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Andrew Ference on D&C: Alex Ovechkin ‘a superstar that’s willing to get his nose dirty’ 04.13.12 at 10:37 am ET
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Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, following Thursday night’s 1-0 overtime victory over the Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“I was happy the way we came out at the start of the game,” Ference said. “The demeanor in the room was really good. The last few days of practices kind of led into that. ‘€¦ Overall it was a good first game. It was a lot better than last year’s first game.”

Alex Ovechkin was kept in check Thursday night, but Ference knows how explosive the Caps forward can be if left unchecked.

“With him, it’s always just about how dangerous he can be,” Ference said. “In a heartbeat he can lay you out with one of the harder hits in the league, or he can [beat] you for a pretty goal. He’s got a great shot. It’s not like he doesn’t have all the tools to be an extremely dangerous player. He just gets so much more attention from everybody’s best defensive forward, best D-man. Nobody really gives him an inch out there.”

Ovechkin took a huge hit from Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg but bounced right up after the collision.

“He’s not one to shy away from anything physical,” Ference said. “But a hit’s a hit. Those hard hits add up. But he’s not going to be one to shy away, that’s for sure. I think he enjoys playing real hockey. Having that physical side of the game is great. That’s what makes the sport really nice.

“Guys respect that. He’s a superstar that’s willing to get his nose dirty. And I think that’s why guys appreciate his game so much.”

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby shined in his playoff debut, making 29 saves before surrendering the game-winner to Chris Kelly in OT.

“He looked solid,” Ference said. “For a first playoff game, good for him.”

B’s legend Phil Esposito ‘in shock’ about daughter’s sudden death 02.01.12 at 2:07 pm ET
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Bruins legend Phil Esposito said Tuesday he is in shock after learning of the death of his 43-year-old daughter.

Esposito, who founded the Lightning franchise, said his daughter Carrie died Monday, apparently from a sudden illness. She was married to former Lightning star Alex Selivanov and living in Germany, where Selivanov played from 2003-08.

“I’m having major difficulties with this,” Esposito told the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m just in shock. I cannot believe it even as I sit and talk to you. I expect her to call me and start saying, ‘April fool.’ ”

Esposito said he plans to fly to Germany later in the week to get more details about his daughter’s death. He said she coughed up some blood 10 days ago, “but she refused to go to the doctor. She refused to go to the hospital. ‘I’m fine. I’m taking the kids to practice.’ That’s all I know.”

Read More: Alex Selivanov, Phil Esposito,
Andy Brickley on D&C: Coach Claude Julien correct to question Bruins’ effort 01.18.12 at 10:04 am ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to dissect the team’s recent struggles. The Bruins lost to the Lightning Tuesday night, their second loss in three games.

Coach Claude Julien questioned the team’s work ethic, and Brickley backed him up.

“Everybody knows it’s a fine line between winning and losing if you don’t bring the kind of effort, and then you add to that you’re missing a couple of key skill guys and how it changes your lineup,” Brickley said. “But it does, it boils down to battles, one-on-ones, who wants it more.”

With Brad Marchand serving the final game of his five-game suspension and fellow forward Rich Peverly dealing with a personal matter, the Bruins appeared to be missing a spark Tuesday in Tampa.

“They’re tremendously talented kids, they’re hockey players, they’re smart, they play the game the right way. But it’s their speed that changes the dynamic of the Bruins,” Brickley said. “When you’re watching last night’s game, the Bruins on the breakout, you see them caught by a lot of the backcheckers of Tampa. You don’t see that explosive forecheck. You don’t see them getting 3-on-2s and 2-on-1s because they have speed through center ice. ‘€¦ The whole dynamic of your offense changes, but it’s the speed element that you miss the most.”

After visiting the Devils Thursday night, the Bruins host the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers Saturday afternoon.

“I’m pretty curious to see how these two teams match up,” Brickley said of Saturday’s game. “I like the way both teams are built, I like the way they’re both coached. Meaning, what’s it going to look like in April and May, because I like the way their built as far as playoff hockey. Yeah, they’ll be real good regular-season teams, too. But because of the way they play — the physical style, the physical nature, the toughness the one-on-one battles, all that kind of stuff — that’s the way both those teams are built, with a lot of talent sprinkled in. I think they’re two of the best teams in the East and I’m very curious to see where they both match up against each other and the styles that they play.”

Read More: Andy Brickley, Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, Rich Peverly
Obsess much? Canucks reportedly rip covers off NHL media guides with images of Zdeno Chara holding Cup 01.11.12 at 11:54 am ET
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Miami Herald reporter George Richards noticed something odd in the press box at Monday’s Canucks-Panthers game. Someone had ripped the cover off the NHL Official Guide & Record Books that were there for the media.

The cover features a photo of Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara holding the Stanley Cup. Putting two and two together, Richards surmised that someone with the Canucks organization ripped the books in anger at the B’s following Saturday’s heated battle.

Richards put his photos of the damaged books on his Twitter site, and it’s been gaining steam on the web since.

Read More: Zdeno Chara,
Chris Kelly on M&M: ‘I’d love to stay here’ 01.06.12 at 1:35 pm ET
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With Brad Marchand sick and unable to make his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show, fellow forward Chris Kelly filled in to talk about Thursday’s rout of the Flames and Saturday’s highly anticipated Stanley Cup finals rematch with the Canucks.

The Bruins continued their red-hot ways — nine wins in 10 games — with Thursday’s 9-0 rout of the Flames, and the balanced scoring throughout the lineup has been impressive.

“Every line goes out and plays hard,” Kelly said. “I’ve been on other teams that have been pretty deep and have had success, but not to this extent. Our first line all the way down to our fourth line, all lines play the exact same way and work hard and do their job defensively. Obviously, certain guys have more offensive abilities, but I think for the most part we go out and play the system and work hard.”

Looking back on the team’s first-month struggles and subsequent resurgence, Kelly acknowledged some of it had to do with the team being overconfident following last season’s championship.

“We heard it from everybody about this Stanley Cup hangover,” he said. “I think maybe certain games we came in just feeling a sense of entitlement. Winning a Stanley Cup, we figured we could just show up and we’d get the two points. But every team came at us even harder because of what he accomplished the year before.

“I think it took us a month to realize that. When November came around, I think collectively as a group we realized we had to play better, and we did.”

Next up for the Bruins is a Saturday matinee against the Canucks. Kelly downplayed the importance of the matchup.

“The media has hyped this up more than the players have,” he said. “We just want to go out and have a good game. They’re playing extremely well — I think they’re first in the West — and we’re playing well right now. We don’t have anything to prove other than going out there and playing hard and trying to get the two points.”

Kelly wouldn’t admit to the Bruins having revenge on their minds despite the likes of Canucks pest Alex Burrows returning to Boston.

“It was a good, physical series, battled hard by both sides and went the distance to seven,” he said. “We just want to go out there and play hard and play our style. We’re a big, strong, physical team when we’re playing at our best, and that doesn’t change regardless of who we’re playing.”

Kelly’s contract expires after this season. While he said that no negotiations have been going on, he left no doubt that he hopes to return.

“Obviously, I’d love to stay here,” he said. “Boston’s a great city, a great team. My wife and I have enjoyed this city so much since we’ve been here. It couldn’t have been a more perfect thing for me to come here last year and end up coming to a great team that wins the Stanley Cup. Hopefully, it’s something we can get worked out.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, Chris Kelly,
Brad Marchand on M&M: New month, new opportunity for B’s 11.02.11 at 2:10 pm ET
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Bruins forward Brad Marchand joined Mut & Merloni Wednesday for his weekly discussion about the team. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins are coming off an impressive 5-3 victory over the Senators Tuesday night, which followed a disappointing October.

“It was a good time to try to look at it to change things around,” Marchand said. “A new month, come in with a really hot team, 6-0 in their last six games. It was an opportunity for us to get on a roll, and that’s all we really wanted to do.”

The has been speculation that the Bruins will make some personnel changes in an attempt to get the defending Stanley Cup champions back on track.

“We’re not really thinking about that right now,” Marchand said. “We have to focus more on how we’re playing. If we’re worrying about getting traded then that’s going to keep in our mind and it’s going to bother us. We know that if we just go and win, we don’t have to worry about that.”

Marchand recently said that referees are giving him less leeway this season, so he’s needed to be more careful about stirring up trouble. However, he isn’t ready to stop being an agitator.

“It’s part of my game,” he said. “I do want to just worry about your game and not that extra stuff. But sometimes it gets you more involved and allows me to play better. So, I might have to do that a little more now.”

In last Thursday’s game against the Canadiens at TD Garden, Marchand and P.K. Subban engaged in a fight after two earlier attempts that were broken up by officials and teammates.

“It was good,” Marchand said. “We got it over with. The crowd liked it.”

It was revealed after the fight that Marchand and Subban have been friendly off the ice.

“We played together before,” Marchand acknowledged. “But on the ice and off it are two completely different things. When you’re on the ice, you’re doing a job. You hate everyone you’re playing against. [You have] no friends out there. Sometimes, you have to do that stuff.”

Added Marchand: “I think there’s a lot of guys from my team that were a little jealous that I was the one to go with him. [Nathan Horton] wanted to go with him, and [Milan Lucic]. If I was him, I wouldn’t be fighting those guys, either.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, P.K. Subban,
Brad Marchand on M&M: ‘We’ve got to get on a roll’ 10.26.11 at 1:44 pm ET
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Bruins forward Brad Marchand checked in for his weekly chat with Mut & Merloni Wednesday afternoon. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins are 3-5-0 and next host the 1-5-2 Canadiens Thursday night in the first game of a home-and-home series. Despite the team’s losing records, Marchand said he expects the rivalry to resume in style.

“These [games] are a lot of fun and the crowd loves them,” he said. “They’re fun games to be in. We’re excited for them. ‘€¦ We struggled against them last year a bit, so we do have to be better against them this year.”

Marchand said the Bruins are focused on making immediate improvement, with the goal of being among the top eight in the East a month from now.

“We talked about this last year: Usually by Thanksgiving, the teams that are in playoff position usually make the playoffs,” he said. “So, when it comes to that point, we want to make sure we’re in a playoff position. We’ve got to get on a roll if we’re going to do that. Tomorrow night’s a great way to start that.”

The Canadiens have a habit of embellishing to draw penalties, but Marchand wouldn’t take the bait when asked about that behavior. “That happens sometimes,” he said. “Not much you can really do but, I guess, worry about it after the fact.”

Read More: Brad Marchand,
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