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Barry Pederson on D&C: ‘The Bruins just took over’ after Shawn Thornton’s challenge to Derek Dorsett went unanswered 05.22.13 at 9:51 am ET
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Daniel Paille (left) and Shawn Thornton celebrated on the Madison Square Garden ice as they helped the Bruins to a 2-1 victory in Game 3. (AP)

NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to break down the B’s 2-1 victory over the Rangers in Tuesday night’s Game 3.

Pederson said he was surprised that there wasn’t more of a sense of urgency from the Rangers, who now are in a 3-0 series hole.

“We didn’t see the desperation from New York,” Pederson said. “I thought the Bruins, right from the opening faceoff, kind of took the crowd right out of the game. They had two or three really good shifts in that first period, didn’t allow the Rangers to get any momentum. [The Rangers] only had 24 shots on net, they had two power plays; the Bruins didn’t have any, outshot them 34-24.

“The Bruins for the most part did a really good job of not allowing New York any sustained pressure on them. It looked to me like the Bruins were much more under control and forceful out there than the New York Rangers were.”

Added Pederson: “[The Rangers] look tired to me. They look physically drained, mentally drained. … A lot of these guys look like they’ve hit the wall. But again, I think by doing that, you’re taking away some of the credit that the Bruins deserve. They really went out there with four lines — especially that fourth line last night — and they just wear you down.”

One of the key moments in the game came when Shawn Thornton took Brad Marchand‘s spot on the ice and confronted Rangers forward Derek Dorsett, who had been harassing Marchand.

“One of the more important shifts may have been the one where [Thornton] comes on, when Dorsett’s trying to suck Marchand into a penalty, physically kind of manhandle him a little bit and try to get him off the ice because Marchand’s been such a good player for them in this series,” Pederson said. “And the faceoff right by the bench, you can see Marchand gets kind of yelled at, I’m sure it’s Claude [Julien] just said: Hey, come over here. Shawn Thornton hops on the ice and goes right over to Dorsett and says: Hey, listen, you’re not going to do that.

“Once Shawn proved his point, he went off and Marchand came right back on. And I thought from that moment on, you could see the physicality also with [Milan] Lucic‘s hit on [Anton] Stralman, who never returned after that big forecheck hit. You could kind of see the momentum shift, and the Bruins just took over.”

Added Pederson: “I played on a lot of big, physical teams over the years. I remember Wayne Cashman would always say with guys that felt bad after maybe they came off and didn’t get the upper hand in a fight or something, he’d say: Hey, listen, I don’t care how many you win. What we care about is how many you show up for. That shows everybody else on the bench. And that’s why it was so important for Shawn Thornton to go out there and say: Hey, listen, you’re not pushing around our little guys. That’s not going to happen. He is a valuable part of our team. If you want to go, let’s you and I go right now.

“As soon as he doesn’t do that, the Bruins on the bench go: Aha, OK, we can see what you’re made of. And from that moment on you can see the emotion shift drastically in either direction. … I really thought from that moment on you could kind of see the Bruins say: Exactly, we know that we have you now. We know that you won’t take on our physically tough guys.”

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Read More: Barry Pederson, Brad Marchand, Derek Dorsett, Shawn Thornton
Barry Pederson on D&C: Rangers’ shot-blocking style causing problems for Henrik Lundqvist 05.20.13 at 9:45 am ET
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Bruins defensemen Torey Krug (left) and Adam McQuaid battle Rangers forward Brian Boyle during Sunday's game at TD Garden. (AP)

NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to discuss the Bruins’ strong start to their series against the Rangers. Boston holds a 2-0 series lead following Sunday’s 5-2 victory.

The Bruins have been rejuvenated by the play of young defensemen Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton.

“I think right now they’re showing some signs of [being a better team with the rookies], just because of the element that these three young kids have brought, which is mobility, speed, I think right now playing with a lack of fear, a lot of confidence,” Pederson said. “But you can really see it, to me, from their offensive side. What I mean by that, a lot of times throughout the year when the offense has been struggling, everybody always points at the forwards. And vice versa, when the defensive game is struggling, everybody always point to the defense. I’ve always been a firm believer that your defense creates your offense, and your forwards create your defense.

“So, these guys are doing a really good job, to me, by jumping into plays, recognizing when there are outnumbered opportunities to make it a three-on-two, a four-on-three. Hamilton did a good job of that yesterday as well as Bartkowski and Krug. For now they’re doing I think a really good job of creating some offense and … they are bringing a little bit of speed and mobility that maybe the Bruins have not had back there in a while.”

With the strong play by the rookies, it’s led to a discussion about what coach Claude Julien will do if and when injured veterans Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden are ready to return. Pederson said he does not anticipate a problem in the locker room.

“The guys recognize what this is all about, is trying to win hockey games,” he said. “It’s one of those problems that you love to have. … You can never have enough good, young defensemen, because they’re first of all hard to come by. And it’s a situation where these guys right now are playing this way. We’ll see how things go when you go into a more hostile environment in New York.”

Added Pederson: “I think if I had to look at how I would rank them, the rookies being taken out, starting with the first guy, I would probably take a look at Hamilton, it would probably go Krug, and then last would be Bartkowski to be removed from the lineup when and if they came back.

“If Redden was the first guy back, I’m not so sure if I would make a move quite yet. These guys have, I think, kind of earned an opportunity to continue. If it was Dennis Seidenberg who was healthy, there’s no doubt that he’s coming back immediately. I just don’t get a sense with Ference that he’s even that close, but again we don’t know anything about the injuries, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

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Read More: Adam McQuaid, Barry Pederson, Dennis Seidenberg, Henrik Lundqvist
Barry Pederson on D&C: Milan Lucic ‘took that team on his back’ 05.14.13 at 11:36 am ET
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Milan Lucic (left, celebrating with Matt Bartkowski and David Krejci after Bartkowski's first-period goal) came up big for the Bruins in Monday night's Game 7. (AP)

NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning, hours after the B’s completed an incredible comeback with a 5-4 overtime victory over the Maple Leafs in Game 7 at TD Garden.

Pederson passed around the praise, beginning with Milan Lucic.

“Lucic took that team on his back going down the stretch with his physical presence, intimidation and going to the front of the net,” Pederson said. “I thought he really turned things around.

“But it got scary there that first shift of the hockey game when [Dennis] Seidenberg goes down 37 seconds into the game. All of a sudden no Seidenberg, no [Andrew] Ference and no [Wade] Redden. And boy, [Matt] Bartkowski stepped it up, then the other young guys on the right side, [Johnny] Boychuk, [Adam] McQuaid and [Dougie] Hamilton, brought their game up. And it’s not easy with Toronto’s speed.

“Then you’ve got to talk about the captain [Zdeno Chara], with 35 minutes of ice time that he had to log. He’ll be one tired guy. Then you’ve got to give [Tuukka] Rask a lot of credit, too. Here’s a kid that [when] it was 4-1, he didn’t quit. He made some big saves down the stretch — that breakaway on [Matt] Frattin and then on [Joffrey] Lupul in overtime. It was a total team effort.”

While the Bruins came up big in the third period and overtime, the Maple Leafs are looking back at a stunning collapse.

“The other part of the story, of course, is as they’re coming on, a young Toronto team, who had never been through this war before and never experienced it, totally collapsed in the sense that they quit making plays, they’re back on their heels. they’re getting the puck and instead of going tape to tape and trying to create some offense, they’re just banging it off the boards,” Pederson said. “For [James] Reimer, who played so well for them in Game 5 and 6 to get them there, he just had no chance with so many bodies around him. He wasn’t controlling his rebounds and then the Bruins were just pouncing.”

While the Bruins have faced criticism for their inconsistency, Pederson said it’s been a league-wide problem during the lockout-shortened season. That said, Pederson noted that the B’s turnover problems need to be remedied in a hurry if they’re going to advance any further.

“One of the hallmarks of Claude Julien‘s teams and one of the things that I’ve enjoyed watching was the defensive responsibility and the way they protect the puck and the way they don’t beat themselves with turnovers,” Pederson said. “But boy, down the stretch of the regular season and at various times throughout these playoffs, that was not what we saw from this team. This was a team that was self-destructing by turnovers, not getting the puck deep, not protecting the puck. So for the Bruins to get to that next level and get away from that Jekyll and Hyde, as Claude calls it, they’re going to have to protect the puck better and be mentally tougher. Because again, the competition gets that much more difficult against the New York Rangers.”

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Read More: Barry Pederson, Milan Lucic, Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara
Barry Pederson on D&C: ‘Very important playoffs for Tuukka’ Rask 04.30.13 at 10:48 am ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to break down the B’s first-round playoff series against the Maple Leafs.

Tuukka Rask enters the playoffs looking to build on a strong regular season. (AP)

One of the potential question marks heading into this strike-shortened season for the B’s was goaltending. During the 2011 Stanley Cup run, Tim Thomas was a standout. Now Thomas’ former backup, Tuukka Rask, is the No. 1 netminder. Rask proved up to the task, finishing sixth in the NHL in goals-against average, third in save percentage and tied for first with five shutouts.

“This is going to be a very important playoffs for Tuukka,” Pederson said. “By most standards he had a very good season. I think he’ll be one of the finalists for the Vezina. He did not get enough support, especially through the power-play scoring and the offensive side. I expect the Bruins to have a little bit of an advantage over Toronto in the goaltending department, which is one of the reasons when we were doing our previews for the playoffs and who the Bruins would match up well against; I thought the Bruins would do much better on a matchup basis with Toronto and the Islanders vs. the Rangers and Ottawa. … The Bruins, when they’re successful, they attack. They come at you in waves. They forecheck, they put pressure on your defense, they have turnovers, they’re physical, they’re intense. Then they go to the dirty areas, that’s what I want to see.”

On offense, the Maple Leafs are led by former Bruin Phil Kessel. The 25-year-old led the team in goals (20), assists (32) and points (52), ranking eighth, ninth and sixth in the league in those categories, respectively.

[Kessel] is a very important player and the key guy there will be [Zdeno] Chara,” Pederson said. “It could also be [Dennis] Seidenberg if they’re going to go after them that way. So far, obviously the stats speak for themselves. Phil has had a tremendous offensive season except when he plays the Bruins, and there’s one reason for that. It’s Chara. He’s that good defensively.”

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Read More: Barry Pederson, Phil Kessel, Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara
Barry Pederson on D&C: ‘I think [Bruins] are going to make a deal’ 03.27.13 at 9:45 am ET
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Barry Pederson of NESN joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss what the Bruins might do before the trade deadline, what price they should pay for a player like Jarome Iginla, and why Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic are struggling to produce.

“I think they believe, the way they are constructed right now, they feel they have the potential to win, but I think there’s a lot of question marks,” Pederson said. “They need to get their offense going. They need to get their power play going.”

Pederson said the Bruins could be justified in giving up Malcolm Subban, another highly regarded prospect and a draft pick for Iginla if they’re confident they can sign Iginla to a multi-year deal. He also brought up Martin St. Louis as a possible trade target for the Bruins.

“I think he’s got a lot more to give and he would probably like to win another Cup,” Pederson said of St. Louis. “I just love his game, and I think the Bruins’ fans do as well. He can play all three positions. He may be small in stature, but as we have seen, he is a guy that gives it. He’s got great intensity. He brings offense. He makes your power play better. I think he would love to play in this system with this team. And they’re in the selling mode. That’s another name to me that’s very intriguing. [Compared to Iginla] I think the price with St. Louis would be a little bit more.”

Whether or not the Bruins deal for one of the bigger names on the market, Pederson said he thinks GM Peter Chiarelli will either do something to bolster the top six forwards or add depth to the defense, or both.

“I think they’re going to make a deal,” he said. “[AdamMcQuaid‘s injury puts you in a tough position. Chris Kelly, you don’t know how he’s going to come back from that injury … The other thing we have to remember is, this is the first time since the last collective bargaining agreement that next year’s salary cap is going lower. If you’re a seller, you may be better off now making a deal now than waiting for the summertime when everybody has to do it.”

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Read More: Barry Pederson, Jarome Iginla, Jaromir Jagr, Martin St. Louis
Barry Pederson on D&C: ‘As Bruins fans, you’ve got to be ecstatic’ about proposed realignment 02.27.13 at 9:39 am ET
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Barry Pederson of NESN joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the Bruins’ strengths so far, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin‘s styles of play, and the newly proposed NHL realignment plan.

“I think it makes total sense,” Pederson said of the realignment plan, which would reconfigure the league into four divisions. “As Bruins fans, you’ve got to be ecstatic. You’ve got Detroit coming into this, what’s going to be called the Central Division, you’ve got four Original Six teams, some rivals, Buffalo still in there, and [Andy Brickley] will be happy because you still have Tampa Bay and Florida and he can go down and play some golf now and then. As Bruins fans, it’s a pretty good setup.”

Pederson said he thinks Marchand’s attitude, even more so than his speed or his hands, is his greatest strength, although his speed combined with Seguin’s creates space for their line to work.

“I don’t think he gets enough respect around the league for his offense because of the way he plays,” Pederson said of Marchand. “Marchand is sneaky offensively. Last night, he gets that puck on his backhand, he knows that [Evgeni] Nabokov‘s going to come diving out at him — he just waits and waits and then is able to get the goal. He’s got a great release. His speed really backs the defense off, and he and Seguin, when they’re going, they’re hard to play against.”

Despite speculation that Tim Thomas will never end up playing for the Islanders after being traded there, Pederson said he thinks Thomas is too competitive to walk away from hockey completely if he’s still capable of playing.

“I have no insight, for sure, to what’s going through his mind, but … to me there was a guy that never quit on anything,” Pederson said. “He went after shots that most guys would just say, ‘Oh, it’s an empty net, I’m not going to dive over there.’ So I just have a really hard time thinking he’s going to walk away from the game the way it’s going. I just have to think he’s coming back at some point.”

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Read More: Barry Pederson, Brad Marchand, Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask
Barry Pederson on D&C: Bruins ‘need to get their power play going’ 02.12.13 at 11:32 am ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to talk about the team’s hot start to the season.

The Bruins are 8-1-1 and two points behind the Devils for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. However, there is one area of play where the B’s definitely can improve.

“A big concern, of course, I think is the power play,” Pederson said. “These games right now, even though they’re off to the best start in franchise history in 10 games at 8-1-1, their power play is right near the bottom again. They got away with it in the Stanley Cup run, but I don’t think you can do it two years in a row. They need to get their power play going. They’ve outplayed teams I think a lot more than the score shows.”

One of the Bruins’ most aggressive and controversial players is Brad Marchand. He is off to a great start, scoring six goals and recording one assist.

“Brad Marchand is an extraordinarily important part of this hockey team,” Pederson said. “He helps set a lot of the energy. He’s a good specialty team guy, he’s great with his speed, backs off the other team’s defense. As we all know, as Bruins fans, if he was on the other team I don’t think we’d like him quite as much.”

Another key part to the team’s success is Andrew Ference. While the defenseman doesn’t always get the deserved recognition, he clearly is a critical part to the team.

“I think he is one of the most underrated players on this team,” Pederson said. “He’s more gifted offensively than he’s given credit for. He’s not necessarily big in stature, but he’ll stick his nose in there. He and [Adam] McQuaid are a very, very steady tandem out there. I think one through six on team defense the Bruins are as good as anybody. … He’s a guy that’s a good leader.”

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Read More: Andrew Ference, Barry Pederson, Brad Marchand, Henrik Lundqvist
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