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Andy Brickley on M&M: ‘I just totally don’t expect’ Dennis Seidenberg to return

04.16.14 at 1:11 pm ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about Dennis Seidenberg and the upcoming playoff series against the Red Wings. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

When Seidenberg tore his ACL last December, most assumed he was done for the season. But with Seidenberg back on the practice rink, some have speculated that he could be back at some point, including Peter Chiarelli. Brickley said if Seidenberg is going to come back, he has to come back at full strength.

“He’€™s just such an incredibly strong athlete that if he can look like he’€™s able to play and actually get up to speed and be a productive player then that would be a tough decision, but a good decision to have to make,” Brickley said. “That being said, I’€™m still in the camp that I just totally don’€™t expect it.”

Added Brickley: “€œI think if he’€™s back he’€™s going to play regular minutes. And I don’€™t think they want him in a 10-15-minute range. … If he’€™s in the lineup and he’€™s playing, he needs to be able to handle similar minutes.”

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was the coach of the Canadian team for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, with Claude Julien his assistant. While the two shared coaching ideas and strategies during that time, Brickley doesn’t see it as an advantage for either coach.

“I don’t think we’re at any point of the season now where there are any secrets, with all the video pre-scouting that you do, with all the actual scouts that represent Detroit that have been following the Bruins over the last month or two,”€ Brickley said. “Everybody is well aware of how the Bruins play and everybody is well aware of how Detroit defends as well. Usually Claude Julien gets the checkmark when it comes to who’s got the better coaching when you’€™re comparing two teams, but this one is a pretty even matchup when it comes down to that.”

One of the highlighted aspects of the upcoming series is Detroit’s speed vs. Boston’€™s aggressiveness. Brickley sees the Bruins being OK if they manage the puck well and don’€™t give Detroit any easy chances.

“The speed [of Detroit] only hurts you when you turn the puck over in transition,” Brickley said. “€œThat’€™s the only time that the speed can really beat you when you talk about Detroit if you think that’s an issue. So that means puck management for Boston. Not only coming out of their own zone but center ice. Center ice becomes an obvious key in this series. You can’t be turning pucks over there to Detroit because their turnaround speed is real good.

“So you need to own center ice, you need to own the middle of the ice, you need to establish your forecheck and make Detroit have to go 200 feet. Don’t allow them to stretch the neutral zone when they do have puck possession on your forecheck, on their control breakout or anything that comes back to the neutral zone on the regroup. Don’t let them get in behind you. Don’t allow those easy breakaway chances or the quick two-on-ones on the counter. So it becomes puck management, it becomes the neutral zone.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Dennis Seidenberg, Detroit Red Wings
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