|Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘I wouldn’t be afraid about playing [Islanders] in the playoffs’||04.12.13 at 12:36 pm ET|
NBC’s Pierre McGuire talked with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday about the state of the Bruins as the regular season winds down, who they might match up well against in the playoffs and why some other teams are picking up their game as the Bruins appear to wear down.
McGuire was there for the Bruins’ 5-4 win over the Devils on Wednesday, and he said that despite their inconsistencies lately, Boston fans shouldn’t be worried about the team.
“They were solid and reliable early on and then they let their guard down a little bit,” McGuire said of Wednesday’s game. “I think mental and physical fatigue is probably kicking in a little bit. But they were good enough to win in that game. The big thing that’s impressing me is their ability to kill penalties, their ability to play with an edge that’s required, especially when it comes to the playoffs. If you play with that edge and you do take penalties and you can kill them off, that’s huge.
“I know a lot of people are probably a little bit fidgety right now because they lost last night on home ice to the Islanders. The Islanders are doing that to a lot of teams right now, and I think three games in four days right now probably broke [the Bruins] down a little bit. I wouldn’t worry too much about them. I think the Bruins are going to be just fine.”
Despite the fact that the Islanders just beat the Bruins, McGuire said he still thinks they’re an ideal first-round playoff matchup for the Bruins.
“The New York Islanders obviously are an upstart team,” he said. “If I was the Bruins, I wouldn’t be afraid about playing them in the playoffs. I just don’t think they have enough overall depth to play against the Boston Bruins. That would be the team, if I could pick a team — that’s the team I’d want to play against.”
|Swedish Ice Hockey Federation reportedly trying to block Carl Soderberg from coming to Bruins||04.11.13 at 4:58 pm ET|
The Carl Soderberg situation apparently took a turn for the worse Thursday, as reports out of Sweden suggested that the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation was trying to block the 27-year-old forward from going to the Bruins. Soderberg agreed to a three-year deal with the Bruins on Tuesday, but TSN’s Bob McKenzie followed up Swedish reports with the following Thursday:
‘ Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 11, 2013
Soderberg, who was acquired from the Blues in 2007 but has played his entire professional career in Sweden, scored 31 goals this season. More on this as information becomes available.
|Andy Brickley on M&M: Defensive-zone turnovers ‘my No. 1 concern for this Bruins team’||04.10.13 at 1:03 pm ET|
Andy Brickley of NESN joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the expected arrival of Carl Soderberg, the issues of the Bruins defense, and whether any of the B’s potential playoff opponents could exploit those weaknesses.
The Bruins reportedly agreed on a contract with Soderberg on Tuesday at last, after acquiring his rights in a 2007 trade. Brickley said he’s never seen Soderberg play in person, but based on video and his stats (60 points in 54 games in the Swedish Elite League this year), Brickley expects him to contribute to the Bruins right away.
“As soon as he grasps the whole concept of playing North American-style hockey, his size and his skill set will be very good for the Bruins,” Brickley said. “They’ve been in search of adding that depth and balance, whether it’s to the top six forwards or to the bottom six forwards, and he seems to be right on that cusp.”
Soderberg played center in Sweden, but team president Cam Neely said Tuesday that he’ll likely start out in Boston as a winger.
“I understand the philosophy, especially in a system that is so demanding on that defensive centerman working with two defensemen down low,” Brickley said. “He does do that over in Europe, but the system is less demanding and there’s a lot more room and there’s more containment. ‘¦ Because of the size of the ice, it’s more containment than physical one-on-one battles. Those will be the adjustments, and maybe he’ll be better off learning to use his size along the boards, breakouts, and concentrating a little bit more on what he does really well, which is being a little offensive and a little creative offensively.”
On the Bruins’ defensive mistakes: “It’s the turnovers. It’s not so much how they defend in their own zone — it’s when you turn the puck over, and good teams turn defense into offense, and now you’re in trouble. When you’re making those poor decisions and when the execution’s not there and you’re handing the other team the puck, even unforced turnovers, it’s so hard to defend because you’re thinking offense instead of puck possession. If they don’t get it straightened out, it’s going to be a serious problem going into the postseason. That is my No. 1 concern for this Bruins team.
“You have to minimize your turnovers and be that puck-possession type of teams, in high-percentage plays where you don’t have a play. That means lay that puck in an area where it’s not going to come right back at you. That is why their defense, and I don’t mean the group of six — I’m talking about their team defense — has put a lot of pressure on the goalies over the last 10 games or so. Until they clear that area up, you saw Carolina the other night — they were a two-man aggressive forecheck below the goal line and a green light for both defensemen to pinch down the boards, and the Bruins had a really hard time with it. They’ve got to get that area of their game cleaned up. Don’t worry so much about the offense. ‘¦ It’s really how you come out of your own zone and how you manage the puck. The offense will be just fine.”
|Report: Bruins and Carl Soderberg agree to three-year deal||04.09.13 at 11:53 am ET|
According to Kirk Luedeke of the New England Hockey Journal, the Bruins and Swedish center Carl Soderberg have agreed to a three-year contract.
Soderberg won’t be able to join the Bruins until he is given his release from the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation, as the 27-year-old has been playing in Sweden for the last 11 years, the last two of which were for Linkoping HC of the Swedish Elite League.
The Bruins have had the rights to Soderberg since getting the former second-round pick from the Blues in exchange for Hannu Toivonen in 2007, but he has stayed in Sweden rather than making the leap to the NHL. Soderberg led the Swedish Elite League with 31 goals in 54 games this season.
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