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Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘Montreal doesn’t have an answer for Carl Soderberg’

05.12.14 at 2:57 pm ET
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NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Monday to discuss the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Bruins and Canadiens. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins took a 3-2 series lead on Saturday by defeating the Canadiens by a score of 4-2 in Game 5 at TD Garden. Four skaters scored for Boston, while Tukka Rask recorded 31 saves in the contest.

“€œThe Boston Bruins played a tremendous game. They had a good start, they had tremendous supplemental offense from the third line, which Montreal doesn’t have an answer for, with Carl Soderberg, Matt Fraser and obviously Loui Eriksson,” McGuire said. ‘€œTheir penalty killing was very solid until the P.K. Subban ripper.

“I thought, quite frankly, that it was Boston playing a very good game and Montreal not playing up to their normal level because Boston didn’t allow it.”

Soderberg was particularly impressive in Boston’€™s last game, scoring his first goal of the postseason and adding two assists in the win. McGuire said that Soderberg’€™s size and playmaking ability has caused problems for Montreal throughout this series.

“€œAs a smaller team, Montreal doesn’t have an answer for Carl Soderberg,” McGuire said. “If you’re going to win a series, you need to have an X-factor player — someone that doesn’t get canceled out. The X-factor player so far in this series has been Carl Soderberg.”

Added McGuire: “Montreal doesn’t have an answer size-wise and skilled-wise for the depth of the Boston Bruins lineup. That’€™s the biggest issue that’€™s haunting them.”

Boston has the tall task of eliminating Montreal in the Habs’€™ home, the Bell Centre. The Canadiens posted a 23-13-5 record during the regular season and sit at 3-1 this postseason when playing in the friendly confines of their home arena.

“€œ[The Bruins are] a different team when they play here,”€ McGuire said. “€œThey play a much smarter brand in terms of penalty management. … They play a more physical, attacking style in Boston, they’€™re really comfortable playing and they want to provide that for their fans. When they go on the road, they want to take the crowd out of it and I thought they did a really great job in Game 4 in taking the crowd out of it and taking P.K. Subban out of it.”

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

On the potential return of Dennis Seidenberg in the Eastern Conference finals: “I had a really nice visit with Dennis on Saturday night before the game. I would say that there’s a very good chance, if the Bruins were to progress, that he would be back for that next round.”

 On what Matt Fraser has brought to the third line over the last two games: “[He brings] better board play and the ability to maintain a cycle and dominate the defense and put duress on Carey Price because of that cycle play. … He can shoot the puck. He can shoot the puck from in tight and elevate it or he can shoot the puck from about 20 feet and get it there with a lot of velocity, so that makes a difference.”

On Shawn Thornton spraying Subban with water during Game 5: “As soon as the play was blown dead, I saw that [Subban] was angry and that there was some water on his visor. … Obviously, it was Shawn. He pays a price, he pays the fine. … I don’€™t think it’€™s that big of a deal, quite frankly.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Carl Soderberg, Matt Fraser, Montreal Canadiens
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