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Peter Taglianetti on M&M: Brad Marchand could near Matt Cooke territory

Posted By Tim Healey On June 6, 2013 @ 2:00 pm In General | 2 Comments


Brad Marchand, here celebrating Patrice Bergeron's game-winner in double overtime Wednesday night, has been criticized for his chippy play. (AP)

Framingham native and former Penguin Peter Taglianetti checked in with Mut & Merloni on Thursday afternoon to chime as a voice from the other side of the ongoing Eastern Conference finals, and said Brad Marchand might want to watch out. Sooner or later, the scrappy Bruins forward could be viewed similarly to how Matt Cooke is now.

Cooke has drawn the ire of hockey fans everywhere and Bruins fans in particular for a series of dirty hits throughout his career, most recently after a five-minute major and game misconduct for hitting defenseman Adam McQuaid from behind in Game 1.

While Marchand is not on that level, Taglianetti compared the two.

“If you guys had Matt Cooke, you guys would love him. If the Penguins had Marchand, they would love him. He plays on the edge,” Taglianetti said. “I don’t think [Marchand is] dirty-dirty, but he plays with that little edge that you sit there and go, ‘Wow, you better watch yourself.’ The one thing that I’d give him as a piece of advice, at some point … this guy is going to get a reputation and he’s going to be put in that same [group] Matt Cooke is soon.”

Taglianetti, disappointed in the Peguins play thus far that has led to the Bruins’ 3-0 series lead, pinned it in the lacked of fundamentals. He cited Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang getting tied up in front of the net in Wednesday’s Game 3 as an example.

“Little things like that irk the hell out of me,” Taglianetti said. “Not knowing who is on the ice, or trying to make a stretch pass when the team’s bottling up the neutral zone — there’s a lot of little things that the mentality of the game just doesn’t seem to be there.”

As for the atmosphere in Pittsburgh, well, it’s about how you’d expect. People are worried, frustrated.

“I probably couldn’t use the words people are saying,” he said. “You don’t have to be a superstar to be a leader. A lot of people around here are wondering who is supposed to be leading this team.”

It’s not just that the Penguins are behind in the series that has everyone concerned; rather, it’s the way that it has happened. With the back-against-the-wall scenario Pittsburgh now finds itself in, there could be a storm brewing, particularly if the Bruins complete the sweep Friday at TD Garden.

Coach Dan Bylsma’s job likely won’t be in danger, according to Taglianetti, but he wouldn’t be surprised by other major changes.

“Is it a huge, major disappointment? Yes. It would be devastating to his team. It’ll be devastating to a bunch of guys on the team who probably aren’t going to be here next year,” Taglianetti said, questioning whether Letang and Marc-André Fleury, among others, would be on the team next season. “There are a lot of questions. If there was not a 3-0 score, you wouldn’t have any of these questions. But decisions would be made and possibly some of these guys wouldn’t be here. But I’ll tell you … if they do get out Friday, something might happen very, very quickly just to get the ball rolling.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page [2]. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins [3].

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