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Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘The Bruins know it’s going to be a long series’ 05.02.14 at 12:48 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire of NBC Sports joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Bruins’ 4-3 double-overtime loss to the Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

“I was really surprised at the caliber of play, and that speaks well to a fantastic seven-game series, hopefully, because the caliber of play was good as any I’ve seen in this playoff season,” said McGuire, who noted that Friday night he will work his 18th game in 18 nights in 18 cities when he covers the Rangers-Penguins game in Pittsburgh.

The Bruins had 51 shots on goal but missed the net on a number of other opportunities and appeared to overplay the puck on others, leading to turnovers. From his perch between the benches, McGuire heard the Bruins coaches telling the players to be more aggressive in getting the puck to the net.

“I kept hearing them say, ‘Just shoot the puck. Shoot the puck. Don’t be too cute. Shoot the puck,’ ” McGuire said, adding: “One of the big agendas I think for the Bruins going into Game 2 tomorrow afternoon is to shoot the puck from anywhere and just get to the net.”

Meanwhile, the Canadiens pounced on some Bruins turnovers to create chances on the Boston goal.

“The closing speed of the Canadiens is vastly underrated. People that don’t see them a lot don’t understand,” McGuire said. “Everybody knows about Carey Price. Two things people don’t know about the Canadiens that are really important: One, they’re extremely quick. Two, they have a huge amount of character. Much greater than ever before. You saw it with Dale Weise, you saw it with Brandon Prust, you saw it with Travis Moen last night. Their character quotient is a lot higher than people give them credit for. And that’s why I think this will be a long series. And I know the Bruins know it’s going to be a long series and a hard series. They’re aware of it as a team.”

Tuukka Rask was highly critical of himself after Thursday’s game, saying, “When you suck, you suck.”

“I think Tuukka said it best. I don’t have to jump on and pile on. I’m sure people are piling on,” McGuire said. “But then again, I remember after Game 1in the Detroit series, everyone was ripping him for the [Pavel] Datsyuk goal, which was a thing of beauty. And he said, ‘Well, maybe I should have had it.’ Tuukka’s harder on himself than any fan could ever be or any newspaper reporter could ever be. He knows he needs to be better. He wasn’t good enough last night. And I think he’ll have a huge bounceback. I’m not surprised that he’s as honest and open as he is, because he doesn’t doubt his abilities at all. And when you don’t doubt your ability, you’re not afraid to say when you make a mistake or you’re not on top of your game. He wasn’t on top of his game last night.”

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Read More: Carey Price, Matt Bartkowski, Pierre McGuire, Tuukka Rask
Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘Pucks just wouldn’t go in’ 05.02.14 at 9:51 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning, following Thursday’s double-overtime loss to the Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins suffered a 4-3 loss despite dominating play for much of the night, outshooting the Habs 51-33.

“I think everyone was happy with the way we played, pucks just wouldn’t go in,” Thornton said. “There were a lot of bounces that just rolled across the line or inside a post, inside of crossbars. Carey Price played unbelievable, but I thought for the most part we played a really, really good game.”

In looking at this series, analysts have noted that Montreal’s speed is likely to give the Bruins problems. However, in Game 1 Boston didn’t seem to have an issue — at least during five-on-five play.

“You look at the positives, we controlled most of it,” Thornton said. “A lot of people said we couldn’t keep up with their pace of play. In think for the most part, again, we did a really good job of that last night.”

Added Thornton: “I think that we controlled the pace of play. That’s something that people said we wouldn’t be able to do. I thought we played good enough to win. We didn’t, though, so we’re going to have to do better next game.”

The Canadiens scored the game-winner on a power play, after Matt Bartkowski was called for holding after he took down Dale Weise in front of the Boston goal. Thornton expressed his displeasure with the officials after the game ended.

“I think that that stuff happens a lot, at both ends of the ice,” Thornton said. “I kind of feel bad for Bart. I’m not going to say anything about the officiating, but I think it’s a call that probably could go either way in overtime, double overtime.”

Added Thornton: “I’m kind of old school. I kind of like when they put the whistles away in overtime. But that’s just me. You want consistency so you know on any given night where the line is. I thought they did a good job for the most part last night. I thought that was maybe a little bit of a — it could have went either way.”

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Montreal sports radio host Mitch Melnick on M&M: ‘Every player dives and embellishes a little,’ including Bruins’ Shawn Thornton 05.01.14 at 12:04 pm ET
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Montreal sports radio host Mitch Melnick of TSN 690 joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday to discuss the Bruins-Canadiens playoff series and accusations that the Habs sell out in an effort to get penalty calls. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Canadiens often are criticized — at least in Boston — for embellishing physical contact in an effort to draw penalties.

“When the Bruins talk into microphones and cameras and are talking about stuff like, ‘We don’t do stuff like that. We don’t dive. We don’t embellish. We don’t do this, we don’t do that.’ Everybody does it. Everybody does it. Shawn Thornton, stand-up guy, he does it. Every player dives and embellishes a little,” Melnick said.

“The fact of the matter is, if you polled players around the league, who’s the most disliked guy on the ice, Brad Marchand probably wins that poll by a mile since Sean Avery was kicked out of the league. And do they respect Brad Marchand? Absolutely. It’s kind of like Boston toward [P.K.] Subban. The bigger the moment, the more P.K. Subban wants that spotlight. Those guys are winning hockey players. On the ice, in the heat of battle, they do things that drive you absolutely up the wall, and you want to strangle them. But there’s a respect factor. As long as they don’t cross the line and do stuff that ends up in a serious injury. These are winning hockey players.”

Subban has become the poster child for Bruins fans’ distaste for the Canadiens’ style. Melnick said Subban “takes a lot of abuse ‘€¦ behind the play” and it’s not always visible to fans.

“I’m not trying to defend him. He’s still learning. He’s still a kid,” Melnick said of the 24-year defenseman. “He’s doing things that he won’t do a year from now, or two years from now. But it’s a growing process. And he feels that he gets so much abuse that once in a while he’s got to put some mustard on it.”

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Read More: Brad Marchand, Carey Price, Mitch Melnick, P.K. Subban
Dougie Hamilton on M&M: ‘We have to play our game and not cross the line’ 04.30.14 at 2:11 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday afternoon, a day before the B’s return to the ice to start their second-round series against the Canadiens. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins have been off since dispatching the Red Wings in five games on Saturday.

“It’s been good just to refresh a little bit, and I guess able to refocus,” he said. “Now we’re prepping hard for Montreal tomorrow. I think we were kind of expecting it to be Friday or Saturday, but nicer that it’s already tomorrow. I guess we’re all excited to get going now.”

Hamilton made two key offensive plays that led to goals vs. Detroit by taking advantage of a gap in the defense.

“Right from the start of the series they were kind of taking away everyone else and then kind of leaving me,” he said. “So I think it was up to me to make the good play and figure out how to beat that. I thought skating was the best idea. I guess I got, I don’t know, lucky on those two plays. But I think just they were really similar, kind of just holding the first guy off and getting through the blue line and then making a decision after that.

“I’m sure this series the penalty kill will be different, and I have to go back to how it was in the season.”

Hamilton said the Bruins will continue to be physical against the Canadiens, while trying to avoid ending up in the penalty box.

“We have to play our game and not cross the line,” he said. “I think obviously when you’re playing a team in a series I think you can wear them down. When we’re effective I think we’re chipping pucks in and forechecking hard and making their ‘D’ make mistakes. I think that really helps us. I think we’re definitely going to have to do that and keep hitting them and kind of try to wear them down, and hopefully not make them want to have the puck. Obviously not cross the line, but I think it’s a different mindset in the playoffs. But we’re definitely going to try to be physical again and fast, and hopefully get on them.”

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Report: Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs at top of list to buy NFL’s Bills 04.07.14 at 9:19 am ET
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Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs “leads the list of potential suitors” for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, according to a report in The Buffalo News that cites highly placed sources.

Jacobs, who hails from Buffalo, is prohibited by NFL rules from owning teams in different cities, but there is speculation that his six children could head the purchase. Jacobs’ son Charlie Jacobs is a principal and alternate governor of the Bruins.

Jeremy Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Buffalo-based concession company Delaware North, is worth a reported $3.1 billion.

The Bills are owned by Mary Wilson following the death of her husband, Ralph Wilson, on March 25. The club was valued at $870 million in Forbes magazine’s most recent annual story on teams’ worth.

The Buffalo News report also listed as possible buyers real estate mogul Donald Trump, Sabres owner Terry Pugula and former Sabres owner Tom Golisano.

Read More: Jeremy Jacobs,
2 fans injured after pole falls behind goal following Bruins game 03.07.14 at 7:19 am ET
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Two women in their 20s were injured when a metal pole holding up the protective netting behind one of the goals at TD Garden fell on them following the Bruins’ 3-0 victory over the Capitals on Thursday night, authorities told The Associated Press.

The women suffered minor injuries and were taken via ambulance to the hospital as a precaution.

The netting, designed to protect fans from flying pucks, fell at about 9:40 p.m.

According to a Boston Herald report, the netting was being raised to the ceiling when it gave way. A metal bar that holds one end of the net fell and appeared to strike one or both women in the head, leaving at least one of them bloodied.

Bruins call up forwards Craig Cunningham, Alexander Khokhlachev 02.20.14 at 12:46 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Thursday that they have called up forwards Craig Cunningham and Alexander Khokhlachev from the team’s AHL affiliate in Providence.

In 53 games with the P-Bruins, Cunningham has a team-high 19 goals with 15 assists. Khokhlachev has 13 goals and 21 assists in 43 Providence games.

Cunningham and Khokhlachev are expected to provide depth in practice as the Bruins give their Olympians some time to readjust before the NHL starts up again next week.

Read More: Alexander Khokhlachev, Craig Cunningham,
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