|Adam McQuaid on M&M: ‘It’s pretty easy to dislike who you’re playing against’||05.09.13 at 2:18 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid checked in with Mut & Merloni on Thursday afternoon to talk about Wednesday’s night’s overtime victory over the Maple Leafs that gave the B’s a 3-1 series lead.
The intensity in this series hit a new high in Game 4, a back-and-forth game that featured plenty of hard hitting. Although Toronto doesn’t have the obvious villains like some of the Bruins’ more fierce rivals, McQuaid said it’s not difficult to develop some animosity toward the skaters in blue and white.
“We’re playing for the Stanley Cup, and the guy across from you is the one that’s trying to prevent you from getting that, so it’s pretty easy to dislike who you’re playing against. They’re trying to take something away from you,” McQuaid said. “You kind of know who you’re playing against. At the same time, we’re kind of trying to focus on ourselves and make sure that we’re playing hard.”
“He’s got a lot of speed. He’s a great offensive talent,” McQuaid said. “He’s got a quick shot, so he doesn’t need much time to get a good opportunity. So, you have to do your best to try and limit his opportunities and be aware when he’s on the ice.”
Tuukka Rask had a big game Wednesday, the same day the league announced the finalists for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender. Despite posting stats that put him at the top of the list, Rask is not one of the three finalists.
“We know how valuable he is to our team and what he brings to our team,” McQuaid said. “We let him know in our eyes that he deserved to be there. Some guys are joking around that he’s just going to have to be better next year. ‘¦ We know how important he is to our team and how good he is. There was a little bit of surprise that he wasn’t nominated. But like I said, his value within our team, we know how important he is.”
McQuaid has been paired in this series with Wade Redden, the veteran who spent two years in the minors before returning to the NHL this season and being acquired by the Bruins from the Blues at the trade deadline in April.
“He’s a guy that has a ton of experience,” McQuaid said. “Him going through what he went through the last couple of years I think speaks volumes to the type of person he is. To persevere through that. I was just happy to see him have the success that he’s had. I feel pretty fortunate to have a D partner like that.
|Don Cherry on M&M: ‘You’re going to see a different Toronto Maple Leafs’ in Game 4||05.07.13 at 12:21 pm ET|
Legendary Hockey Night in Canada commentator and former Bruins coach Don Cherry joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday morning to talk about the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Bruins took a 2-1 lead on the Maple Leafs in their first-round series with a 5-2 victory in Toronto on Monday night, but Cherry said now that the Leafs have gotten past the first home game, they should be more comfortable.
“I think for the first half of the game they had the jitters,” Cherry said. “You couldn’t believe the crowd outside. There was about 10,000 people with a monstrous [TV] screen in a square here. It was unbelievable. This is the first time they’ve been in the playoffs in nine years. And what I think happened was they were very, very nervous. The kids were very, very nervous the first half of the game, anyhow. Then they said, Hey, what the heck, we’ve got to turn it on. And they did. So, I said the opening game [that] last night you’re going to see a different Bruins. I’m going to predict you’re going to see a different Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow night.”
Tyler Seguin has no points in the Bruins’ three playoff games, but Cherry predicts the young forward will break through at some point.
“Maybe he’s just a little frustrated right now, but he’s going to come through,” Cherry said.
Cherry, no stranger to controversy, recently came under fire when he offered support for Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith after Keith made a condescending comment to a female reporter. Cherry, who is credited with being the first NHL coach to allow a female reporter in the locker room (while coaching the Bruins in 1975), explained his view.
Said Cherry: “It’s not that I don’t think they’re qualified, it’s not that I think they shouldn’t do the interviews. I just don’t think they should be subject to some of the guys, the way they act. The guys take advantage of it. That’s what I meant. Again, it was taken all out of context.”
Cherry also touched on his relationship with former Bruins general manager and president Harry Sinden. The two had a falling out after Cherry was not retained as B’s coach in 1979, but Cherry said they’re finally back on speaking terms.
“Harry and I have [made up],” Cherry said. “We’ve been awful enemies for some reason. I don’t know what happened — something. But in the last hurrah, Harry and I shook hands. It was me that started the whole thing, I think. I was a little vindictive, because I didn’t want to leave the Bruins and all that sort of stuff. But Harry and I have made up, and good for it, because life’s too short to go through with arguments all the time.”
|B’s anthem singer Rene Rancourt on D&C: ‘I’m just so proud for having been a part of it’||04.18.13 at 8:28 am ET|
Longtime Bruins national anthem singer Rene Rancourt joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning, following Wednesday night’s emotional performance that preceded the Bruins’ game against the Sabres.
Rancourt started singing before putting down his microphone and allowing the 17,000-plus fans to take the lead.
“It was a very different sensation for me,” Rancourt said. “This was a first for me. I’ll tell you, I’m speechless for the first time in my life.”
Rancourt, 73, has sung the anthem at Bruins games for more than 35 years, and he said this was the most memorable.
“That is No. 1,” he said. “It’s a tough call choosing between this night, last night, and Game 6 of the Vancouver series [in 2011]. But I’d have to say, this is really a time where you feel you’re a part of history. It’s bigger than your ego. Because I’m always saying that anthem singers should really focus in on the words. That way the feeling comes across. It shouldn’t be an ego situation. This was totally unique.”
Rancourt said the fans’ participation was a big help, as he wasn’t sure he would have been able to make it through the song without getting overly emotional.
“As I was getting ready, warming up my voice during the day — because it’s not that easy a song to do — I found myself breaking up and tearing up while I was practicing,” he recalled. “I said, ‘Gee, I don’t know if I can get through this thing.’ ”
Added Rancourt: “I’m sure that the people didn’t even realize how much help I actually did need. It was wonderful. The sound was carrying me, lifting me up in the room. It was just something indescribable. ‘¦ I’m afraid I would have probably broken up a few times during the anthem. I’m not ashamed to admit that.”
Rancourt said the team came to him with the plan to allow the fans to sing.
“It’s the Bruins office that had the idea,” he explained. “We all talked about it and how we were going to do it: the moment of silence and showing a video and coming on with the firefighters, color guard. We worked it out. It was their idea.
“I was very nervous. I didn’t know how — what if you stop singing and nothing happens? It went more than well. I’m just so proud for having been part of it.”
|Canadiens’ Alexei Emelin out for season after collision with B’s Milan Lucic||04.08.13 at 1:35 pm ET|
Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin will miss the remainder of the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee following a collision with Bruins forward Milan Lucic on Saturday in Montreal, the team announced Monday.
Emelin lined up Lucic as the winger was reaching for a pick near mid-ice, but Lucic was able to brace himself, and Emelin got the worst of it. While Lucic skated away, Emelin tumbled to the ice in pain and required immediate assistance from the medical staff.
Emelin, a 26-year-old Russian who is in his second NHL season, recorded three goals and nine assist while playing almost 20 minutes per game this year.
|Jarome Iginla on choosing Penguins over Bruins: ‘It wasn’t fully my choice’||03.28.13 at 2:28 pm ET|
“I was fortunate that the three teams that were kind of making a pitch — or however you say it — proposals were interested. I was humbled. They’re pretty all great teams, and I feel fortunate to have had the choice,” said the former Flames star. “But also at the same time, it wasn’t fully my choice. I wanted it to be a mutual thing. But when the Flames said that they liked things, they were happy with that, I was thrilled and thankful for the opportunity.”
Iginla indicated the appeal of joining Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin was too good to pass up.
“The opportunity to play on a team with the two best players in the world … as a player, I wanted that opportunity,” Iginla said.
|You Can Play president Patrick Burke on D&C: Rumor of Canadiens player coming out ‘total nonsense’||03.06.13 at 11:58 am ET|
Flyers scout Patrick Burke, president of the social activist group You Can Play, joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the rumor that a Canadiens player was preparing to announce publicly that he’s gay.
“It’s total nonsense,” Burke said. “It’s completely fabricated. There’s no truth to this rumor. It was created by an anonymous Twitter account. It was then picked up by a couple of the less-reliable, let’s say, gay blogs. And it’s now being repeated in mainstream media.
“Josh Gorges is the rumored player, according to this Twitter account. Josh is recently engaged to a lovely woman. I’ve spoken with the Canadiens about this. It’s very confusing to them. Obviously they’re supportive if they did have a gay player, and Josh is supportive of any potentially gay teammates. But it’s not him.”
Burke started You Can Play two years after the death of his brother, Brendan Burke, in a car accident in 2010. Brendan was an openly gay student manager for the Miami (Ohio) University hockey team and spoke out against homophobia in sports. The brothers are the sons of former Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke.
Burke predicted a player will come out sometime in the near future.
“I think the next 12-18 months,” he said. “I think there’s a chance it could happen sometime this offseason or next offseason. I think we’re very, very close here, and within the next year-and-a-half or so it will happen.”
Added Burke: “I just think we’re ready. The players who have done videos for us — for the Bruins it’s Zdeno Chara, it’s Shawn Thornton, it’s Andrew Ference — the leaders in the league are stepping up and saying that we’re ready for this. The Bruins were recently awarded an award from MassEquality. At the acceptance speech they said, ‘The Boston Bruins are ready for a gay player, we will accept a gay player, we will welcome a gay player as long as he’s good enough to help us win.’ That’s something that’s echoed around the league by players, by management, by coaches. As long as a guy’s good enough to help a team win, who cares?”
Burke also said there are players whose homosexuality is known to some teammates.
“There are players who are out to members of their team,” Burke said. “Members of the team know that he’s a gay player; doesn’t have an effect on the way they treat him. So, when the first player does do this publicly, his teammates will be ready for it.”
|Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘Nobody likes to see embellishment’||03.04.13 at 2:35 pm ET|
NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Monday, a day after the Bruins dropped a 4-3 decision to the Canadiens.
Following the game, B’s coach Claude Julien was critical of the Canadiens for what he deemed to be “embellishment” to draw penalties. McGuire empathized with Julien.
“I think it’s always been a problem in the league,” McGuire said. “Nobody likes to see embellishment. We’re not soccer. No disrespect to soccer players, either; I think that’s more in the culture in their game than it is in ours. And I don’t think there’s any coaches or general managers or even officials that want to see embellishment. It’s a hard enough game for the officials to referee now. With the embellishment that does take place from time to time, it’s really a tough game to officiate, even tougher.
“I can tell you, I’ve talked to a ton of coaches and a ton of players around the league and a ton of managers. Every one, to a man, they don’t want embellishment.”
“At the end of the day, Chara did what he was supposed to do. Chara showed leadership on Emelin,” McGuire said. “I thought that was a great job by him. You’ve got to think the referees missed the cross check that Emelin dished out to Seguin. You don’t like that. I didn’t like that.”
McGuire said Chara’s message got through, and not just to the Canadiens.
“I think what Z was doing more than anything else is he’s sending a message not only to the Montreal Canadiens but to the rest of the league. And believe me, that message has resonated. I just got done watching Tampa and Pittsburgh skate, and all the players know what happened last night. And they’re like, they don’t want to mess with Chara.
“So, it gives some more room to Seguin, it gives some more room to [Brad] Marchand, it gives some more room to [David] Krejci. People are aware in the league. While it’s a small sample size of, are you mad because Boston lost if you’re a Bruins fan, you look at it long term, it will probably pay itself off in the long term.”
Looking at the NHL this season, McGuire puts the Bruins in lofty company — alongside the record-setting Blackhawks.
“The Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins right now are the two best teams in the league, in my humble opinion,” he said. “And I’ve watched every single team in this league so far since the season started. The fact that they lost a tight game to Montreal, I don’t think it was all about embellishment. I just think there were some things Boston needed to do better in that game, and they didn’t get it done.”