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Mike Milbury on D&H: Milan Lucic ‘can’t lose that edge’ 12.01.10 at 1:05 pm ET
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Mike Milbury

NESN, NBC and Hockey Night in Canada NHL analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday. To hear the interview, including Milbury talking about whether he would consider a return to coaching, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

With the Bruins struggling, Milbury was asked what the team needs to do to turn things around.

“I haven’t seen the intense forecheck, except when they get desperate,” he said. “That’s not a good thing. You want to get on the forecheck. You want to get in and create some havoc. And when you’re doing that, that means physical play. And if you’ve been watching the Bruins for the last five or six games, you’re not seeing a ton of that. And I’m not talking about fighting. I’m talking about in-fast, pressure forechecking, intimidating not only with your bodychecking, but with your speed and intensity to cut down the time the defenseman has to move the puck. They’re sort of blah. … The Bruins have to play at a far higher pace to be successful.”

Asked if Zdeno Chara needs to set the tone for the team, Milbury said he’d first like to see players such as Milan Lucic provide more of a physical presence.

“I think Lucic has to be more involved physically,” he said. “And I’m not talking about fighting from him. The 10 goals are well and good. But harken back to a couple of years ago when this kid made a mark on this city and this franchise. It was with his purposeful forechecking. It was like nonstop, Terry O’Reilly-type forechecking. I haven’t seen that. I know he’s going to mature and settle in and use his energy more efficiently and conservatively. But you can’t lose that edge. And right now, I don’t think he’s got it.

“Chara can take care of it in his own zone, and I think he needs to do a little bit better job of being on the edge and nasty in order to make sure people on his team see that, feel it, feel the intensity,” Milbury added. “That’s what’s missing. Those are two key players in the scheme of things. But you need it from [Brad] Marchand. You need it from [Gregory] Campbell. You need it from guys that can get there and pressure defensemen, and that’s their role. They’re not expected to be huge offensive contributors, but they set the tone. They set the passion level for this team.”

Milbury noted the Bruins’ lack of speed is an issue as well.

“I think they need quickness. I think they need some speed,” he said. “I don’t want to go back to the [Phil] Kessel deal in a big way, but they miss his speed, they miss his penetrating speed off the wing. … It’s the kind of speed that gets defensemen second-guessing themselves, thinking about, ‘Jeez, where is this guy? Where’s he going to go?’ ”

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Read More: Matt Hunwick, Mike Milbury, Milan Lucic, Pat Burns
Mike Milbury on D&H: ‘It’s a wide-open league right now’ 11.24.10 at 1:07 pm ET
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Mike Milbury

NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday. The Bruins are coming off a loss to the Lightning on Monday in which they got off to a slow start and fell 3-1. “It’s a tough league, and if you’re not ready to play, you’re going to get beat,” he said. “And the Bruins clearly weren’t ready to play against Tampa. They looked as bad as they’ve looked all year.”

Added Milbury: “Maybe they’re looking ahead. It’s Florida, that’s one thing. Maybe they went golfing, maybe it was a nice day, maybe too many good-looking chicks on the street in Tampa. I don’t know. But it’s a constant challenge. It’s the art form of coaching, for me, to make sure that your team is read to go. And I think Claude Julien does by and large a real good job of that. But this time, for whatever combinations of reasons, it slipped.”

Milbury was asked if the Bruins are capable of winning the Stanley Cup this season. “It’s a wide-open league right now,” he said. “I think Chicago’s dismantling was an invitation to everybody that was close to pick it up a little, because it’s there. … I think it’s a pretty wide-open horse race. I think they do have the pieces.

“I’d like to see them add a defenseman,” Milbury continued. “I’d like to see them add a defenseman who can generate offense from the point, because they don’t have that right now, or the guys that they have aren’t giving that right now. And I’d also like to see them with a full roster for a little while before I make that assessment. But I think everybody would agree that when [Marco] Sturm comes back and [Marc] Savard comes back, they’re a better team for it. It’s going to cause some shuffling of lines and some disruption and that may take a little while to settle down. But when it’s all said and done, they’re two pretty good players. And any time you can put good players in the lineup, you’re going to get better. The goaltending has been outstanding.

“Yeah, I have to agree with Dale that they have the stuff to get there. I’m not calling them the odds-on favorite, but if it all comes together at the right time, they have a a chance. No question.”

Milbury reminisced about one-time Bruins coach Pat Burns, who died last week at the age of 58 after a lengthy battle with cancer, and said Burns should have been elected to the Hall of Fame this year.

“It was a shame that there wasn’t common sense going around in plenty at the meeting of the Hall of Fame selection committee,” he said. “Everybody knew Pat was not well and time was running short. … Wouldn’t somebody just stand up and say, ‘Come on, guys. He’s going in the Hall of Fame. He’s dying. Let’s get him in before he goes. Let’s have him has his day in the sun so he can really relish it.’ They missed the boat on that. And I don’t get it. I just don’t get why somebody who is that qualified to be in the Hall of Fame — and I think he is, and almost everybody I talk to feels the same way — and I just don’t get why they wouldn’t have honored him under these circumstances.”

Read More: Marc Savard, Marco Sturm, Mike Milbury, Pat Burns
Claude Julien grateful and honored to follow Pat Burns’ career path 11.20.10 at 1:10 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien took a few minutes to reflect on the late Pat Burns, who died on Friday after a lengthy battle with cancer. The three-time Jack Adams award winner and Stanley Cup Champion in 2003 was 58.

Julien knew Burns while Julien was still playing in the AHL and Burns was coaching, but it wasn’t until the two were both “in the same coaching fraternity” that they got to know one another best.

AP

“The one thing everybody knows about Pat was he was sincere and direct and there was no beating around the bush with him, but the part that people didn’t always see was that away from all of that was that he was a really good guy. I know that I was fortunate enough to kind of follow his path. It certainly wasn’t done purposely, but I was fortunate enough to follow his path and maybe part of that has helped me become a better coach because I had some big shoes to fill along the way.

“When Pat leaves somewhere, he’s obviously left his print. As I said, when I won the Jack Adams I was so honored to receive it from him because I consider him a friend and at the same time, my comment was ‘if I could even accomplish what you’ve accomplished, I’ll be a really happy coach.’ I mean he’s got three Jack Adams, he’s got a Stanley Cup, you know, he’s done so much.”

A former police officer, Burns was a fiery coach whom Julien said had a touch for turning teams into contenders by getting everything out of his players, no matter what the cost.

“He was a guy that didn’t always get along with every player, but every player liked him and respected him. Even the guys that he had his little run-ins with, I think eventually they came around to understand where he was coming from and that’s what you do as a coach, you do what you think is best for the player, whether it makes you popular or not.

“Sometimes it might take a player five, 10 years to realize what he was trying to do, but eventually they do and as a coach like him, all he could do was ‘I could live with the situation for now, as long as at the end it’s understood that what I was trying to do was the best for the players.’ That to me is what Pat was all about.”

Many fans who once rooted for Burns later found themselves rooting for Julien. Burns had coached all three teams Julien has coached in his career: the Canadiens, Devils, and Bruins. Julien said that his employment with former Burns’ teams isn’t as much a coincidence as one may think, as Burns esteemed Julien wherever he went.

“At one point, Pat, when he was here [in Boston], I think they were looking for a coach in Providence and Pat asked them to interview me,” Julien said. “I think Pat always had a good word. I went to New Jersey and there’s no doubt that Lou [Lamoriello] talked to him at some point, and so I had Pat’s support, obviously. He always had a good word to say about me, which certainly helped to make me follow his path, to a certain extent, so that’s why I guess, I’m grateful to him. I think, at the same time, I’m grateful to him also for leaving such big shoes to fill to push me to be the best coach I can be.”

Read More: Claude Julien, Pat Burns,
Former Bruins coach Pat Burns dies, Cam Neely issues statement 11.19.10 at 8:17 pm ET
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The hockey world was shaken as NHL coaching legend Pat Burns died on Friday. Burns, 58, had battled colon cancer, liver cancer, and lung cancer in the later stages of his life.

Burns coached the Bruins from 1997-2000, leading them for 254 games. He also coached in Montreal, Toronto, and New Jersey over his 20 year career, leading the Devils to a Stanley Cup victory in 2003 over the Mighty Ducks in a thrilling seven game series.

In total, Burns had a coaching record of 501-353-151-14 record in 1,019 NHL games. Bruins president Cam Neely issued the following statement on Friday evening:

“On behalf of the Jacobs family and the entire Boston Bruins family, I would like to express our deep sorrow on the passing of Pat Burns. Pat was a great coach and more importantly a wonderful man. The Bruins are honored to have him as a part of our history. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Burns family.”

Read More: Cam Neely, Pat Burns,
Pat Burns: ‘They’re trying to kill me before I’m dead’ 09.17.10 at 12:55 pm ET
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Former Bruins coach Pat Burns voiced his displeasure about a widely distributed report late Friday morning that indicated he had died. The 58-year-old Burns has waged a long battle with lung cancer but remains feisty.

Burns called Bob McKenzie of TSN after hearing the premature news of his demise. Said Burns: “Here we go again. They’re trying to kill me before I’m dead. I come to Quebec to spend some time with my family and they say I’m dead. I’m not dead, far [expletive] from it. They’ve had me dead since June. Tell them I’m alive. Set them straight.”

CTV in Ottawa had the original report and later retracted it, indicating: “We had erroneous information on Pat Burns. We have nothing to report about his medical condition at this time.”

Burns coached the Bruins for three seasons from 1997-2000 and for eight games of the 2001 season, making the playoffs twice in that span. He returned to the bench with the Devils and won the 2003 Stanley Cup.

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Report of ex-B’s coach Pat Burns’ death inaccurate at 11:59 am ET
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UPDATE: Numerous outlets reported late Friday morning that former Bruins coach Pat Burns died at the age of 58 after a battle with lung cancer. CTV in Ottawa, which had the original report, has since retracted it, indicating: “We had erroneous information on Pat Burns. We have nothing to report about his medical condition at this time.”

Burns coached the Bruins for three seasons from 1997-2000 and for eight games of the 2001 season, making the playoffs twice in that span. He returned to the bench with the Devils and won the 2003 Stanley Cup.

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