Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins’ message to Canadiens was, ‘You cannot beat us in a long series, because we will just wear you down’
|03.26.14 at 1:17 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ loss to Montreal, the upcoming Chicago game, Dennis Seidenberg and the Seventh Player Award. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
The 12-game win streak came to an end on Monday against the Canadiens, but the Bruins were able to get a point as they forced overtime with a goal from Patrice Bergeron in the third period. Brickley wasn’t concerned with the physicality that the Bruins showed and thought they picked the right game to be that way.
“There was some undisciplined play by the Bruins, retaliatory in nature, throughout the course of the hockey game,” Brickley said. “But if there was ever a game on the schedule, that was the time to do it. I think it helps send a little bit of a subtle message, but still try to play the game, play the game to win, which I thought they did. It wasn’t about the streak, it was about continuing to play the right way, coming into their identity.”
Added Brickley: “If you’re going to play Montreal in a seven-game series, I think part of that message was, ‘You can’t beat us. You cannot beat us in a long series, because we will just wear you down.’ ”
While the streak is over, the Bruins own the best record in the Eastern Conference. To Brickley, now is the time for them to start focusing on the postseason.
“You hear it all the time, ‘Just one game at a time,’ and so on,” Brickley said. “But they’re looking big picture given the position that they’ve put themselves in, and that’s a favorable one. … It’s really all about getting prepared for postseason, so results don’t take on as great a meaning as they normally would.”
Having said that, Brickley acknowledges that Thursday’s matchup with the Blackhawks is one that every Bruins player is looking forward to. While resting becomes more of a reality for players down the stretch, Brickley sees the current mindset as playing the right way.
“This is a Chicago team that every player that was on the Bruins a year ago that lost in dramatic fashion in Game 6, they want to play in this game,” Brickley said. “As they much wanted to play in Montreal. I was curious, because we’re at that point in the season where you’ve got to start resting guys, and that means sitting guys out that are keys players.
“And as a player, you looked at Montreal and it would have been an easy sit-down for some guys, one or two because the long road trip, the three different time zones, the four games in six nights, but it was Montreal, and the Bruins were all out there, basically their A-team, and I think that’s the mentality that the players have right now. Again, it’s not so much about winning, it’s about playing the right way. If you get the win because you play the right way, that is the expectation in the locker room.”
General manager Peter Chiarelli recently said that the Bruins weren’t ruling out the possibility of Seidenberg returning at some point in the playoffs. Brickley sees it as an unlikely scenario given the severity of the injury, reportedly a torn ACL and MCL, and the amount of time he’s been away.
“You haven’t played in such a long stretch of time, and when you come back now you’re in the conference final or final at the earliest,” Brickley said. “Certainly not in the game plan to me, and it’s not something that I would ever game plan for.'”
Added Brickley: “I’m not sure what the motivation for the conversation is. Again, to me it’s not a possibility. It’s not going to happen.”
With the selection of the Bruins’ Seventh Player Award coming up next month, Brickley sees Kevan Miller as a guy who could win it.
“I immediately think of a guy either like, I don’t know, Kevan Miller,” Brickley said. “A guy that wasn’t even on the radar that’s playing more minutes than anybody, really right now on the back end when they’re trying to rest [Zdeno] Chara and give [Johnny] Boychuk a chance to catch his breath and get healthy.”