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Don Cherry on MFB: Milan Lucic is ‘[going to] come back with a force’ this season 07.02.15 at 12:52 pm ET
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Don Cherry

Don Cherry

Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry joined Middays with MFB on Thursday to discuss the Bruins’ recent moves. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

Prior to the NHL draft Milan Lucic and 22-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton were traded to the Kings and Flames, respectively. The trades caught many by surprise, though the return for both of them gave the Bruins pieces to work with, namely those acquired in the Lucic trade.

The winger was traded to Los Angeles for goaltender Martin Jones, defenseman Colin Miller and the No. 15 overall pick in last Friday’s draft. The B’s were able to flip Jones to the Sharks afterwards for a first-round pick in 2016 and the rights to Miami Redhawks rising senior Sean Kuraly.

“I think what happened is [Lucic] sort of fell out of favor with that [18] goals [last season],” Cherry said. “You expected more goals from him. I have to admit, he wasn’t Lucic of old last year, but somehow or other, I always think of the Bruins, I think of them as tough and everybody thinks of them as tough.”

“Lucic, I know he had an off-year last year, but he’s [going to] come back with a force,” he added. “When you think of the Bruins, when everybody thinks of the Bruins, they think of Lucic, and then a 22-year-old guy. … You don’t get a 22-year-old stud like that guy and Calgary now has the best defense in the league, there’s no doubt about it.”

Following Hamilton being traded there were reports saying Hamilton was a “loner” and an “uppity kid.” Cherry said that wouldn’t matter to him if he were coaching the Bruins.

“If I had Hamilton, somehow I’d work him in, and that’s the job of the organization,” he said. “When I hear he doesn’t work and he’s a loner, who cares? Look at the way he plays, it’s on the ice. I don’t care if he’s a loner or not. I don’t believe in that stuff.”

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Read More: Claude Julien, Don Cherry, Dougie Hamilton, Matt Beleskey
Don Cherry on MFB: Bruins ‘in deep trouble right now’ 03.27.15 at 12:36 pm ET
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Don Cherry

Don Cherry

Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry joined Middays with MFB to discuss the Bruins’ playoff chances going into the final eight games of the regular season. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Bruins are tied with the Senators for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 85 points, but Ottawa holds a game in hand.

“That game in hand is a killer,” Cherry said.

On Thursday night the B’s had a chance to jump over Ottawa for the second wild card spot after the Senators got blown out, 5-1, by the NHL-leading Rangers. The Bruins had a 2-1 lead over the Ducks entering the final minute of play, but Anaheim scored with just over 30 seconds left to tie the game, and then notched the game winner on a tip-in in overtime.

“That was a killer last night,” Cherry said, adding: “The winner went in off a stick, so you can’t blame [Tuukka] Rask for that one.”

The B’s goalie has not had his greatest season, but he usually has been good enough to at least give the team a chance to win.

“The problem is not Rask,” Cherry said. “He’s not stealing the games like he did last year, but he’s got a great [goals-against] average, 2.26, and a .924 save percentage. That’s pretty good. Their problem is they can’t score. And of all of the teams playing in the playoffs already, they’re the worst. They’ve got one 20-goal scorer right now, and that’s [Brad] Marchand. You’re not going to win many games if you don’t have any 20-goal scorers.”

Added Cherry: “Now they’ve got [Dougie] Hamilton hurt, he was their second-leading scorer. They’re in deep trouble right now. They’ll have to dig down.”

Cherry, a former coach of the Bruins, does not blame current coach Claude Julien for the B’s underwhelming season.

“Listen, it’s not Julien’s fault, he’s not going out telling them to not score,” Cherry said. “These are the guys, they can’t score. … He puts them on the ice and they don’t score. What, is he supposed to put the puck in?”

If the Bruins are able to rally and make the playoffs, they likely will face either the Rangers, Canadiens or Lightning. While they certainly wouldn’t be favored over any of those teams, Cherry wouldn’t count out the B’s.

“Just make the playoffs,” Cherry said. “Anybody that gets in the playoffs can make it.”

For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Don Cherry, Tuukka Rask
Don Cherry on D&C: Bruins ‘just don’t seem to be ready’ 05.07.14 at 9:25 am ET
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Legendary Hockey Night in Canada analyst Don Cherry checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss the Bruins’ disappointing 4-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“That was not one of their better games. I don’t understand it,” the former Bruins coach said. “They spot teams a 3-0 lead and think they’re going to come back in the third period. It’s a dumb way to play.”

The Bruins were hurt by a couple of defensive breakdowns that led to early Canadiens goals, and Cherry said their failure to be prepared to play hard and focused from the opening faceoff is an issue that continues to haunt them.

“It’s funny, you can sit here and dissect it. You have to be behind the bench to realize that Montreal is going to come out flying,” Cherry said. “They have their favorite singer. You have to be ready for something like that. It’s easy to say. I’ve been there many times before.

“There’s so many mistakes made, even down to the one where [Tuukka] Rask doesn’t bang his stick on the breakaway. You’re taught in junior, in bantams, when you see a penalty near the end, you bang your stick to warn the guys. Here’s a guy that’s not ready. They just don’t seem to be ready. They think that they can come back all the time in the third period. They seem to be relying on that third period all the time. They don’t play desperate right now. I’m telling you, they better start, because they’re sky high, Montreal is sky high.”

Added Cherry: “You’ve got to play like [Brad] Marchand. Believe it or not, he was plus-2 last night. He is a guy that they’ve got to look to. He plays like that all the time, and that’s the way they’ve got to play. They were fast asleep the first two periods.”

The Bruins’ problems start in goal, where Rask has continued his career-long struggles against the Canadiens, while Carey Price has come up with some big saves at the other end.

“Rask is not playing the way Rask can play. … Price is outplaying him, that’s for sure,” Cherry said. “Rask is not playing like he did in the season for some reason. Montreal’s got — I don’t know if they’ve got his number or what. But he’s not the Rask that I know.

“But here’s the thing that bothers me, is the Bruins were out-hit last night. Imagine the Bruins being out-hit by those little midgets with Montreal. They’re just not ready. And if they’re not ready, it’s going to be a short series.”

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Read More: Brad Marchand, Carey Price, Don Cherry, P.K. Subban
Don Cherry on D&C: Tyler Seguin ‘one step away from being a superstar’ 07.08.13 at 10:55 am ET
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Hockey Night in Canada legend Don Cherry joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the Bruins’ trade of Tyler Seguin to the Stars.

Cherry remains high on Seguin, despite the Bruins losing patience with him.

“Something must have happened there to get rid of a kid like that,” Cherry said after reviewing Seguin’s statistics. “I’m sure he’s going to go to Dallas, he’s going to play center, and look out — I’m telling you, this kid is one step away from being a superstar. You’ll see next year. But hey, he got in the bad book somehow.

“You have to watch. The Bruins have a real image of being tough — tough to play against. Nineteen Canadians on the club, and every one of them are rough guys. ‘€¦ So, they have to watch that they don’t lose that little grit. Because most teams are afraid to go in and play Boston.”

As for reports that Seguin was too immature off the ice, Cherry said he can understand how a 21-year-old would want to spend some time out on the town.

“Look, I don’t know what happened. But I’m just saying I know I’d go out, if I was 21 years old after a game I would go to a bar, too,” Cherry said, questioning why the off-ice issues became public.

Added Cherry: “If a guy can get me 30 goals on right wing, and he’s a natural center, and he’s a little problem off the ice, I wouldn’t mind that. I’d try to settle that out a little. ‘€¦ Listen, the Bruins were in the finals. They did pretty good, so [Peter] Chiarelli must be doing something right. But you’re asking me my opinion, I would have never given up on a [21]-year-old kid that got 30 goals the year before playing in his wrong position.”

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Read More: Don Cherry, Loui Eriksson, Patrice Bergeron, Peter Chiarelli
Brad Marchand: ‘I don’t think anybody is out there trying to injury guys’ 06.17.13 at 1:53 pm ET
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Brad Marchand has been called a lot of things in his brief NHL career.

Antagonizer. Spark plug. Skillful finisher. Intense.

But the one thing he maintains is he plays within the rules. He doesn’t, for a second, consider himself a dirty player. The “dirty” tag came up again in an interview with ESPN Boston on Monday when Don Cherry said Marchand “is not a pest. He’s a hockey player that plays dirty.”

“When you’re getting suspensions and stuff like that, that’s playing dirty,” Marchand said Monday morning before Game 3. “You play hard, a lot of things happen in a game but I don’t think anybody is out there trying to injure guys.”

During the Eastern Conference finals, Cherry first told WEEI’s Mut & Merloni that Marchand is no pest.

As a matter of fact, Marchand maintains he hasn’t even tried to get under the skin of the Blackhawks so far in this Stanley Cup final.

“I haven’t really tried to do a whole lot,” he said. “I’m just trying to play the game. Everyone is so caught up in trying to antagonize guys and stuff like that, it just doesn’t happen like that. It comes with the game and you have to react to different situations.”

One thing is for sure, Marchand has plenty of respect for a Chicago team that has just as much speed and skill as the Bruins.

“They’re a great team,” Marchand said. “They come with a ton of speed which is always tough to play against. They don’t just throw pucks away. Every time they have the puck they make a play, which makes it tough out there. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve noticed is just that they don’t ever seem to throw pucks away. Everything is right on the tape. If they don’t have anything, they just seem to swing back so they’re a great team. There’s no doubt about that.”

Still, Marchand was asked if he thought the Blackhawks hate him yet?

“I have no idea. You have to ask them,” he said.

The Bruins are 3-0 in Game 3s so far in these Stanley Cup playoffs while the Blackhawks are 0-3. Meaningful heading into Game 3 of the Cup final?

“It means nothing right now,” Marchand said. “It’s a completely different series and a completely different time.”

Read More: 2013 Stanley Cup, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Chicago Blackhawks
Don Cherry on D&C: Bruins will win Cup; Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin ‘a loser’ at 9:26 am ET
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Don Cherry joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning, and the CBC Hockey Night in Canada analyst said he is sticking with his pick of the Bruins to win it all against the Blackhawks.

‘€œThey are going to win the Cup,’€ Cherry said point-blank. ‘€œI picked Boston all the way through.”

‘€œIt’€™s funny how the Bruins can turn it on like that,’€ he added, referencing the Bruins seemingly flipping a switch in the middle of Game 2 Saturday night. ‘€œIt was like how it was against Toronto [in Game 7]. ‘€˜Oh, 4-1? We’€™re going to turn it on for about 15 minutes.’€™ And that’€™s what they did in the overtime. If Chicago plays like they did in the overtime, it’€™s not going to go long.”

Part of that, the former Bruins coach said, was the result of the B’€™s consistently physical play, particularly after the first period.

‘€œA few [Blackhawks] guys are hearing footsteps ‘€¦ and the defense gets rid of the puck early,’€ Cherry said. ‘€œInstead of taking their time a little, they know guys like [Milan] Lucic are coming, that little shot’s coming, and they get rid of the puck early.”

Cherry acknowledged that both goalies, Tuukka Rask and Corey Crawford, have been playing superbly, and he doesn’€™t expect any blowouts in either direction.

Cherry heaped praise on Rask in particular, even giving him the edge over Tim Thomas‘€™ performance during the Bruins’€™ 2011 Stanley Cup run.

‘€œTimmy Thomas did play great — I’€™m not putting him down — but Rask is unbelievable,’€ Cherry said. ‘€œHe is in a zone right now.”

Cherry also spoke highly of Tyler Seguin, saying he fully expects the young forward to start producing more soon. The key is giving Seguin, in the form of ice time and confidence, the opportunity to succeed. Now that that is starting to happen again, the puck should start to fall.

‘€œWhen you don’€™t play, you’€™re not going to be anything,’€ Cherry said. ‘€œHe was taken off the line when [Jaromir] Jagr came. How would I handle him? I’€™d play him to death. And when you play him to death, he’€™d come through for you.’€

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Read More: Brad Marchand, Don Cherry, Evgeni Malkin, Tim Thomas
Don Cherry on D&C: Brad Marchand ‘no pest’ 06.07.13 at 12:15 pm ET
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Hockey Night in Canada analyst Don Cherry checked in with Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Cherry already is looking forward to a Bruins-Blackhawks Stanley Cup finals.

“Every guy on that team has an edge, and they play with an edge, the Bruins,” Cherry said. “I don’t know when they get on against Chicago and that. But I know one thing, boy, they’re playing smoking now. And when Chicago wins — and they’re going to win, too — that’s going to be a bang-up series. Chicago doesn’t hit — I know I’m jumping ahead a little here — but they’d better be ready because it’s going to be a tough series for them. There’s a few guys on Chicago that I think you’re going to hear footsteps.”

Cherry credited Claude Julien with using a more cautious strategy in overtime of Game 3.

“One thing I’ve never seen before in the playoffs or any time: Everybody, when you get in the OT, you always say attack, get it over with quick, attack, attack, get it in the first five minutes. The Bruins, if you watch, they had five guys back. I’ve never seen it before. They had five guys back, waiting for them to come, sitting and waiting for a break. I’ve never seen that before. And they got the break when [Jaromir] Jagr took the puck off [Evgeni] Malkin, and they went in. ‘€¦ You watch, just before the goal, they were back at the red line, waiting for a break. Boy, it really paid off, I’ll tell you.”

Brad Marchand has received accolades for his aggressive play and clutch offense but also criticism for delivering some cheap shots to Penguins players. Cherry defended the young winger.

“He’s not a pest,” Cherry said. “A pest is a guy that will get you about three or four goals, or five or six goals, that will go around jabbing guys and stuff like that. This guy is above all that because he can score goals. He’s what you call a good player that goes around looking for trouble, causes disturbances and that. ‘€¦ You just can’t call him a pest or dirty or anything like that, he’s too good a player for that. He’s above that stuff. He’s just a good, honest, hard player that can score goals. That’s the why I look at it. He’s no pest.”

Gregory Campbell has become a cult hero for playing with a broken leg after blocking a shot on the penalty kill in the second period of Game 3.

“There’s no other sport in the world [in which] a guy will play with a broken leg. ‘€¦ That’s the spirit of the Bruins,” Cherry said.

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, Don Cherry, Gregory Campbell
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