|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|
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.”
|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|
Blackhawks goalie Marty Turco joined the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday afternoon to talk about Bruins-Canucks Game 7. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
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.
|Game 7 countdown, 8 a.m.: Singer Michael Buble postpones Mohegan Sun concert to watch game||06.15.11 at 7:56 am ET|
Singer Michael Buble postponed his concert at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino from Wednesday to Thursday night “to accommodate all ‘die-hard’ hockey fans in the Northeast.” Buble, who moved up Monday’s concert in Providence one hour to allow hockey fans to watch at least some of the Bruins’ Game 6 victory, is a British Columbia native and fan of the Canucks.
|Eddie Olczyk on M&M: ‘I’ve already got my travel [to Vancouver] booked’||06.13.11 at 1:13 pm ET|
NBC and Versus NHL analyst Eddie Olczyk made an appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Monday to talk about the Stanley Cup finals. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
The home team has won all five games in this series, and Olczyk indicated he expects that trend to continue Monday night in Game 6.
“I’ve already got my travel [to Vancouver] booked,” he said “So, for what that’s worth, I believe that the Bruins will have a large game tonight. I think the crowd will have a major impact on this game. I think the first goal is very crucial, but I think the Bruins will find a way and I think home ice will stay the course and there will be a Game 7 for all the marbles on Wednesday night back in Vancouver.”
There has been a lot of talk about which team will be more physical. Olczyk said another key is the play in the neutral zone.
“I think the team that has had the greatest success in this series and has really dictated is when they’ve controlled the neutral zone, the area between the two blue lines,” he said. “And I think that’s when the teams are really, really stifled, not only physically, but I think scheme-wise of not allowing either one of these teams to create anything.”
Canucks players have drawn attention for their habit of trying to draw penalties with some acting antics. Olczyk has suggested that referees waive off the initial penalty if a player dives, only assigning a penalty to the player who embellishes.
“I think that’s the way that you’re going to remove the embellishment in the game, if that’s what you want to do,” he said, adding: “When I made that suggestion, the rebuttal was, ‘We can’t get inside the mind of the embellisher.’ ”
Touching on Roberto Luongo‘s comments about Tim Thomas, Olczyk said it was surprising to hear the Canucks goalie talk that way.
“Regardless of how the question posed, you’re better off to be seen and not heard and just say, ‘Look, I’ve got my own issues in goal. I’m worried about how I’m playing. The other guy’s done a great job,’ and move from there,” Olczyk said. “So, I was a little bit surprised. I don’t know if he got caught up in the moment. Because I think Roberto Luongo has matured a lot. I think he’s grown up a lot over the last season-and-a-half, and expectations and what have you.”
|Game 6 countdown, noon: Tim Thomas in line for Conn Smythe?||06.13.11 at 11:59 am ET|
Even if the Bruins lose Game 6 Monday night, there is speculation that Tim Thomas will win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP. At Canada’s Sportsnet website, Ian Mendes writes that he’s hearing from fellow media members Thomas is the favorite, but he makes a case for Thomas’ counterpart, Roberto Luongo. The premise of his argument is that Luongo had bad games in Boston when the Canucks were going to lose anyhow, so ignore those games and focus instead on how well he’s played in the rest of the playoffs.
♦ The Toronto Star has five questions for Game 6, including the question: Which Bruin will step up and replace the clutch scoring of Nathan Horton? The last question, which will not sit well with Bruins fans, is: If the Canucks win, who will be the first players to handle the Stanley Cup?
♦ Following a relatively tame series against the Lightning, the Bruins have had no shortage of villains step forward for the Canucks. In the National Post, Sean Fitz-Gerald recaps and analyzes the controversy from the finals.
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