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Pierre McGuire on M&M: Bruins ‘well on their way to creating three things you have to have if you’re going to win’

04.25.14 at 2:40 pm ET
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NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss Thursday night’€™s game against the Red Wings.

After winning 3-2 in overtime on Thursday, the Bruins have a 3-1 series advantage over Detroit in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“I would say the three things you want to plant in an opponent’€™s mind during a playoff series — concern, doubt and fear,” McGuire said. “Clearly there’€™s concern. If you’€™re Detroit, there’€™s got to be a whole lot of doubt, and I think coming into Game 5, there’€™s a little bit of fear.

“So Boston’€™s well on their way to creating the three things you have to have if you’€™re going to win a playoff series. But to say it’€™s over would be disrespectful to the Detroit Red Wings, and I would never disrespect that franchise.”

The Red Wings took a 2-0 lead in the first 25 minutes of play Thursday before Boston made its comeback.

“(Detroit) can put 60 minutes together,” McGuire said. “They just can’€™t do it the same way Boston can. The biggest thing is … Detroit, under (Mike) Babcock, made a subtle adjustment. They were really trying to stretch out the Bruins defense, and that’€™s why you saw the speed game engaged by the Detroit Red Wings in the first period, and that’€™s why the shot totals were so in Detroit’€™s favor.

“But (Claude) Julien and his staff made a subtle adjustment. They started moving their defensemen up and closing the gap, forcing more turnovers that allowed them to control the puck more and then they started a counterattack forcing those quicker Detroit players to play defense rather than offense.”

McGuire added: “You saw Boston with the four lines start to dominate, and what was really apparent in the third period (when) he was rolling four lines, and he was basically cutting the shift times from 35 to 45 seconds down to 30 to 25 seconds — and even 20 seconds, in some cases. But that four-line attack just wore Detroit down.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more team news, visit weei.com/bruins.

On Brad Marchand: “It’€™s three (missed shots) in a row now. You go back to Game 3 where he hit the post on the empty net and then two last night. … The good news for Brad is that he’€™s creating these opportunities and he’€™s playing with a whole lot of vim, vigor and vitality, which is really important. … He’€™s just trying to be too refined right now, and I think it’€™s a little bit in his head.”

On Carl Soderberg: “I’€™m prepared to say he’€™s the best third-line center in the National Hockey League right now from a skill standpoint, from a game-breaking standpoint and from a not being a defensive liability standpoint. And when you factor in no Chris Kelly on that line — he’€™s such an important player for the Boston Bruins — that says a lot about the Bruins’€™ depth. It says a lot about Carl Soderberg’s ability to really stabilize a game.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

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