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Pierre McGuire on MFB: ‘Dumbfounded’ at Bruins’ loss to Maple Leafs 11.13.14 at 1:43 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB, following broadcasting the Bruins’ blowout loss to Toronto Wednesday night and to discuss the state of the team going into Thursday’s game against Montreal. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

McGuire was inside the benches during the Bruins’ 6-1 loss Wednesday night, and did not like what he saw from the Bruins team, which was unexpected as he thought they would have played well going in.

“I said this last night, and I meant it sincerely, I haven’t seen the Bruins get beat like that in a long time,” said McGuire. “I was dumbfounded by that because I was around their room, I talked to their coaches before the game. The players really had an intense situation that they were looking at, they were looking like they were up to the challenge.

“The coaches were really excited — they had won six of their previous seven, all seven games that they had played previously [Zdeno] Chara wasn’t there, and they were finding ways to get it done. Obviously [Patrice] Bergeron and [Dougie] Hamilton were really playing well. I had the feeling they were going to play a really good game last night, and I was really wrong. They did not play a good game last night.”

Tuukka Rask was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals and although he might not have played in the second half of the back-to-back, McGuire says he should after what took place Wednesday night, and Rask not playing the entire game.

“[Tuukka] has to get his team’s confidence in Montreal, so that the team knows that he can deliver there,” he said. “It is up to him, and if I were Claude [Julien], he’s playing tonight.”

“You have to get back on your horse and Tuukka is going to play guilty tonight,” he added. “I don’t know if he is going to be good enough to win or not, but he has to get in there and play guilty and say, ‘I wasn’t good enough last night.’ I think he’s that honest with himself and with his teammates, that I think he will play guilty tonight.”

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

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Read More: Claude Julien, Montreal Canadiens, Pierre McGuire, Tuukka Rask
Report: Nathan Horton deciding on career-ending back surgery 11.13.14 at 8:58 am ET
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Nathan Horton is deciding on career-ending back surgery. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Nathan Horton is deciding on career-ending back surgery. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Things are not going well for former Bruins forward Nathan Horton. The current Blue Jackets forward hasn’t played in an NHL game since last April because of a degenerative back injury.

Thursday, Horton spoke via the Columbus Dispatch about the condition for the first time.

“I can’€™t stand up like a normal person, I can’€™t bend over,”€ Horton said. “€œI can’€™t run. I can’€™t play with my kids. To get in and out of the car, I’€™m like a 75-year-old man … so slow and stiff. I can’€™t sleep at night. I try to lay down and my back seizes up and I can’€™t move, so sleeping is out. I’€™m like a zombie in the daytime.”

The only way to get rid of the pain would be surgery, “likely a three-or four-level spinal fusion with a titanium rod,” the paper said. The surgery would end his career. Horton is only 29-years-old.

“I don’€™t want to have surgery, because of what that means,” Horton said. “I don’€™t want to live with this pain, but I don’€™t want to make that decision. It’€™s hard for me to say that, at 29 years old, I’€™m done. I mean, really? Done at 29?”

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Read More: Columbus Blue Jackets, Nathan Horton,
Pierre McGuire on MFB: Bruins ‘really comfortable’ with Claude Julien 11.06.14 at 2:04 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB prior to the Bruins’ Thursday night game against the Oilers, as well to discuss Claude Julien‘s contract extension. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Julien inked a three-year contract extension over the weekend. McGuire said he has noticed Julien has become more comfortable working within the organization and with his coaching staff.

“I think they are really comfortable because there is a great relationship between the general manager, Peter Chiarelli and the coach, Claude Julien,” said McGuire. “I think they’€™ve become more and more comfortable over time and the one thing I think the Bruins like more than anything else is the stability of their franchise. It’€™s a very stable franchise and both guys have shown they can handle it.

“One of the things I think Claude is really learning to do over time is delicate authority. [Assistant coach Doug Houda] is getting a lot more responsibility, especially when it comes to changing the defense. Hiring a former head coach in the NHL in Joe Sacco, I think that helps you a lot. Doug Jarvis is one more cherished assistant coaches in the league. I think he’€™s learned to delegate authority really well. Quite frankly, I think it works really well in Boston. I enjoy being around their team and part of that reason is because of their coaching staff.”

The Bruins have enjoyed some success of late, winning three in a row and four-of-five. The wins have come against some of the weaker teams in the league — including the Panthers and Sabres — but McGuire notes the team can only play who comes up on their schedule.

“You’€™re always looking for your team to be a little bit better all the time, but I think like some college teams, you can’€™t pick your schedule, you have to play the way it comes down,” McGuire said. “They play Edmonton tonight, then they have a nice weekend off before they have to play next week against New Jersey and Toronto. They have a nice opportunity to give themselves a reward by beating Edmonton, a team not one of the upper-enchalant teams in the league.”

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Read More: Claude Julien, David Pastrnak, Pierre McGuire,
Pierre McGuire on MFB: ‘I believe [Bruins] will find a way’ 10.30.14 at 2:07 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB in advance of Thursday night’€™s Bruins game with the Sabres and to talk about the injuries the Bruins have been forced to deal with. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Bruins have lost two of their last three games, including two, one-goal games at home — the latest a 4-3 loss to the Wild where they blew a two-goal lead in the third period. McGuire stressed even if the Bruins were to lose to Buffalo Thursday night, it would not be a time to panic.

“It’€™s an 82-game schedule,” McGuire said. “This isn’€™t football, it’€™s not every week being a Super Bowl game. You have to understand there are ebbs and flows in every season and there’€™s huge peaks and gigantic valleys that you have to climb out of. This reminds me so much of what Detroit went through last year without [Henrik] Zetterberg and [Pavel] Datsyuk — they had so many key injuries. Jimmy Howard was not doing well due to injury and illness. Everyone said they wouldn’€™t make the playoffs –€“ 22 years in a row they made it, 23 won’€™t happen — but, guess what? They found a way.

“I believe this Boston Bruins team will find a way and a lot of those young players are getting an opportunity to play now, they are going to be the beneficiaries in this.”

Added McGuire: “I’€™m bullish on the Bruins, I really am. There’€™s no substitute for grit and there’€™s no substitute for maturity and this is a mature leadership kind of team that has a tremendous amount of grit.”

The Bruins have had a number of injuries to their defensive group, including Zdeno Chara (ligament tear in knee), Torey Krug (broken finger), Kevan Miller (upper-body) on top of the trade of Johnny Boychuk to the Islanders before the season. McGuire says this is a time for three other Bruins defensemen to step up, as well as an important stretch for assistant coach Doug Houda.

“The biggest thing is –€“ limited ice time — this is where Doug Houda, who is not a real big-name on the Bruins, but he’€™s the assistant coach that changes the defense, he’€™s got to really pay attention to matchups,” said McGuire. “This is where [Dennis] Seidenberg has to play like he played in Toronto the other night — almost 26 minutes, he was really good. Dougie Hamilton obviously was fantastic in that game. He’€™s going to have to be good. This is where you need Adam McQuaid to be a little bit more stable and better with the puck. Those three guys are going to have to be a lot better, especially when you consider not having Chara, Krug and the trading of Boychuk.”

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

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Pierre McGuire, Torey Krug
Pierre McGuire: ‘Hated’ Bruins’ schedule to open season 10.23.14 at 2:12 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB in advance of Thursday night’s Bruins matchup against the Islanders. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Bruins got off to a slow start to the season — going 1-3 in their first four games, but McGuire said some of that was because of the way their schedule was constructed — playing those four games in a six-day span.

“I hated the way their season started, not the way they were playing, but the way the schedule was set up for them,” he said. “I think I talked to you guys about it, they almost had eight days where they had three games in four nights. That’€™s crazy stuff. Then, when you compound that with a [Monday] afternoon game at home after a Saturday night loss, that’€™s really hard. I’€™m not making excuses for them, but they are starting to settle into what team they want to be.”

He also noted the team was coming off of trading veteran defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the Islanders, just prior to the regular season.

“I think they were all a little stunned about Johnny Boychuk being traded to the Islanders because he was an extremely popular guy on their team,” said McGuire. “They started the season without Gregory Campbell, he’€™s a very important guy on that team. I think they are feeling their way through, but they are starting heat up. I liked their game the other night against San Jose, especially the last parts of that game.”

The Bruins and Boychuk will be reunited Thursday night as the Islanders will be at TD Garden. Boychuk has had a strong start to the season, posting two goals and four assists over the first six games.

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Read More: Gregory Campbell, Johnny Boychuk, Pierre McGuire, Torey Krug
Bobby Orr on M&M: Tomas Kaberle let criticism get to him in Boston 07.06.11 at 12:07 pm ET
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Bruins legend Bobby Orr joined Mut & Merloni live from the Pinehills Golf Club for a charity golf event benefiting Mark Herzlich‘s foundation. Orr discussed the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run and offered updates on a couple of players his agency represents. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

‘€œThe Bruins have given us a lot to cheer about and talk about,” Orr said. “The heart that that team showed this year was incredible. Again, [Tim] Thomas shows that you cannot win without goaltending. This guy was incredible. If you look at that team everyone did something, someone came up one night and the next night it was someone else.’€

Orr was asked about the Stanley Cup and its whereabouts. Orr noted how it is much different from when it was back when he won titles with the Bruins in 1970 and ’72.

‘€œWe didn’€™t get it like they do today,” he said. “We had it for the parade and that was it. I think it is wonderful. The Stanley Cup will be all over the world. I think it’€™s the only trophy in sports that it’€™s ‘€˜The’€™ trophy, the others every year there is a new one. This is it. To have it all over the world, and let the kids touch it and see it. It is wonderful.’€

Orr gave an injury update on forward Nathan Horton: ‘€œHe’€™s fine,” Orr said of his client. “We really won’t know until he starts working out that will be the true test. I talked to him a few days ago and he feels great. He loves Boston, he was so excited to be in Boston. ‘€¦ We really won’t know until he starts working out. He has to let things settle down. He also hurt his shoulder in the Montreal series and probably shouldn’€™t have been playing, so he is trying to heal the shoulder and the concussion.’€

On Tuesday the Bruins lost defenseman Tomas Kaberle to the Hurricanes but acquired defenseman Joe Corvo from Carolina in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2012. Orr said that Corvo is a good player who can shoot the puck.

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Read More: Bobby Orr, Joe Corvo, Nathan Horton, Tomas Kaberle
Shawn Thornton on The Big Show: Bruins used Canucks’ comments as motivation 06.20.11 at 6:28 pm ET
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Bruins forward and two-time Stanley Cup winner Shawn Thornton joined The Big Show Monday to review the Stanley Cup finals and the entire Stanley Cup playoffs. To hear the interview, check out The Big Show audio on demand page.

Following Game 7, rookie forward Brad Marchand said that he hated the Canucks given how “cocky” they were throughout the series. Thornton wouldn’t use Marchand’s words, but he did share the same feelings.

‘€œNo, I mean I don’€™t want to talk bad about them and be a sore winner, but I will say some of the comments that were made and kind of the way everyone had us dialed in,’€ he said. ‘€œThey were planning the parade on Monday and they hadn’€™t even won the game yet. Stuff like that motivates the other team. We did a good job of toeing the line and not letting anything get out into the open. Even though we were a confident bunch as a group we weren’€™t out there talking about it as much.’€

Even though Thornton’€™s line, the fourth line did not score much during the playoff run, Thornton knew what their role was and how it changed from series to series.

‘€œOur line, when we played over a certain amount we did a good job getting the puck deep, and creating energy,’€ he said. ‘€œThat’€™s our role. In different series’€™ our line was used in different ways. The Montreal series not as much, they are run and gun, the Philadelphia series we were used a little more and Tampa not as much again because they are built a little different, but that Vancouver series the first couple games they came out and were really physical, so our line did the same thing and we wanted to push that and be physical.’€

Thornton did not play in the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals, but was inserted into the lineup for Game 3.

‘€œRight before warm up I found out,’€ Thornton said. ‘€œThat was tough, I’€™m not going to lie. I thought he [Claude Julien] was going to make the change, but you are never 100 percent. I was ecstatic. I prepared like I was playing, but it’€™s different when you’€™re not sure. You’€™d rather know, but I guess it was a last minute decision and it worked out just fine.’€

After going down dropping the first two games in Vancouver the Bruins knew that they weren’€™t out of it.

‘€œWe knew we were in them, we were a goal away in each game,’€ Thornton said. ‘€œWe knew if we got back playing the way we needed to play we could win. We did a good job all year of not letting the highs get too high and the lows too low, and we did a really good job after that game of just focusing on the next game and the game after that. That was our main focus going into those games.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, Shawn Thornton, Tim Thomas
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