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Don Cherry on D&C: Bruins ‘just don’t seem to be ready’

05.07.14 at 9:25 am ET
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Legendary Hockey Night in Canada analyst Don Cherry checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss the Bruins’ disappointing 4-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“That was not one of their better games. I don’t understand it,” the former Bruins coach said. “They spot teams a 3-0 lead and think they’re going to come back in the third period. It’s a dumb way to play.”

The Bruins were hurt by a couple of defensive breakdowns that led to early Canadiens goals, and Cherry said their failure to be prepared to play hard and focused from the opening faceoff is an issue that continues to haunt them.

“It’s funny, you can sit here and dissect it. You have to be behind the bench to realize that Montreal is going to come out flying,” Cherry said. “They have their favorite singer. You have to be ready for something like that. It’s easy to say. I’ve been there many times before.

“There’s so many mistakes made, even down to the one where [Tuukka] Rask doesn’t bang his stick on the breakaway. You’re taught in junior, in bantams, when you see a penalty near the end, you bang your stick to warn the guys. Here’s a guy that’s not ready. They just don’t seem to be ready. They think that they can come back all the time in the third period. They seem to be relying on that third period all the time. They don’t play desperate right now. I’m telling you, they better start, because they’re sky high, Montreal is sky high.”

Added Cherry: “You’ve got to play like [Brad] Marchand. Believe it or not, he was plus-2 last night. He is a guy that they’ve got to look to. He plays like that all the time, and that’s the way they’ve got to play. They were fast asleep the first two periods.”

The Bruins’ problems start in goal, where Rask has continued his career-long struggles against the Canadiens, while Carey Price has come up with some big saves at the other end.

“Rask is not playing the way Rask can play. … Price is outplaying him, that’s for sure,” Cherry said. “Rask is not playing like he did in the season for some reason. Montreal’s got — I don’t know if they’ve got his number or what. But he’s not the Rask that I know.

“But here’s the thing that bothers me, is the Bruins were out-hit last night. Imagine the Bruins being out-hit by those little midgets with Montreal. They’re just not ready. And if they’re not ready, it’s going to be a short series.”

Cherry said the Bruins need to be more physical but disciplined, and that it shouldn’t be that difficult.

“You don’t be a dum-dum,” Cherry said. “Retaliatory penalties, that’s the thing that gets me. Like they did, the one game they lost they played it stupid. They were grabbing them and throwing them down, stuff like that. Take the body, hit the body, but don’t be a dum-dum. Just be more physical, that’s all. Be like Marchand. He’s the guy, they call him a little rat and all that, but he’s up for every game. Like I say, he was a plus-2. They all play like Marchand, they’ll win the next game.”

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

On if Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban is playing better than Zdeno Chara: “Right now the way he’s playing, there’s nobody in the league — never mind Chara — playing as good as him right now. This guy is a phenom. The breakaways he gets, he gets the slap shots from the point. He’s something. … Never mind Chara, he’s the best guy in the playoffs right now.”

On if the Bruins have the better team: “There’s no doubt about that. If they play up to their potential, if both teams play up to their potential, there’s no question. But Montreal IS playing [to their potential], they can’t play any better than they’re playing. And Boston can’t play any worse than they’re playing. I’m not throwing them under the bus or anything, I’m just telling the truth. They are playing lousy now. They start off every period the same way. They think they’re going to spot teams like Montreal a 3-0 lead, with a goalie like Price — no way.”

On if the Bruins are done if they lose Game 4: “The Bruins have got to come out in the first period like they usually do during the season. They were red hot. If they don’t come out in this [series] and they get down 3-1, I don’t think they’ll come back with Price.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Carey Price, Don Cherry, P.K. Subban
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