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Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins’ power play ‘a work in progress’

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 [1] runner-up season is the power play. The Bruins ranked dead last in the NHL [2] in power-play goals last season with 18. But they’€™ve already notched two man-advantage goals through two games.

‘€œIt’€™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. ‘€œYou’€™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 [3], who was traded to Dallas, and Nathan Horton [4], 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.

‘€œHe 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. ‘€œI think the reason why is he, too, is playing with a little bit of a conservative attitude, trying to fit in with the system.

‘€œBut 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.

‘€œIf I had to pick out one thing, it’€™s his foot speed, I think that’€™s what was holding him back,’€ said Brickley. ‘€œHe was a first-round pick for a reason, and I think we’€™re starting to see it.’€

The NHL [5] 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.

‘€œI 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. ‘€œI 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 [6] 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.

‘€œI’€™m not surprised, because it’€™s Philadelphia, they don’€™t sit tight very long,’€ Brickley said. ‘€œIf 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.’€

To hear the full interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page [7]. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins [8].