Vancouver kills off, the first guys that are going to be thrown out there are the Sedin twins. I want to make sure that my top pair is fresh.”
Pederson recommended the Bruins replace Chara with Tomas Kaberle on the power play.
“You’re going to have to get some minutes from Kaberle,” Pederson said. “Chara cannot play at the amount of the minutes that he’s going against a team like Vancouver, because they are not only offensively gifted, but they are a very physical team. … They will really wear you down.”
Pederson said that Andrew Ference, despite his struggles in Game 2, would also be a good choice for power play defense.
Pederson also called out the NHL for failing to protect the “integrity of the sport.”
“It’s one of the things that separates our sport from all others,” Pederson said. Of the Alex Burrows biting incident from Game 1, Pederson said, “I really think the National Hockey League … made a mistake. He should have missed at least one game, because again, there is no place in our game for that type of behavior.”
Pederson said that by failing to punish Burrows, the NHL paved the way for the Sedins mocking the incident by introducing Burrows as a “vegetarian.”
“There are rules,” Pederson said. “When the rules aren’t enforced correctly, people know they can push the limits. If all of a sudden Burrows is suspended, I don’t think the Sedin twins make that type of comment.”
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