|Andy Brickley on D&C: Coach Claude Julien correct to question Bruins’ effort||01.18.12 at 10:04 am ET|
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.”
|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|
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.
|Chris Kelly on M&M: ‘I’d love to stay here’||01.06.12 at 1:35 pm ET|
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.”
|Brad Marchand on M&M: New month, new opportunity for B’s||11.02.11 at 2:10 pm ET|
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.”
|Brad Marchand on M&M: ‘We’ve got to get on a roll’||10.26.11 at 1:44 pm ET|
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.”
|Marty Turco on M&M: If Canucks don’t win, ‘backlash will be felt for a long time’||06.15.11 at 1:52 pm ET|
Turco has been a guest analyst for NHL Network since his team was eliminated by the Canucks in the opening round. Chicago, the defending Stanley Cup champion, fell behind 3-0 in the series before rallying to force a Game 7 that Vancouver won 2-1.
Turco made it clear that he doesn’t like the Canucks’ brash style.
“That’s where it really got me, was when we were in Chicago and they’re up in the game, and they’re running their mouths, and they are real cocky,” he said. “Never mind that my team beat them the two previous years, knocked them out. You think they’d learn their lesson and just go about their business, but that wasn’t the case. It was quite interesting to watch us come back and know that we had them. We know that they’re playing differently.
“It was eerily similar in this [Bruins] series. I didn’t see them as cocky as they were going up 3-0 against their arch nemesis, but certainly they faltered. You can’t blame [Roberto] Luongo, you can’t blame just one person. You’ve got to blame everybody, from top to bottom. They just weren’t able to show up on the road.”
Asked about the Bruins’ strategy to get to Luongo, Turco said: “The game plan is always the same: Score often, score early. That would certainly be their best asset. Just continue to put pressure on him, take shots. Sometimes, pucks hit goalies that might not be 100 percent confident early in the game. That’s what they need sometimes. I think he’ll actually play really well. I think it’s going to be another tight game here in Vancouver. I know Bruins Nation would love another blowout. ‘¦ I think it will be a pretty good one.
“They just need to continue to get in front of the net. I don’t think they were doing that early in the series, and certainly on the road. ‘¦ They’re going to have to fight to get in front of the net. We saw those goals, some tip-ins, some screens. Those types of goals are harder to come by, but you just have to follow through and work to get there.”
|Game 7 countdown, 9 a.m.: Ticket prices fall as nervous Canucks fans cash in||06.15.11 at 9:04 am ET|
According to The Globe and Mail of Toronto, ticket prices on the secondary market for Game 7 have been falling dramatically since the Bruins dispatched the Canucks in Game 6, although the prices remain at record high levels.
Vancouver ticket broker Mario Livich said his business has been swamped by concerned Canucks fans. “These are people who don’t believe the Canucks are going to win the game, and then they’ll feel like dummies for not selling their tickets and making a lot of money,” Livich said. “If people believe, they’ll pay anything. But the way the Canucks bungled into Game 7 has really affected the market.”
On Tuesday, ticket prices ranged from $2,500 to more than $6,000.
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark will attend the game with her son, Hamish, after receiving tickets from the Canucks (and filing a disclosure statement to avoid breaking any rules). Clark predicted a four-game sweep by the Canucks before the series began, and she also predicted a 3-2 victory for Vancouver in Game 6. She did not offer a Game 7 prediction after noting, “I’ve been wrong in every case so far.”
Meanwhile, a man responding to a Craigslist offer of two tickets for $4,00 reportedly was robbed at gunpoint after entering a vehicle to make the exchange.
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