Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins’ power play ‘a work in progress’
|10.09.13 at 2:11 pm ET|
NESN’s Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ hot start to the season.
Boston posted a pair of home victories last week. On Thursday, the Bruins beat the Lightning, 3-1, then they took down the Red Wings, 4-1.
One area Boston needed improving on following its Stanley Cup runner-up season is the power play. The Bruins ranked dead last in the NHL in power-play goals last season with 18. But they’ve already notched two man-advantage goals through two games.
“It’s still a work in progress, and will be for a while, they’ll continue to experiment, and continue to try [Zdeno] Chara at the front of the net with one power-play unit,” Brickley said. “You’ve got different weapons this year, [Jarome] Iginla’s a great finisher with the man advantage, [Loui] Eriksson’s a real good power-play guy.”
Aside from the power play, Boston also must fill the void left by playmakers Tyler Seguin, who was traded to Dallas, and Nathan Horton, signed as a free agent by Columbus.
The Bruins hope Eriksson, who came over from the Stars for Seguin, can fill that void. Eriksson has not entered the point column yet as a Bruin.
“He came in as the centerpiece of that deal, with Seguin going the other way down to Dallas, and I think the expectations are that he’s going to be a 70-point guy, and he’s off to a slow start as far as the offense is concerned,” Brickley said. “I think the reason why is he, too, is playing with a little bit of a conservative attitude, trying to fit in with the system.
“But he had a couple of really good scoring opportunities last game.”
Boston is also experiencing a influx of youth, with youngsters Jordan Caron, Reilly Smith, Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton all playing vital roles for the team. Caron, a 22-year-old former first-round pick, scored his first goal of the season against Detroit last Saturday.
“If I had to pick out one thing, it’s his foot speed, I think that’s what was holding him back,” said Brickley. “He was a first-round pick for a reason, and I think we’re starting to see it.”
The NHL recently imposed an addition to its fighting rules — any player who removes his helmet before the start of a fight will receive a two-minute penalty in addition to the five-minute major penalty requisite for fighting.
“I hate the fact that it sure seems to me, and a lot of people in the hockey community, that they’re just trying to legislate fighting out of the game,” Brickley said. “I think it’s silly, because two guys that are going to fight, you want to take the helmets off, all you’re doing is you’re each getting an extra two minutes, so it’s seven minutes for fighting now.”
In non-Bruins news this week, the Flyers fired coach Peter Laviolette just three games into the season. The Franklin native had spent more than four seasons with the team, but Philadelphia’s absence from the postseason last year and its 0-3 start to this season doomed him.
“I’m not surprised, because it’s Philadelphia, they don’t sit tight very long,” Brickley said. “If he gets another kick at the can in the future, which I’m sure he will, he will have success no matter where he coaches.”
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