Andy Brickley on D&C: Johnny Boychuk injury ‘didn’t look good’
|04.04.12 at 9:45 am ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to discuss the state of the team heading into the playoffs, the injury to defenseman Johnny Boychuk, as well as the embellishment rule, among other things.
In the Bruins’ 5-3 loss to the Penguins Tuesday night, Boychuk went down on the ice and had to be helped off by teammates without being able to put any weight on his injured left leg. Boychuk is scheduled to be re-evaluated Wednesday, but Brickley said that the injury might very well be a costly one.
‘I have some experience with bad knee injuries and I didn’t like the way that one looked,” Brickley said. “I’m hoping that he’s young enough and he’s durable enough that he can withstand it and that it’s not a long-term injury. It didn’t look good.”
With only a handful of games remaining before the regular season comes to an end, it can be hard for some playoff-bound teams to maintain their focus on their final games. Brickley said that regardless of the circumstances, teams like the Bruins just have to keep playing hard.
“The intention is in the final three games when you know you’re not changing slots as far as who you play in the first round, you’ve still got to play the game at 100 percent, you’ve got to play it hard and you’ve got to play it in the right way,” Brickley said. “The minute you start taking short cuts or you don’t play at 100 percent, real bad things happen.”
The Bruins are a team that’s not unfamiliar with facing opposing players that dive, and they experienced it Tuesday night as Penguins defenseman Kris Letang acted as if he were hit the face with a stick from a Bruins player. However, the embellishment rule, which penalizes players for for diving, was not called in that instance, something Brickley thought was a mistake.
“Anytime a player snaps his head back like that as if he got a stick in the face when it’s not even close, it’s akin to taking a dive when somebody tries a very subtle poke,” Brickley said. “You see guys put one hand on their stick, put it in the midsection of a player and the player flops. There was a time when they really started cracking down on the diving penalties and that’s basically embellishment and that’s what you saw last night except it was the snap of the neck by Letang.
“It goes to the integrity of the game and the integrity of the player. It’s a man’s game played by men, and you hate to see when players do that.”
Brickley said that the Bruins, while not entirely free of embellishment, are one of the teams that embellishes the least in the league, largely due to their tough-nosed image and philosophy.
“I don’t think any team is free and clear of embellishment, but the Bruins man up more than any team in the league,” Brickley said. “When you see guys put on the Bruins uniform that came from other organizations and have their first and second fights of their careers, I think they have a pretty good idea of what the makeup of this Boston Bruins team is and what’s accepted and what’s not.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
On changing lineups come time for the playoffs: “At this time of year, there’s no real secrets. Teams have a pretty good idea of who they’re going to get in the playoffs as far as the matchups go and who the possibilities are. They do a lot of video scouting. They pay attention a lot with enough coaching staff and enough scouting that there’s really no secrets.”
On the Seventh Player Award: “It seems to, at times, be a popularity contest and not really what the essence of the award was created for. You think about when the award was created and the types of teams that the Bruins had, they were looking to recognize the Seventh Player. On the pregame show, I was plain and clear who I thought would be the best choice for the Seventh Player Award and that was Chris Kelly. I think that would really tell you what the award is all about if you award it to a guy like Chris Kelly, what he means to the Bruins and what he means as a player.”
On how he feels about the team heading into the playoffs: “I have a better feeling this year based on matchups and, until last night, the health of the team. I think the only concern I might have had, because I thought this was a better Bruins team coming into the season than they were coming into last year. That being said, that probably doesn’t mean anything. I like their attitude and mindset heading into the postseason. I like their health, I want to hope that Johnny Boychuk is healthy because that allows everybody to be slotted on the defensive side of the puck. I like the fact Tim Thomas got hot at the end of the year. It’s been a challenging season for him with some of the decisions that he’s made, obviously with the social media aspects and not going to the White House and everything that surrounded the Bruins at that point. All of those elements considered, I have a good feeling about this team as far as trying to make a deep playoff run, but it won’t be easy. It never is this time of year.”