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Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘Bruins really played a methodical, smart, surgical kind of game last night’

05.09.14 at 1:35 pm ET
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NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Bruins’ Game 4 overtime win against Montreal. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Matt Fraser, who played in his first playoff game on Thursday, became an unlikely hero when he scored 1:19 into overtime to give the Bruins a 1-0 win in Game 4.

“You could almost sense it coming from that line, to be perfectly honest,” McGuire said. “I made that point a lot during the broadcast. I thought both [CarlSoderberg wanted it off the crossbar, [LouiEriksson was really pushing the pace and obviously Fraser fit in really well with them. Peter Chiarelli and the scouting staff of the Bruins and Bruce Cassidy out in Providence deserve a lot of credit.

“This is a kid who was an undrafted player coming out of the Western Hockey League, and he’s part of a big trade last summer with Rich Peverley going the other way and Tyler Seguin going the other way. He fits in so well. It was just a ping-pong play off the back board.

“I thought the Bruins really played a methodical, smart, surgical kind of game last night.”

The Bruins have had just two penalties during the past two games of the series.

“I just think they’re worried about taking penalties,” McGuire said. “The Bruins win that double-overtime game in Game 1, they become more of a beast, more physical, but they went down 0-1 in the series. They knew they couldn’t go down 0-2, they had to scramble to win Game 2, they lose Game 3 and now they’re saying, ‘Uh-oh, we cannot allow these guys to get man advantages,’ so they changed a little bit of their dynamic. I also think heading into tomorrow’s game, now that it’s 2-2 and heading back to Boston, I truly believe we’ll see a more physical Bruins team, more like the Bruins team the fans in Boston are used to seeing.”

The first line has consistently struggled throughout the series with Jarome IginlaDavid Krejci and Milan Lucic combining for a total of five shots during Thursday’s game.

“Just for whatever reason, David Krejci looks a little fatigued to me,” McGuire said. “I think today maybe he gets a day off and he goes into the game tomorrow energized and he plays a little bit better, but he wasn’t managing the puck well during that game, especially during the power play. They need to be better, and I think they will be better. I think the biggest part of it was Krejci with the Olympics, with all the games he played last year, the fact that he’s not an overly large guy. I think there’s a fatigue factor with him.”

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

On Dennis Seidenberg‘s return: “I think this series is too early. I spoke with Dennis last night. I really believe this series is too early because you don’t want to further damage or potentially damage, but I think the next series is very realistic.”

On Dougie Hamilton: “I think he can take games over. I know last week I called him the potential next Larry Robinson. I really see that in his game. There was a play he made in the first period where he put the puck up and over two players that were attacking him in the neutral zone. It was one of the more brilliant plays I’ve seen from a young player in the league let alone a defenseman, and I really think he can start to take games over and you can sense it from the Bruins staff. They have a lot of confidence in him in a lot of different situations.”

On playing Matt Bartkowski or Andrej Meszaros: “As long as you harness Andrej Meszaros and tell him what the expectation is of him, and for him to not run around and get himself into trouble or get exposed on stretch passes, then you probably go back to him. I made the point in the first period last night, Bartkowski was really soft on the puck. He had a tough time defending down low. There was one sequence in the second period that I really liked from Bartkowski where he was dominant with the puck and he tried to attack off the rush. I thought that was a really good sequence for him, but outside of that, he looked a little nervous. Now, again, to be fair, he’s a young player. That’s a really harsh environment. Again, I thought the Bruins did a great job taking the crowd out of it. That was my point in the first period, just the way the Bruins played the neutral zone. Montreal couldn’t get any speed off the rush, but he’s a young player learning and so potentially you go with an older guy like Meszaros who’s been through it before.”

Read More: Andrej Meszaros, Dennis Seidenberg, Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski
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