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Ray Ferraro on M&M: Alex Burrows should have been suspended

06.06.11 at 2:29 pm ET

Former longtime NHL player Ray Ferraro, who now has a radio show in Vancouver and provides game analysis for Canadian television, joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday and offered a small dose of optimism for Bruins fans. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

“I think the Bruins can get back in the series tonight,” said Ferraro, who retired in 2002 after 18 NHL seasons and 898 points (408 goals). “I think if you played 100 games, I think the Canucks would win more. I really do. I think the Canucks are a deeper, better team. But that doesn’t mean that they’re going to win this series. What it means is tonight is absolutely imperative to the Bruins. They lose, they don’t have a chance. They win, then they’ve got a chance. They give themselves a chance in Game 4 to even this series.

“I think the Bruins can win tonight. But they’d better be letter perfect, because the Canucks are a good road team.”

Ferraro said it’s important for the B’s to get off to a good start, and physical play from Shawn Thornton ‘€” who has not dressed the first two games ‘€” might help in that regard.

“I would make that move,” Ferraro said, adding: “If the Bruins are going to get back in the series — and really, without poo-pooing a 2-0 deficit, they haven’t really haven’t lost anything. They haven’t lost at home. At some point, they’ve got to win a game in Vancouver to win the series. Now, they’ve got to take care of their business here at home.

“They’re looking for an aggressive start. Well, Dan Paille is playing four minutes a game. So, if Shawn Thornton goes into the lineup in his place, the opportunity Thornton plays those four, five, six minutes ‘€” and he had a good season for the Bruins ‘€” he’ll give you some physical play. If I’m coaching, I’m really thinking about it. The only concern I would have is if the pace of the game is too fast for Thornton. You’ve got to make sure that he can keep up with the pace of play, because right now it is a track meet out on the ice. It is extremely fast.”

Canucks forward Alex Burrows had two goals and an assist in Game 2 after apparently taking a bite of Patrice Bergeron‘s finger in Game 1. Ferraro said he felt it was a suspendable offense.

“I do,” Ferraro said. “I’m on the radio in Vancouver and it wasn’t a real popular position. I’m not a fan of ‘€” let me put it this way: I know there’s different standards for playoffs and regular-season games. I thought Nathan Horton should have been suspended for Game 7 [of the Bruins-Lightning series] for squirting a fan with a water bottle, because you get suspended in the regular season for that. And I thought Burrows should have been suspended for Game 2.

“The other thing, too, guys, is like, OK, so they decide not to suspend him. But for them to say there’s no conclusive evidence of him biting Bergeron ‘€” I said on our show, if that’s the case then I want to rob a bank in the city of the NHL, because I’ll never get caught. How much more evidence do you need than that? He shouldn’t have been in the game. And then you’re right, it is the NHL’s worst scenario, that a player that shouldn’t be in the game goes and has such a direct impact on the outcome of the next game.”

Canucks forward Maxim Lapierre added insult to injury when he taunted Bergeron in Game 2 by sticking his finger near Bergeron’s mouth and taunting the Bruin.

“I’m not a fan of the way that Lapierre does some of that stuff after the whistles and stuff and never have been,” Ferraro said. “But I will say that when I played, I did some things on the ice that wouldn’t be in my most proud moments daily life. There’s stuff you do on the ice. The thing that he’s doing with Bergeron, why I don’t like it is — and I really try to separate from the old statement, ‘Well, when I played ‘€¦’ But the fact is, when I started, if he would have been doing that, somebody would have grabbed his finger and ripped it off. And that would have just been the way it is. You would have never done that.”

Added Ferraro: “Lapierre is an aggravating guy. He’s an annoying guy to play against. ‘€¦ He wants to rattle Bergeron’s cage. It’s not going to happen with Bergeron. He’s not going to get flustered. I get what he was trying to do. I thought it looked a little childish.”

The Bruins defense has come under fire for some key mistakes in the first two games. Said Ferraro: “When I look at the Bruins defense, I’m not seeing the most gifted group of puckhandlers that I’ve ever seen on the blue line,” he said. “There are some limitations as to what they’re going to do with the puck.”

Added Ferraro: “I do believe they’ve been a little careless with the puck, but some of that is Vancouver’s speed.”

Tim Thomas also has taken some heat for the overtime goal in Game 2, but Ferraro dismissed that talk. “I do find it a little bit comical that everybody’s critiquing his style now,” he said. “Historically, Tim Thomas has the best save percentage season of any goaltender in the NHL in the history of the game. It’s not like he forgot how to play goal here in the last three days. His style is unorthodox, it’s odd. There’s nobody else that plays it. But guess what? They used to say that about Dominik Hasek, too.”

Read More: Alex Burrows, Daniel Paille, Maxim Lapierre, Nathan Horton
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