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Andy Brickley: Bruins ‘should have close-out ability,’ ‘haven’t shown it consistently enough’ 03.20.13 at 12:21 pm ET
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NESN’s Andy Brickley spoke with Mut & Merloni Wednesday about why the Bruins have struggled to maintain leads, what general manager Peter Chiarelli might do before the trade deadline, and how the lineup could be shuffled after some recent injuries.

On Tuesday, the Bruins gave up three third-period goals and lost 3-1 to the Jets. Brickley said the way the B’s have played with leads, especially late in games, has been problematic.

“With one-goal leads, even sometimes two-goal leads — for some reason, their inability to make plays when it’s coming out of their own zone, at center ice, when they do have possession, putting pucks into areas in the offensive zone, it requires discipline,” Brickley said. “You don’t want to have to play that way, because you have the lead and you think you can extend the lead by making plays, when the real play is to put pucks in areas to force the other team to have to go and then have to come 200 feet.

“Games are going that way this year because of the 48-game schedule. Things are different this year. Those are not excuses for this Bruins team, because they’re better than they’re showing. They should have close-out ability and they haven’t shown it consistently enough. That said, they’re still in pretty darn good shape.”

There’s been talk of the Bruins pursuing a stay-at-home defenseman to help support Dougie Hamilton before the April 3 trade deadline. However, Brickley said they may make a play for an offense-oriented defenseman instead, despite the potential cost of such a trade.

“As much as we like Dougie Hamilton and what he’s brought to this team, you still see his minutes reduced late in the game, when they’re playing good competition, playoff teams, and goals are hard to come by,” Brickley said. “He’s not the player that you can look at and say, April, May and June, he’s going to be real good for us. That would be a total guess. So maybe you do have to add a puck-moving defenseman, and that’s probably where the premium is at, but there are a lot of puck-moving defensemen ‘€¦ that would be available.”

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Read More: Andy Brickley, Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Spooner,
Andy Brickley on M&M: ‘It’s the officiating itself’ causing more players to embellish 03.06.13 at 1:45 pm ET
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NESN’s Andy Brickley talked with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday about the Bruins’ overtime loss to the Capitals on Tuesday and about B’s coach Claude Julien‘s implication that the Canadiens dive more than most teams.

“From where Jack [Edwards] and I sit, it was more about what the Bruins failed to do,” Brickley said of the Capitals’ four-goal comeback Tuesday. “A 3-0 lead after one period, a game that you could certainly put away — the Bruins have the capability, it should be in their DNA by now. ‘€¦ Now it comes on the heels of giving a game away to Montreal in the third period, and over the last two periods plus overtime, to give that game away against Washington. It’s disturbing, it’s frustrating. And it shouldn’t happen in a season when points are at a premium, when it gets amplified.”

Brickley said that while it hasn’t hurt them much to this point, Tuesday wasn’t a big departure from the way the Bruins have been playing all year.

“When you really look at this team, they don’t do anything the easy way,” he said. “They don’t blow teams out, and they had an opportunity to do that last night, and even with the things that hurt them — mismanagement of the puck, turnovers, weak third periods of late, not extending leads even greater than three goals. … That offense needs to find some other gear. You’ve got to expect some shakeup on lines 2, 3 and 4.”

In response to a video that compiles various instances of the Bruins embellishing, Brickley noted that many of the plays in the video are against Montreal and Vancouver, and said the Bruins may have been diving in those situations to stay on an even playing field with teams that do it frequently. He added that he thinks players are embellishing more because officials aren’t calling penalties when they should.

“The problem isn’t so much about the embellishment,” he said. “It’s the officiating itself. If the officiating was of a higher quality, then embellishment becomes less of a part of your strategy as a team to get power plays.”

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Read More: Andy Brickley, Chris Bourque, Tyler Seguin,
Andy Brickley on M&M: Contraction good for NHL, but ‘I can’t see it happening’ 02.27.13 at 2:19 pm ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday to talk about the proposed NHL realignment, how it could be complicated by team relocations, and Tuukka Rask‘s contract status as he continues to put together a strong year.

“I like that you play every team in the league home and home,” Brickley said of the realignment plan. “I like that you play down out of your division once you get into the postseason. I think that’s truly what builds rivalries, which is what they’re looking for. That was certainly the case back in the day, when you had to get out of your division before you could advance deeper into the postseason. I like that. And I think the divisions the way they’re created are going to cut down on travel, wear and tear, the time zone travel, and that’s all good.

“What I don’t like is the unevenness of the number of teams in the division, and the uneven number of games played against opponents in your own division. And does the number of teams in your division negatively affect your team’s chances of making the postseason? Those are my concerns. And then looking forward, are we looking at this formula because we’re preparing for two more teams, to prepare for two more cities? And what happens to realignment if a Western Conference team has to relocate to Quebec City and we’re just going to do the whole exercise all over again?”

Brickley said attendance at the Bruins’ recent games on Long Island and in Florida was sparse, but that the league is far more likely to relocate those teams, or the league-owned Coyotes, than to contract the number of teams in the league.

“Those things will never happen,” he said. “They will never take backward steps in that direction. I certainly can’t see it. There’s too much money at stake. ‘€¦ There’s too much strength in the union to allow that number of loss of jobs. I don’t see it, although it might be good for the game in the long run, but I can’t see it happening.”

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Read More: Andy Brickley, Tuukka Rask, Tyler Seguin,
Andy Brickley on M&M: ‘I expect [Tyler Seguin] to take a little clearer look in the mirror’ 02.13.13 at 2:00 pm ET
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Andy Brickley of NESN joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about what the Bruins might do with the money they freed up by trading Tim Thomas, Tyler Seguin‘s lack of production, and his broadcasting partner Jack Edwards, whose reaction to the Bruins’ comeback Tuesday has by now been seen all over the hockey world.

“I just admire his passion for the game,” Brickley said of Edwards, who was on video jumping up and down after the Bruins rallied to tie Tuesday’s game. “That was such an unlikely scenario, and how much he cares about quality play and the entertainment value of the visual medium we’re involved in, I think is spectacular. It’s different from my style and therefore I think we’re a good balance, but I think the fact that he’s enjoying it, doing a good job, calling the game the way it should be called, I think he’s doing the fans a service.”

Brickley said that, in addition to solidifying their long-term situation in net, the Bruins could be looking to add a veteran forward before the trade deadline.

“You’ll rarely get another Mark Recchi-type player, but I think that’s where they’re targeting somebody that can play in the top nine as far as their forwards,” he said. “They have a real strong room, but without Recchi and his resume or his pedigree, I think they’re looking for that type of player.

“I know they signed Jay Pandolfo and he brings a couple of Cups, experience, a guy that’s been around a long time. I’m not sure if he’s the guy, but I think they’re looking for that type of player that’s another voice in the room that can help motivate or keep guys in line or further get them to do what they need to do to be accountable to the rest of the team.”

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Read More: Andy Brickley, Brad Marchand, Jack Edwards, Jay Pandolfo
Andrew Ference on D&C: ‘Step in the right direction’ for Bruins 02.24.12 at 12:51 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to discuss the mindset of the team with the NHL trade deadline looming on Monday.

The Bruins beat the Blues Wednesday night after going 3-6-0 in their nine previous contests. The win allowed them to remain two points ahead of the Senators for the Northeast Division lead.

“We had a couple of frustrating losses before that where we didn’t play bad, but we definitely took a step in the right direction,” Ference said. “We needed it. It was good. … I think it’s one of those games you can always reach back to, you can always look to. We have a team, especially over the last couple of years, it’s always done really well with challenges and always getting up for those big games, and like Andy [Brickley] said, using it as a launching point. It’s just one of those games where you set the bar at a certain level and we do well with trying to keep it there.”

The trade deadline is Monday and the Bruins are rumored to be in the market for help, but Ference said this team does not appear to him like one that is in need of an infusion in the form of a new player.

“I’ve been on teams that have felt like they definitely need an extra element or they need a little jolt just to get them going, and we definitely don’t have that feeling right now,” Ference said. “But that really doesn’t matter as far as whether or not the GM’s going to get something done because we know we have a guy that if he has the chance to make the team better, he’s going to do it.”

Added Ference: “Especially as players, something so far out of our control, that if you really waste too much energy on it, you drive yourself crazy. It is completely out of our control. I think that you really just have to have trust in the fact that they’re going to make the right move if it’s there and not make it if it’s not. That’s really their job. Personally, I really don’t spend any time thinking about it and I’m pretty sure most of the guys are the same. Obviously, you’re going to have guys that love looking at the rumors and checking out all the news from around the league. But there’s really no chatter about it amongst the guys. … It’s just really not talked about.”

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Read More: Andrew Ference, Andy Brickley, Benoit Pouliot, P.K. Subban
Andy Brickley on D&C: Bruins ‘gripping the sticks too tight’ 02.22.12 at 11:24 am ET
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Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ recent scoring troubles and their game against the Blues Wednesday night.

The Bruins, who have lost three of their last four games and have had injury problems with their forwards, face off against a stingy Blues team that has the third-most points in the Western Conference.

“This could be a huge game for Boston in terms of just winning the game and getting a couple of goals and knowing you beat one of the best defensive teams,” Brickley said. “Keep in mind they’€™ve played Montreal, they’€™ve played Winnipeg, they’€™ve played Minnesota; these are teams they should handle even if they aren’€™t 100 percent and they don’€™t have their full lineup. These are teams they should handle. The Bruins are superior teams to these teams. Maybe they go into this game as an underdog and maybe that’€™s the psyche that they have to have.”

Added Brickley: “Claude [Julien] has left that [Patrice] Bergeron line together ‘€” [Brad] Marchand, Bergeron, [Tyler] Seguin. He’€™s starved for goals, he being Claude. The team, as you pointed out, they need some goals and he’€™s left that line together thinking that he can at least rely on them to get some offensive production. I need that line to be real good tonight, I need Zdeno Chara to be really good tonight. You’re going to get some contributions from your role players, and when you’re injured the way they are with two top-six forwards out, those are the guys that have to deliver.”

Brickley said that a win over the Blues would come at the perfect time for the B’s.

“Even if they win this game 2-1, 3-2, low scoring, fight for every inch of the ice, I think this could be a really good victory if they can pull one out against a real good defensive team,” Brickley said. “And it will put them in a better frame of mind, because right now they are gripping the sticks too tight.”

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Andy Brickley on D&C: David Krejci ‘hasn’t been good enough’ 02.08.12 at 11:18 am ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan Wednesday morning and talked about David Krecji being dropped to the third line, the evolution of Patrice Bergeron, and the tough road ahead for the Bruins.

Krecji, who usually plays on the first line with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, saw his role changed when he was put on the third line. Brickley looked at the move as Bruins coach Claude Julien trying to ignite a spark under the veteran.

‘€œYou always have to be as measured as you can be as a coach in order to get the desired results,” Brickley said. “But I will guess that David Krecji going to the third line, things have happened prior to this move to try to get more from David Krejci. … From time to time these are the things you have to do to get his attention in order to get more out of him.’€

Brickley said the move isn’€™t that much of a shock, based on how Krecji had been playing with Rich Peverly, who was a replacement on the line for the injured Nathan Horton.

‘€œHe’€™s affected by not having Nathan Horton on his right side, he’€™s real comfortable when he plays in between Lucic and Horton,” Brickley said. “Peverly gives you a totally different element on that right side. I don’€™t think he and David Krecji are a good mix, I think they’€™ve proven that, there’€™s a little bit of stretch where it hasn’€™t gone their way.

“But David Krecji is good enough to dictate how that line plays. He hasn’€™t been good enough, and Claude needs to figure out a way to get more out of him. And I’€™m sure he’€™s had conversations with him, I’€™m sure that they’€™ve made adjustments on how they want to move the puck and how they want to break it out and how they want to forecheck given the personnel that he’s playing with. And now it’€™s gotten to the point where I’€™m going to win hockey games by putting other lines together that I know what I’€™m going to get from, and David, you make your adjustments playing with these two other players.”

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Read More: Andy Brickley, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Rich Peverly
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