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Matthew Barnaby on D&C: Bruins over Lightning in Eastern Conference finals 05.05.11 at 10:32 am ET
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ESPN NHL analyst Matthew Barnaby joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about the Bruins’ success in the Eastern Conference semifinals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Boston took a 3-0 series lead on the Flyers with Wednesday night’s 5-1 victory and can close out the series Friday night at TD Garden.

“They’re playing at full tilt and they really aren’t making that many mistakes,” Barnaby said of the B’s. “When you look at the Philadelphia side, they just can’t seem to get anything going. ‘€¦ It’s a different team than we saw all year long, very suspect goaltending and Chris Pronger not being in that lineup really changes the dynamic of that team.”

Tim Thomas has been stellar in the Boston goal and drawn comparisons to one of Barnaby’s former teammates. “Tim Thomas is to me right now what I played with in Dominik Hasek when I was with Buffalo,” Barnaby said. “He gets into guys’ heads. He makes you pass when you think you should shoot and shoot when you think you should pass. That plays into guys’ minds.

“Sometimes he has you beat [mentally]. He has shooters passing when they should be shooting, and it’s a tough thing to not think you can score. Because I saw it time in and time out, frustrating other teams, night after night, shift after shift. And that’s what Tim Thomas is doing. You expect him to make that big save, and it plays mind games with you.”

The Lightning swept the top-seeded Capitals in the other Eastern Conference semifinal, and that has Barnaby anticipating an exciting Bruins-Lightning series.

“I love this series,” Barnaby said. “You look at goaltending. Dwayne Roloson and Tim Thomas have been the two best goalies in the postseason so far and would be candidates for the Conn Smythe, early running. You look at power plays. Well, you have to give it to Tampa Bay. They’ve been incredible. I think they have 11 or 12 power-play goals already [12 for a 26.7 percent success rate]. Both with some dynamic forwards. The defensive side, I’d give it to Boston. I think Zdeno Chara, he’s logged so many minutes, he’s such a big man.

“I really think it will be an incredible series and could go seven games.”

Asked who he’d predict to win the series, Barnaby said: “I would take Boston.”

Read More: Chris Pronger, Dominik Hasek, Dwayne Roloson, Matthew Barnaby
Mark Recchi on D&C: ‘The pressure’s all on them’ 05.04.11 at 10:06 am ET
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Bruins forward Mark Recchi checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning, hours before the B’s host the Flyers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins have a 2-0 lead as the series moves to Boston. A year ago, the B’s led the Flyers 3-0 in the series before losing in seven games. Recchi said the Bruins have not avoided discussing last year. “We know that. We’ll talk about it. There’s no question we’ll address it,” Recchi said. “We’ll get ready. Our thing is: Hey, focus on what we do. Don’t focus on the big picture, focus on tonight. Focus on what we do as a team. Don’t focus so much on them and what’s going on on the outside, what people are saying, what people are talking about. Get in our bubble and let’s get ready for tonight.”

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said after Game 2 that the pressure is on the Bruins now because they are expected to win. Recchi isn’t buying it. “The pressure’s on them,” Recchi countered. “They have to come in here and win. We went and did our job. They had home ice. The pressure’s all on them. If they don’t win, they’re down 3-0. They can talk all they want about last year and all that, [but] the pressure completely is on them right now.”

Tim Thomas has stood out in goal for Boston and has drawn comparisons to Dominik Hasek for his unconventional yet successful style of flopping all over the crease. “They found a way to stop pucks,” Recchi said of Hasek and Thomas. “It doesn’t matter how, they found a way. There’s a method to their madness, too. Timmy might look like he’s all over the place, but he really knows what he’s doing in there. He’s really controlled, and actually probably controlled in his mind in how he wants to play.”

At 43 years old, Recchi is in his 22nd NHL season. Asked about his ability to continue to produce as the oldest player in the league, Recchi said: “It’s all how you rest and prepare. I’ve got lots left in the tank. ‘€¦ Once playoffs start, I just basically play right now. I don’t do a whole lot of practicing. I just try and keep myself sharp as much as possible.”

Recchi said he does his best to play through pain. “Regardless of my age, I want to be counted on,” he said. “And I want the coach to know that I’m going to be there. And I want my teammates to know I’m going to be there for them all the time.”

Read More: Dominik Hasek, Mark Recchi, Peter Laviolette, Tim Thomas
Countdown to Game 7, 10 a.m.: Predictions of Bruins victory 04.27.11 at 10:22 am ET
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(Spoiler: In the 11 a.m. update, Dennis & Callahan producer and voice of the Bruins fan Steve Ciaccio will be having a live chat to help get his fellow diehards to face off.)

Predictions are starting to come for Wednesday night’s Game 7 between the Bruins and Canadiens.

At ESPN.com, senior writer E.J. Hradek predicts a Bruins victory. He notes that the B’s were 9-4-1 playing on back-to-back nights during the regular season, while the Canadiens were 6-7-3 (and 0-3-1 in their last four).

NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy, during his interview on the Dennis & Callahan show, said the Bruins will win 5-2. WEEI’s morning show hosts predict redemption for Milan Lucic. Gerry Callahan has the Bruins winning 3-1, with the B’s scoring a power-play goal and empty-net tally ‘€” “both by Lucic.” John Dennis predicts a 5-2 “beatdown” for the B’s, with the David Krejci-Nathan Horton-Lucic line recording two goals. Midday co-host Lou Merloni is going with a 4-1 Boston win.

Make your prediction known by voting in our Game 7 poll.

Countdown to Game 7

Read More: Bruins, Canadiens,
Countdown to Game 7, 9 a.m.: Only Bruins are to blame for Game 6 loss 04.27.11 at 9:07 am ET
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Yahoo! Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika writes that the Bruins are the only ones to blame for this series going to Game 7, and he has some interesting quotes from Milan Lucic prior to Tuesday’s contest.

However, Don Cherry says the referees played a key role.

Michael Cammalleri, Montreal’s Game 6 (and series) standout, said he was inspired by a pep talk from his father prior to Tuesday night’s game. “Leo Cammalleri, thanks for the pep talk,” the forward said after recording a goal and an assist in the Habs’ 2-1 victory that forced Wednesday night’s Game 7.

Montreal police were “prepared for any eventuality” regarding fan violence heading into Game 6, and the anxiety level has to be increased heading into Game 7. In 2008, after the Canadiens beat the Bruins in the opening round, 15 police cars were torched and several stored were looted, according to the Montreal Gazette. However, CTV.ca writes that Montreal was all smiles after Game 6.

Countdown to Game 7

Countdown to Game 7, 8 a.m.: What they’re saying in Montreal 04.27.11 at 8:04 am ET
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By now, you likely have read about Game 6 (and 7) from a Boston perspective. But what are they saying in Montreal after the Canadiens’ 2-1 victory Tuesday night?

In the Montreal Gazette, Dave Stubbs writes that Bruins forward Milan Lucicfinally stepped out of invisibility” and “found a way to put his mark” on the series. For those who, like Lucic, disagree with the five-minute major and game misconduct penalty, Stubbs writes that’s “beyond ridiculous.”

Also in the Gazette, Pat Hickey takes Boston Herald writer Stephen Harris to task for criticizing the Canadiens after Game 5 for icing the puck too much. Hickey writes that the Bruins are just as boring and defensive-minded as the Habs. However, Red Fisher writes that this series is an example of what makes hockey beautiful.

If you want to hear Dennis & Callahan’s initial thoughts on the Game 6 loss from Wednesday morning’s show, click here for the audio. And here’s Jon Meterparel‘s breakdown of the game.

Countdown to Game 7

Andrew Ference on D&C: ‘The glove got stuck. I paid my fine’ 04.25.11 at 10:06 am ET
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Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to talk about the playoff series vs. the Canadiens. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Ference was fined $2,500 for giving the middle finger to the Canadiens crowd after scoring in Game 4. He still insists his glove got stuck and it was not intentional. “I’m standing by it,” he said. “It would be a lot more interesting if I didn’t. But I paid the fine for it. I’m glad it wasn’t on purpose or else I could get suspended. ‘€¦ The glove got stuck. I paid my fine.”

Discussing the fact that there is so much violence on the ice and he got fined for something that did not hurt anyone physically, Ference said: “We’re a sport of contradictions. It kind of fits our little world that we live in. We have some crazy violence in our sport, but we’re also pretty easy guys to get along with, to go out for a beer with.”

Ference said he’s prepared for the Montreal crowd to boo him Tuesday night. “I’d much rather hear that than their cheering and their little song that they’ve got there,” he said, adding: “It’s fun. Honestly, it’s awesome. We go up there and it is a crazy place to play because they’re nuts about hockey and about their team. … Honestly, that’s pretty cool to play in front of. It’s great to play at home where everybody’s cheering you on, but to have that many people who really hate your team, it’s pretty cool. It’s fun.”

Injured Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty tweeted a joke about Bruins rookie Brad Marchand‘s big nose during Saturday night’s game (he later removed the tweet and apologized). Ference responded with sarcasm. “That’s way worse than the bird. That’s going after somebody’s physical appearance. We never bug Marchand about his nose. I didn’t even notice it was big. Is it big?” he said to laughs from the hosts.

Added Ference: “God forbid the time when we get that politically correct.”

Asked if it’s difficult to bounce back from an overtime loss ‘€” or win ‘€” and be ready to play right from the start in the next game, Ference said the veterans shouldn’t have any problem. “I think guys are pretty good about walking away from games and kind of hitting reset,” he said. “I don’t know ‘€” everybody’s different. When you’re real young it’s harder to control your emotions. But when you get older or have been to the playoffs a couple of times, like most of our guys on our team have, it’s a lot easier to move past either one of [a win or a loss].”

Ference said the margin between winning or losing these tight games often is “dumb luck” and that he enjoys the extra sessions. “I actually like overtime better than the regular game because there’s no TV timeouts. You just go, and it really goes by fast,” he said. “If you can roll your lines and your defense pairs, you can get into a very good rhythm.

“I love overtime. Everybody in the stands is going crazy. Every shot, you’re kind of holding your breath, for and against. It’s great. It’s enjoyable. It’s fun to play in.”

Read More: Andrew Ference, Brad Marchand, Max Pacioretty,
Johnny Boychuk on M&M: Bruins ‘can back up anything we say or do’ 03.25.11 at 12:41 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk made an appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Friday. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Boychuk scored 61 seconds into Thursday night’s game vs. the Canadiens, starting off the Bruins on a 7-0 rout.

There was a lot of hype leading up to Thursday’s game, but Boychuk said the team was able to focus on hockey. “We just wanted to put all the distractions away and worry about what we have to do on the ice, and we did that last night,” he said.

Asked if he was surprised a Canadien such as Ryan White didn’t make a run at Zdeno Chara in retaliation for the defenseman’s hit on Max Pacioretty earlier this month, Boychuk said White showed understandable restraint.

“I don’t think for him it would be the smartest decision to go after Zdeno, especially when [the 6-foot White] is 6, 7, 8 inches shorter and Zdeno is just a monster. That wouldn’t have been the best decision if he would have made that one.”

Based on his play of late, Chara hasn’t let the situation be a distraction for him. “After what happened, for him to block everything out and play the way he has been, that’s the way you want our captain to respond,” Boychuk said. “He’s doing a great job on the ice and off the ice as well.”

Boychuk said if the Canadiens did decide to mix it up, the Bruins were ready. “If they wanted to, we’ve got a lot of guys that could stick up for our teammates,” Boychuk said. “We weren’t too worried about that, because we have a great group of guys that can back up anything we say or do.”

Read More: Johnny Boychuk, Ryan White, Zdeno Chara,
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