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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘An honor’ to be part of Boston’s healing 04.15.14 at 11:39 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to talk about the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing and the playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Last year’€™s Bruins playoff run served as a positive distraction for those dealing with the impact of the attacks on Boylston Street.

“I think a lot of people around the city did a lot of things to help the healing, and we were happy to be a small part of it,” Thornton said.

“We like hearing that, but we’€™re also aware that we just play a game, that what happened in the last year is life and a lot of people were affected, so it’€™s really hard for us to talk about because we’€™re happy to be a distraction at that time to try to put a good product out there for three hours and take people€™’s minds away from what was really going on. That was an honor. But at the end of the day, we just play a game, so it’€™s kind of tough to talk about.”

Thornton, as well as many other professional Boston athletes, visited those who were impacted by the attack in hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

“It put a lot of things in perspective,” Thornton said. “I know we say that all the time, but it’€™s true.

“I guess the lasting impression, [one of the Norden brothers] didn’t know who I was. I had gone there with Ken Casey from the [Dropkick Murphys], and I think he thought I was part of the band and he walked in and grabbed my ass. Then afterwards he was like, ‘Oh my God, I grabbed Shawn Thornton‘s ass.’ He was a huge hockey fan, he just didn’t recognize me at first. It was pretty funny, actually.”

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Pierre McGuire on M&M: Bruins in position ‘where they can afford to experiment’ 04.11.14 at 12:30 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Bruins’ road to the Presidents’€™ Trophy and the postseason. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

While Boston clinched a playoff berth back in March, the team is two points away from clinching the Presidents’€™ Trophy following Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Jets in Winnipeg.

“It’€™s not so much about winning and losing, you want to see some positive things in your game whether it’€™s coming from behind, whether it’€™s having a few good penalty kills, some good power-play situations, making sure your defensive players are obviously stepping up and doing what they want to do,” McGuire said.

“The most important thing, though, you want to be playing well situationally going in, especially when you’€™re in a situation like the Bruins are where you’€™re one of the top teams, if not the top team, in the league.”

Since clinching a spot in the postseason on March 21, the Bruins have gone 5-5 and have lost two straight.

“You’ve put yourself in a position where you can rest guys who you chose to rest, you can experiment with some different things offensively, defensively, matchup-wise,” McGuire said. “You don’€™t want to get players hurt, obviously. You want to make sure they’€™re high-octane going into the playoffs. … [It] is really important to remember the Bruins have put themselves in this position where they can afford to experiment and still maintain a lot of their organizational integrity just because of how well they’ve played all year long.”

The Bruins could have Dennis Seidenberg back in the lineup during the playoffs. Seidenberg,who tore his ACL/MCL in late-December, was seen skating on Tuesday with Adam McQuaid at Ristuccia Arena.

“They really think there’€™s potential,” McGuire said. “I wouldn’t say he definitely will, but there’€™s potential that he can come back because he’€™s been so impressive with his training. The Bruins do this about as well as any team in the league in terms of rehabbing players and getting them back.

“Dennis — he’€™s such a solid athlete and such a competitive person — it doesn’t surprise me that he did everything in his power to try to come back. … Will he help? Absolutely. But you do not want to rush this player back. You have to make sure that it’s signed off on by the doctors. If it’s not signed off, then you can’t put him in the lineup. But if it’s signed off on, boom, put him in.”

For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

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Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘I’m not that concerned’ about Bruins heading into postseason 04.04.14 at 1:43 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Bruins’ mindset heading into the postseason. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Since the Bruins clinched a playoff spot on March 21, they have gone 4-3 with two consecutive losses to the Red Wings and the Maple Leafs this week.

“They understand it,” McGuire said of the team’€™s focus heading into the postseason. “They’€ve been to the finals in 2011 and had to win three Game 7s — they had to beat Montreal in Game 7, they had to beat Tampa in Game 7 and they had to beat Vancouver on the road in a Game 7. That takes a lot of focus and determination and good portions of that team are back, so they understand that commitment.

“They also lost a heartbreaking Game 6 last year — everybody in Boston, with about three minutes to go, everybody thought there was going to be a Game 7. Obviously there wasn’t because of the offensive explosion of the Blackhawks. I think Boston learned from that.”

The Bruins spent the majority of March on a 12-game winning streak.

“I don’€™t think there are a lot of hockey lessons that these guys have to learn,” McGuire said. “I’€™m not that concerned about them, and, again, I throw this out because of the experience I had — I went through this twice in Pittsburgh where we had real good teams and we clinched early — we never had a problem keeping our guys focused and taking them in and out of the lineup. I see Claude [Julien] doing that, and I think he’€™s doing some really good things with that group.”

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Pierre McGuire on M&M: Dennis Seidenberg might return for playoffs 03.21.14 at 12:39 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Bruins’€™ winning streak and the potential for league expansion. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

McGuire learned from friends of Dennis Seidenberg in the Hurricanes organization that the defenseman could return to the ice this season for Boston.

“I was talking with some of their people around the team who are really tight with Seidenberg, and he was actually telling them that there’€™s a chance that he might be back for the playoffs,” McGuire said.

Seidenberg suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee in late December and had surgery for the injury in January. He was expected to miss the rest of the season.

“With him I don’€™t think there’€™d be a lot of issues,” McGuire said of Seidenberg returning for the playoffs. “He’€™s a tremendous athlete — extremely fit. He’€™s very strong — everybody knows that. I don’€™t think there’€™d be that big of an adjustment for him.”

The news comes as the Bruins look to extend their winning streak to 11 games Friday night against the Avalanche.

“You see the level of consistency and when they need to defend a lead, they know how,” McGuire said of the B’€™s recent success. “When they need to generate some enthusiasm in the building, they know how by being physical. Their cycle game is excellent. They’€™re four lines deep.”

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Pierre McGuire on M&M: Bruins ‘really becoming a well-oiled machine’ 03.14.14 at 1:24 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss how the Bruins are playing after the trade deadline. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

After defeating the Coyotes, 2-1, Thursday night, the Bruins are on a seven-game winning streak.

“They’€™re strong,” McGuire said. “They really are tight as a group. They haven’€™t messed with the integrity of their roster. Their defensive-zone posture’€™s getting better and better all the time. I think Andrej Meszaros is going to fill in well with Zdeno Chara. He’€™s going to help the power play as well.

“They’ve done a lot of things well there in Boston for a long period of time now, and when you watch them play you get the sense that this is a group that’s really becoming a well-oiled machine.”

During that span of time, Carl Soderberg has played at center while Chris Kelly has made the move to wing.

“The way Chris Kelly has been able to move over to wing rather than being center so Carl Soderberg, who is much more comfortable playing center, can play center — I think you’ve seen Soderberg really start to rise, and Kelly’€™s been a great trooper handling the assignment moving from center to wing,” McGuire said.

“People always want to talk about the young star, they don’€™t want to talk about the old guy that’€™s moved over to accommodate this, and obviously the extra ice helps Soderberg a lot, and not having to play on the boards helps him a lot, but Chris Kelly deserves a lot of credit for this. He really does. I think he’€™s done valiant work.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

On Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug sitting out: “I think there’s a lot that goes into it. I don’t think it’€™s about one person or two persons. … I think it’€™s about the way the team needs to play. One of the things you try to do too is keep your roster competitive at this time of year and have guys fighting for ice so that everybody stays fresh but everybody stays focused. I like the way the Bruins are handling things. Is it easy to watch Dougie Hamilton sit out back-to-back games? No, because I think Dougie’s starting to make significant progress in his career. Is it easy to see Krug sit out? No, it’s not. But, again, this is part of having a competitive, deep roster, and that’s one of the things I admire so much about the Bruins.”

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Pierre McGuire on M&M: Bruins ‘didn’t destroy the fabric of their team’ at trade deadline 03.07.14 at 1:23 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Bruins’ decisions at the trade deadline. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins traded a conditional pick to the Flyers for defenseman Andrej Meszaros Wednesday.

“They didn’t destroy the fabric of their team, which is really important,” McGuire said. “One of the great things about the Boston Bruins is the chemistry of the team and how they rally around one another.

“I talked to somebody in another market who’s a manager about this, they said the thing about the Bruins that makes them tough to play against is strength down the core of their team — so [David] Krejci, [Patrice] Bergeron, [Chris] Kelly, [Gregory] Campbell — you’re locked and loaded and everybody knows their role. Then you got the shutdown presence of [Zdeno] Chara, the shutdown presence of [Johnny] Boychuk. You’ve got the maneuverability of Torey Krug. You’ve now got Andrej Meszaros.”

During his rookie season, Meszaros played on a line with Chara and was a plus-34.

“I think you start out slow and then you build up to see what he can handle,” McGuire said of Meszaros and Chara playing on the same line again.

“Those guys have played so much together in the National Hockey League, and so much internationally that you’€™ll see that this is good. Peter Chiarelli knows Meszaros really well from their days in Ottawa together, so I think, quite frankly, Boston did a good job by not messing with the integrity of the team.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

On Kevan Miller: “Most people really don’€™t know who Kevan Miller is. Kevan Miller has become a very stable player for that team. I think that’€™s one of the things, when you see a player that can play close to 20 minutes in a game and can count on him being a plus-player, that’€™s, I think, a really important player for your group.”

On if the Bruins regret trading Tyler Seguin: “I don’€™t know if Tyler Seguin ever would have gotten to this level playing in Boston. Sometimes a young player needs to be scared straight, and one of the ways of scaring them straight is to trade them. For whatever reason it just doesn’t work out in the town that drafted him, but you trade him and it works out and I think that might have been the case with Tyler because it wasn’t working out. It wasn’t working out with consistency.”

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Pierre McGuire on M&M: Peter Chiarelli won’t ‘throw a player overboard’ to make move before trade deadline 02.28.14 at 1:16 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the change in play since the Olympic break as well as the trade market. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

In the week following the break, the Bruins, as well as other teams that had multiple players participate in the Olympics, have appeared tired.

“The Bruins aren’t the only team that are experiencing this after the Olympics,” McGuire said. “If you watched Chicago play last night, the first 40 minutes they looked very un-Chicago. If you watched Montreal play against Detroit two nights ago they looked very unlike the Montreal Canadiens. … A lot of teams that had a lot of players that were at the Olympics had a little bit of a hangover, but I think that will all be gone by tonight or tomorrow.”

“I was over there for three weeks, over in Russia for three weeks, and it takes two to three days to be acclimated to the time zones when you’€™re back here in North America.”

Earlier this month, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he wanted to add a defenseman to the team’s lineup. Chiarelli admitted, though, that it was a tough market.

“I don’t think he’s going to throw a player overboard to say he did something,” McGuire said of Chiarelli’s plan as the trade deadline approaches. “I can’t see Peter doing that — the Bruins haven’€™t acted that way since he and Cam Neely took over.

“One of the things that helps make the Bruins a better team is the play of Reilly Smith, and I think what you’€™ll see is Loui Eriksson really step it up here. They’ve become a much more deep team at the forward position, and [Patrice Bergeron] had a phenomenal Olympics so you’ve to got to be excited about where your team is at the forward position.

“That’s one of the things that I think allows Peter to have a little leeway when it comes to making a deal to get a defenseman — their strength at the forward position.”

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