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Brickley on D&C: Biting ‘not an uncommon thing’ 05.04.10 at 9:04 am ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning to discuss the B’s victory over the Flyers Monday night. To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Addressing the second-period incident in which Marc Savard was defending himself against two Flyers and allegedly clamped his teeth on Dan Carcillo’s finger, Brickley said he was not surprised. “Biting somebody’s hand when you can’t throw punches is not an uncommon thing,” said Brickley, who admitted biting an opponent’s finger when he played. “It has happened certainly several times throughout my career in the last 30 years. I don’t see what the big deal is.” Added Brickley: “[Savard] defended himself in a position where he was outnumbered. He has to apologize for nothing.”

Brickley said he could not understand why no penalties were handed out to either Philadelphia player who confronted Savard after the Bruin received a penalty for slashing Flyers goalie Brian Boucher. “I was lost for an explanation as to why there were no penalty minutes at all for the Flyers in that scrum,” Brickley said, adding: “Those are the things you have to play through as players, because the officiating has not been strong across the board in the playoffs this season.”

Brickley said to expect more physical play as the Flyers pull out all the stops for Game 3 in Philadelphia. “They will play with even more of an edge and try to maintain a certain amount of discipline, but ty to intimidate Boston a little bit,” Brickley said. “Philadelphia has a rich tradition of being good at home, intimidating at home, use the crowd and up their desperation. They cannot go down 3-0.”

Brickley was asked when he realized the Bruins had a chance to do something special in the postseason. “To be honest, I had my doubts like any other Bruin fan,” he said. “I don’t think I was as negative, even when they were winless in 10 straight. I thought that if they could just get to the postseason, if they drew the right matchups, they could advance. What convinced me was the final four games of the regular season, how they played with guys going down, and still able to use the system and believe in it and execute a game plan. And then become accountable to one another. I don’t think they had that accountability throughout the year for a variety of reasons. But once they arrived there, they looked at the postseason as a season of redemption, a chance to prove themselves.”

Chara on D&H: Savard’s return ‘a big boost’ 04.29.10 at 12:20 pm ET
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Bruins captain Zdeno Chara joined the Dale & Holley show Thursday morning to talk about the Stanley Cup playoffs. Chara said he watched Wednesday night’s Montreal-Washington Game 7, in which the eighth-seeded Canadiens upset the top-seeded Capitals 2-1 to win their first-round series behind a solid performance from Chara’s Slovakian Olympic teammate, goalie Jaroslav Halak. “It was a crazy game,” Chara said. “I obviously was a little surprised by how well defensively Montreal played. I knew Halak would have an outstanding game, but I never thought that [Washington] would have such a tough game to really put the puck in the net.”

Looking back at the Bruins’ first-round series win over the Sabres, Chara said: “I think the special teams were really big and obviously Tuukka [Rask] played really big for us. When you really look at it, every game somebody really made a difference, somebody stepped up.”

Added Chara about Rask: “We have confidence in both of our goalies, and obviously Tuukka is playing extremely well since the second half of the season. For such a young goalie, he’s playing with a lot of passion, and he’s got a lot of patience in his game, too, and he’s just making the right saves at the right time.”

Chara was asked about the Bruins’ response to the Penguins after Marc Savard was injured by a check from Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke. “We all felt that we would like to have had a better response in that game. There’s no question about that,” Chara said. “When you really look at it, to see one of your best playmakers go down, you want to respond, you want to react, but that the same time, it was a one-goal game. Those two points could have made a huge difference in the end, which we know that it was so close that they probably would have made a big difference.” Added Chara: “When they came in our building I think we responded well. We took care of business.”

As for Savard’s return to the team, Chara indicated he’s excited to see what the center can do. “To have him healthy now and ready for the second round is a big boost,” Chara said. “We all know what he can bring to the game. He’s an extremely good puck-handler. He can make plays that only a few guys in the league can make, and passes he can make. To have him with that skill, adding to our lineup right now, is big.”

To hear the interview, check the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Read More: Bruins, Marc Savard, Zdeno Chara,
Savard on D&C: ‘I’m not mad at Michael Ryder’ 04.29.10 at 9:52 am ET
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Bruins center Marc Savard joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about his comeback (Click here to listen to the entire interview). Savard has been out since suffering a concussion in a game against the Penguins March 7, but this week he was cleared to play in the Bruins’ second-round playoff series against the Flyers that begins Saturday. “I’m feeling good on the ice right now,” Savard said.

He said he understands his presence will be an emotional lift for the home crowd Saturday. “Hopefully everybody is inspired, too, and even myself, and I bring a lot of emotion and adrenaline and energy to the team,” he said. “I’m going to try to do that with my play.”

Savard said he feared his season was over when he couldn’t seem to shake the effects of the concussion. “The first three or four weeks of this concussion I had, they were miserable days, days when I thought how long this might go on for the summer, or how long is this thing going to last. Things got better really quickly after the fifth week, going into the sixth, and so on. Then I felt great. I’m just happy to be normal again and playing hockey.”

Asked if he’s viewed clips of the hit from Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke, Savard said: “I’ve seen it quite a bit. It’s something that hopefully the new rule that they put in right away takes care of that stuff because we don’t need it in our game anymore.”

The Bruins received a firestorm of criticism for failing to respond to Cooke in the game, and much of the anger was directed at Michael Ryder, who appeared to be the only player on the ice who had a clear view of the play. Savard said no one on his team should be blamed. “It’s part of the game,” he said. “If you watch the hit again, Cooke kind of skates away quickly, and they try to get at him in the corner. I’m not mad at Michael Ryder. He’s a good friend of mine. It’s not just his fault or anybody’s fault. It was a bad hit, a bad play. I’ve got no problems with anything that went on. Had it been me, maybe ‘€” it’s different demeanors for different guys. I’m not the strongest guy or the toughest guy in the world. Would I have jumped somebody? Maybe, but that’s just different guys.”

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Bruins will play Flyers in Round 2 04.28.10 at 9:54 pm ET
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With the Canadiens completing their shocking comeback against the top-seeded Capitals with a 2-1 victory in Game 7 Wednesday night in Washington, the Bruins now know their second-round opponent in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The sixth-seeded B’s will meet the seventh-seeded Flyers, opening the conference semifinal series with the first two games at TD Garden. This will mark the first playoff matchup between Boston and Philadelphia since 1978.

Here is the schedule for the series:

Game 1: Saturday, May 1, at Boston, 12:30 p.m.
Game 2: Monday, May 3, at Boston, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, May 5, at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, May 7, at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
*Game 5: Monday, May 10, at Boston, 7 p.m.
*Game 6: Wednesday, May 12, at Philadelphia, TBD
*Game 7: Friday, May 14, at Boston, 7 p.m.
* if necessary

Eighth-seeded Montreal trailed in its series three games to one but held the high-scoring Caps to one goal in each of the last three games behind stellar goaltending from Jaroslav Halak to pull off the upset. The Canadiens advance to play the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins in Round 2.

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Savard reportedly unlikely, Vanek probable for Game 6 04.26.10 at 3:08 pm ET
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According to WEEI’s Michael Holley, Bruins center Marc Savard will not make his first appearance since March 7 when the B’s host the Sabres in Game 6 of their series Monday night. Savard skated with the team Monday morning but did not address the media. He previously said he would have another neuro-psych test Monday afternoon to check on how he is recovering from his concussion. Bruins coach Claude Julien said only “No confirmation right now” when asked about Savard’s availability following the moring skate.

Meanwhile, Sabres forward Thomas Vanek appears likely to make his return for Game 6. “All indications point to him playing,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Monday. Vanek has been out since sliding into the end boards and injuring his left ankle following a slash on the knee from Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk in Game 2.

Rask on D&H: ‘I just gave it everything I had’ 04.22.10 at 1:55 pm ET
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Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask joined the Dale & Holley show Thursday afternoon and talked about his heroics in Game 4 of the B’s first-round series vs. the Sabres. Rask made a diving save on Mike Grier midway through the third period to keep the game tied at 2, stretching across the crease to stop Grier’s one-timer. “I just gave it everything I had there on that shot and I think he kind of fanned on it and it ended up hitting my blocker,” Rask said. “That’s one of those saves [where] sometimes it hits you, sometimes it doesn’t. That time I got lucky there.”

Here’s the video of the save:

Rask already has a reputation as a goalie who does not get rattled easily, and even Wednesday’s double-overtime thriller didn’t leave him worried.. Said Rask: “You can’t be too nervous when you’re playing, but I talked to people who were at the game and they said they were pretty nervous about that game.”

That said, Rask noted that no one should confuse his levelheadedness with a lack of fire. Said Rask: “When the time comes to be competitive, I will be competitive. But my game is to be calm and not get too emotional.”

Rask said he likes playing every other day, and it hasn’t taken its toll on him yet. “It’s good when you’re playing good, and it’s good when you’re playing bad because the next game’s coming so fast,” he said. “I guess at some point it’s going to catch up and I’ll be tired, but it’s been great so far.”

Rask said he’s been impressed with the play of his counterpart, Buffalo’s Ryan Miller. “He’s been rock solid throughout the year and it’s the same in the playoffs. ‘€¦ It’s fun to watch him, and it’s fun to beat him, too,” Rask said, adding: “You try not to pay too much attention to the other goalie. You just try to do the best job you can.”

Rask said he’s been aided by his defense, which has blocked a number of shots, especially Johnny Boychuk. “I buy him dinner every now and then so he likes to block those shots,” Rask joked of his minor league and NHL teammate. “He’s great at it. It really helps me a lot when guys like that block shots.”

To hear the interview, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Recchi on D&H: ‘It would be a big boost getting [Savard] back’ 04.20.10 at 2:31 pm ET
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Bruins forward Mark Recchi, one of the heroes of Monday night’s Game 3 victory over the Sabres, joined the Dale & Holley show Tuesday afternoon. Recchi said teammate Marc Savard has been skating longer than the two days that the media found out about this week, and he’s hopeful Savard will return to action soon.

“He actually texted me last week and told me he was actually sneaking on the ice, so I knew it,” Recchi said. “He swore my secrecy, so I wasn’t allowed to to say it. I didn’t even tell any of my teammates. So, I knew he was getting eager and feeling good. It’s great to see him out there. He’s had a couple of hard days of practice [on his own]. I don’t think he likes being out there by himself right now, but hopefully we’ll see him in practice here soon and get him back in the lineup.”

Asked if he thought Savard might return by the end of the Sabres series, Recchi said: “I’m not sure. We’re the last guys to hear when he’s going to play. Like I said, he’s been practicing before us, and he hasn’t been there after. I’m not really sure. The longer it goes, obviously the chances get better, because he is feeling good and he is skating. By the end of this week he’ll have a full week of skating in. So, who knows? … Obviously, it’s going to come down the coach as well, if things are going well, when do you put him in, when’s the right time to do it? Obviously, he’s a tremendous player, and it would be a big boost getting him back.”

As for his own future, Recchi said he feels like he still has some hockey left in his 42-year-old body. “I still love the game, I still love the practice, I still love everything about it, and being in the dressing room with the guys,” Recchi said. “So, at the end of the season I’ll sit down. Obviously, I think I can still play and still help. It’s just a matter of figuring out everything at the end of the year and figuring out what’s best for me and my family.”

Recchi was asked about rookie goaltender Tuukka Rask, who has developed into a young star. Said Recchi: “He’s right there with all them. This kid is a world-class goalie. His composure for a 22, 23-year-old is incredible. … He made the big saves all year when we needed them, and he continues to do it.”

Recchi said Rask does not get taken out of his game even when he allows a goal. “It doesn’t faze him one bit,” Recchi said. “He’s a very, very competitive kid. He knows, he gets upset at himself, but he’s able to put it aside. … Game 2 in Buffalo, he battled like a bugger. You don’t see it too often, but you could see he was fighting it a little bit, he was fighting the puck. But when a goalie competes as hard as he does and fights it and battles it and is able to make the big saves really when you don’t feel great is a great sign for a young goalie. He came out and we had a great win. And then he was awesome again [Monday] night.”

Recchi reflected on the Bruins’ revenge game against the Penguins March 18 when the fans booed the B’s off the ice. “We were kind of disappointed in the way we played because we came out of that seven-game trip just before that playing great hockey and we really seemed to get more consistent,” Recchi said. “We found a way to be a tougher team to play against every night and a team that is committed to being better. That’s why we went on that good stretch — 8-3-1 in our last 12 games or whatever — to get ourselves in a good position for the playoffs.”

To hear the interview, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

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