|Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins say they ‘have another gear’ to their game||03.19.14 at 1:41 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ 10-game win streak, Brad Marchand, Carl Soderberg and more. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
The Bruins have been on a tear recently, winning 10 straight games and outscoring opponents 41-15 in that span. Despite all their success, the team still is looking to improve.
“They’ve been able to do a lot of things really during this streak,” Brickley said. “But it’s amazing when you talk to the coaching staff and even to the players to a man, they say, ‘We’re not peaking, we haven’t hit our stride. Yes, we’re winning games because we’re playing team hockey, and we’re getting some good results, but we definitely have another gear.’ ”
Marchand has been quiet during the streak, only recording two goals and three assists. Brickley admits that while the 25-year-old winger has struggled at times, he has had a successful season.
“He’s having a terrific season really, on the whole, when you take a look at it,” Brickley said. “Certainly there were times, maybe, at different points in the season where it wasn’t going his way and he was kind of fighting it or searching for that balance.”
The B’s third line compares favorably to many of the third lines across the NHL. One guy in that line that has improved, according to Brickley, is Soderberg.
|Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘I’m back to the way I was before’ suspension||01.22.14 at 3:28 pm ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton talked with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about Canucks coach John Tortorella and his suspension, his own suspension and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Tortorella was suspended 15 days for attempting to enter the Flames locker room after the first period of Saturday’s game, angry that Flames coach Bob Hartley started his fourth line. Tortorella responded with his fourth line, initiating a line brawl right after the opening puck drop.
While the former Rangers coach has come under criticism, Thornton said Tortorella deserves credit for standing up for his team.
“I love the that he always has his players’ back,” Thornton said. “This has happened a few times with him, and it’s happened a few times in the league. Obviously the instance with him going down to the locker room probably makes it a lot more blown out of proportion, but this stuff happens.”
That said, Thornton said he isn’t sure Hartley’s intent was to have his fourth-line players mix it up.
“I don’t think that — and I don’t know because I’m not in the room — but I’m assuming when Hartley started his fourth line he wasn’t planning on a line brawl, he was just trying to start a line to get, maybe create some forecheck and then dump pucks in, get some momentum going for his team,” Thornton said. “We do it sometimes, too.”
Added Thornton: “You can start whoever you want. We [the B’s fourth line] used to start all the time, probably two or three years ago. Our line started all the time. It was more to create momentum, not to drop the gloves.”
Thornton, who was suspended on Dec. 14 for 15 games after attacking Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, says the suspension and league crackdown on violence hasn’t forced him to alter his style.
“I’m back to the way I was before. Nothing’s changed,” Thornton said. “If I need to stick up for a teammate, I’ll stick up for a teammate. That hasn’t changed.”
|Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘Now I go back to playing the way I played the last 600 games’||01.02.14 at 10:04 am ET|
Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning for the first time since receiving a 15-game suspension last month, and the Bruins enforcer acknowledged he “messed up” and is eagerly awaiting his return to the team on Jan. 11. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Thornton was punished for grabbing Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, pulling him down and punching him during a game on Dec. 7. Orpik was knocked out and had to miss eight games while recovering from the concussion.
It was the first suspension of Thornton’s career, and he hopes it won’t affect his reputation.
“I messed up. I know that,” Thornton said. “I talked about it the other day: I’m not going to let it define me. It’s a mistake I made after 600 games playing right on the line. To be completely honest, doing my job is not an easy one, as far as riding the line.
“It’s tough to talk about because I know I messed up, but I plan on playing a couple more years and playing within the rules. The outcome wasn’t was expected, either. A very unfortunate set of circumstances, why I messed up, it can happen. Yeah, the money sucks, the games really suck. But I’m going to put it behind me now and move on.”
Thornton said he was limited in how much he can discuss the appeal process, but he made it clear he still believes the suspension that league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan handed out — and commissioner Gary Bettman backed upon appeal — was too long.
“It’s tough for me to talk about, because we’re legally not allowed. There’s a provision in our CBA that I can’t really bad-mouth the decision,” Thornton said. “But I definitely thought that 15 was a little excessive. How many games? I don’t know. It’s not my job. And I know it’s not an easy job to assess those things. But I thought that being the lengthiest suspension he’s ever handed out was a little bit much for my first-time offense, I guess.”
|Peter Chiarelli says he isn’t trading Brad Marchand||12.19.13 at 3:31 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Thursday that he doesn’t want anyone to interpret the team’s unhappiness with Brad Marchand‘s recent behavior as a sign that they want to get rid of him.
Chiarelli revealed Wednesday that he wasn’t happy with Marchand taunting the Canucks during Saturday’s loss, saying that he spoke to Marchand about it. That was hardly a suggestion that the team was going to trade him, but Chiarelli clarified anyway to reporters Thursday in Buffalo.
“I’m not trading Marchy. He’s a good player,” Chiarelli said. “I like the way he plays. He’ll figure it out.”
For a number of reasons, trading Marchand wouldn’t be too logical for the Bruins right now. Given that he has just five goals this season, the team likely would not get proper return on a player who scored 28 goals two seasons ago.
‘A little bit, yeah. Definitely,’ he said when asked if he thought the team might also trade him. ‘Anything can happen at any time. If you have half a bad year or you’re not playing up to par, with the cap system nowadays, they’re going to want to improve the team. You don’t want to be that guy to get shipped out. The easiest thing to do is play your best and hopefully you can save yourself.’
|Peter Chiarelli spoke to Brad Marchand following Stanley Cup taunts vs. Canucks||12.18.13 at 1:39 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Brad Marchand was spoken to by Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli after taunting the Canucks in Saturday’s game in Vancouver.
Marchand took his glove off and kissed his ring finger in the second period and also raised an imaginary Stanley Cup during warmups and after a third-period scrum. B’s coach Claude Julien called the actions unacceptable after the game, while Chiarelli addressed it with the player.
“I talked to Brad and that’s all I’ll say,” Chiarelli said. “I wasn’t happy with it, but he understands.”
Marchand has struggled this season, scoring only five goals through the first 34 games of the season. He’s well off his pace of seasons past, as he scored 28 goals in the 2011-12 season.
“He’s a young player still and sometimes you have those seasons,” Chiarelli said. “He’s fought the puck a little bit, he’s been kind of at wit’s end. You can see the level of frustration. I go back over his last six or seven games and I’ve liked his play. He’s getting his legs back and his hands back. It’s just about looking at it in an 82-game schedule and figuring it out over the course of the schedule and being patient. Maybe he showed little signs of impatience along the way, but I think his game’s coming around.”
Marchand threw a bad hit on Flames rookie forward Sean Monahan in Tuesday’s game, with Flames forward Curtis Glencross saying after the game that “he’s a dirty player.” Chiarelli didn’t take particular exception with the hit but did allow that the Bruins, in wake of Shawn Thornton‘s attack of Brooks Orpik, are more prone to criticism these days.
“I saw that hit, and it was a penalty,” Chiarelli said. “I don’t anticipate any disciplinary stuff. That stuff happens. We’re a physical team and that results in body contact maybe more so than a lot of other teams, so we’re under the microscope a little bit that way. Certainly you don’t like anything like what Shawn did, but you’re going to have altercations and [those are] going to happen.”
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins and the most recent questionable play by Brad Marchand.
Marchand, the controversial B’s winger, was penalized two minutes for boarding after hitting Sean Monahan in Tuesday’s win over the Flames. Calgary‘s Curtis Glencross called it a “dirty hit” by a “dirty player.”
“Yeah, it’s a bad hit. He’s looking right at Monahan’s numbers,” Brickley said. “If you ask Brad, he’ll tell you he thought it was just a little forceful push and not heavy body contact. But it’s still on the numbers, on a guy that — he knew Marchand was there. When you watch the replay, he take a look over his left shoulder, which is the right thing to do for Monahan; you want to survey what’s going on around you. That puck’s not going anywhere, so you take a look to see what’s going on behind you and left and right and then make your play. So, he knew Marchand was right there, and Marchand decided to give him that little extra forearm shiver/push/hit, whatever you want to describe it.
“That’s a two-minute penalty for boarding. It’s a good call. It’s a bad penalty to take. It’s a bad timely penalty to take. And I just think it’s part of what’s going on with Marchand right now, that he’s trying to figure his game out and he’s overthinking it right now. He’s just got to go out and read and react, play the game. But the hard part for him is he needs to play on the edge in order to be the most effective player he can.”
Regarding the possibility of benching Marchand, Brickley said that’s not likely considering the number of injuries among the team.
“They’re just so short on numbers right now; what are their options?” Brickley said. “If they wanted to reduce his ice time, if they wanted to — like they did with Milan Lucic late in the year last year, make him a healthy scratch so he gets up on [TD Garden Level] 9 and takes a look at things and realizes there’s a lot more he could be doing.
“One of the things that jump out at you when you watch Marchand play, when he’s playing well — and it could be at any time during the game, he could have six, seven real good shifts in the course of a 20-shift night where he’s really, really effective, and he’s using his feet, and he’s skating, he attacks the offensive zone, he backs the D off then he curls up and he looks for a guy coming late. But what he’s doing right now, even when he makes a good play, he stops skating. And when you stop skating, that tells you you’re overthinking it. And when you start to overthink it, now you just don’t play the game in rhythm and you just don’t do things naturally.
“And I think that’s what they’re trying to educate him on and remind him of, that’s the way you need to play. Because when you get into that no-man’s land, you’re not the player you’re going to be. But what are your options in order to get that message across? Right now, because they are just so shorthanded, they need Brad Marchand and they need him to play to his capabilities or somewhere close to that in order to be effective. Because they need to win and they need to put up points.
And he’s still probably your best option, even though you might want to try to do something else to get further attention.”
|Curtis Glencross on Brad Marchand: ‘He’s a dirty player’||12.17.13 at 10:22 pm ET|
Flames forward Curtis Glencross had a pretty black-and-white assessment of Brad Marchand‘s hit on Flames rookie forward Sean Monahan.
“It’s dirty,” Glencross told WEEI.com. “He’s a dirty player.”
Monahan had turned and had his numbers to Marchand behind the Flames net when the Bruins’ forward hit him into the boards from behind. Marchand was assessed a two-minute boarding minor for the hit and was immediately chased down by Glencross in defense of his teammate.
“We’ve seen it from him how many times a year from him?” Glencross added. “It’s a dirty hit.
“You try not to worry about guys like that, but we’re trying to get those hits out of the game. It’s a dirty hit.”
Marchand was not made available to the media after the game, a 2-0 Bruins win. B’s captain Zdeno Chara said he did not see the hit, but that he knows the team needs to be alert with not making bad decisions.
“We’re aware of what’s going on, not just with our team,” Chara said. “Throughout the league there’s always names coming up for hearings and suspensions, but you are aware of it, but we try to really focus on the games. Speaking for myself, I’m always trying to focus on the game and not what is going on away from it.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien said the hit wasn’t worse than the call it was given on the ice.
“I look at that hit and it’s a two-minute penalty,” Julien said, “and I don’t think he was going in there looking to injure the guy. He was going to hit and the guy turned and how he got him deserved a two-minute penalty, but that’s as much as it is.
“I don’t want us to start thinking that everything Brad does is bad. It’s a two minute like a lot of other two minutes — not any worse than all the high sticks our guys took to the face tonight. He took the two minutes, went to the box and served it.”
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.