|Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins should ‘add something significant along the blue line’||02.26.14 at 1:29 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the possibility of the Bruins adding a defenseman prior to the deadline, Peter Chiarelli‘s scouting and Loui Eriksson. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
With the NHL trade deadline next Wednesday at 3 p.m., Brickley said how the Bruins view the blue line will determine whether they add a defenseman.
“I think it all starts with how you evaluate what’s going on along the blue line,” Brickley said. “This is a team that prides itself on goaltending, team defense, some strong penalty-killing, and then that balanced offense is somewhere further down in terms of priority. And if you have that type of analysis, then I think you have to look real closely at the group of six or seven that they have on the blue line right now and say, ‘Is this group good enough, deep enough to carry us to an Eastern Conference final and get us to a Stanley Cup final and an opportunity to win this thing.’ And I think that’s what has to be addressed, because in my evaluation I would like to see them add something significant along the blue line.”
Brickley was complimentary of Chiarelli’s ability to identify defensemen who work well with the team.
“The thing about what Peter is able to do along with his management team and the scouting crew, identify a guy like Torey Krug and go out and pay maybe a couple extra dollars to make sure he comes to Boston,” Brickley said. “You make a deal for [Matt] Bartkowski, when nobody really makes notice of it or takes notice of it. You draft a kid like Dougie Hamilton in the first round. You identify a player like Kevan Miller and allow him to play in the American Hockey League and learn how to be a good depth defenseman. And those guys are all significant pieces to what the Bruins have been able to put together and accomplish and pile up points to this point in the regular season.”
Brickley is concerned with the lack of experience the young defensemen have, however, and would rather move Johnny Boychuk out of the top two.
“But as we know the playoffs are a different animal and you’re talking about very little experience there in that foursome,” Brickley said. “Now you have Johnny Boychuk, because of the added absence of Adam McQuaid as well due to a lot of injuries over the last year plus, almost two years. And of course Dennis Seidenberg being out of the lineup. Now you have [Zdeno] Chara, Boychuk, that’s your one-two combination. And I think you’re a really strong defense if Boychuk is somewhere in your top four, but maybe not your top two. And that’s certainly not an indictment on his play, because I love his game and I love how, how game he is, as a matter of fact, to speak to his character.”
Added Brickley: “But if you can go out and acquire, or certainly add to the players that you have on the blue line, as well as they’ve played, now I think you have a much better chance when you get in the postseason. You know there’s going to be injuries, you know there are certain matchups that you’re looking for, based on the opponents that you’re going to draw, and if you can have seven, eight NHL caliber, and maybe even a top two, three that might not be there right now, I think your chances certainly improve as far as going where you want to go and reaching the goals that you set.”
Eriksson, who has not produced big numbers in Boston, played well for Sweden in the just-completed Olympics. Brickley said that the extra playing time, along with playing on the third line, could help the 28-year-old.
“Eriksson needed to play hockey, he needed to play hockey over in Sochi, and he seemed to be — he seemed to be finding his game more and more a little bit before the break,” Brickley said. “He seemed to have some chemistry with [Carl] Soderberg in particular, the two Swedes. Seemed to slide into that third line, instead of the pressure of being in that top six, that seems to be paying dividends. And his awareness, when you watched him play, although it was the bigger ice surface, his awareness of all the moving parts going on around him seemed a lot cleaner, a lot sharper. When you come back from injuries, that’s the one thing you have to be concerned about when you’re coming back from a concussion, is that awareness. Seemed a lot better in the Olympics, so that’s what I’m looking for. And he needs to continue to play. So maybe the break was good for him in terms of playing hockey.”
|Peter Chiarelli happy with how his summer moves have worked so far: ‘That’s what is expected of me’||02.08.14 at 5:35 pm ET|
Eyebrows were a bit more than raised when Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli traded away young gun Tyler Seguin and reliable forward Rich Peverley to the Dallas Stars last summer in return for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow and Matt Fraser.
That was a Fourth of July calculated gamble that Chiarelli was willing to take just a week after his team lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals. Smith has 18 goals this season on the Marchand-Bergeron line, second only to Marchand’s 19 goals this year. Add to that the addition of veteran forward Jarome Iginla to replace Nathan Horton on the top line, and the moves have worked out quite nicely for the Bruins.
Iginla scored again Saturday and all of a sudden has 17 goals with 25 assists. Eriksson assisted on the first two goals Saturday and has 14 helpers on the season, not bad considering he’s missed 21 games with a pair of concussions.
Before he joins one of seven Bruins off to the Sochi Winter Games, Chiarelli was asked before Saturday’s 7-2 demolition of the Senators at TD Garden just how satisfying it is knowing the deals he made in the summer have paid off.
“It’s good, I mean that’s what is expected of me,” Chiarelli said. “Certainly I’ll hear it from you guys if they don’t. You, know Iggy ‘ high character. So you know you’re going to get a good effort. What were my other deals? Loui [Eriksson], yeah Loui is still a work in progress but I’ve seen parts of his game that I’m going to expect at some point that I have seen before. He’s got to work his way through it but he is a very good two way player and I’m happy with him. Reilly [Smith], of course has been good. So yeah it’s good. That’s what I’m expected to do and it helps bringing these players into a successful team and structure. It’s easier to do that provided they buy in and these guys have bought in.”
Will he look at bringing in veteran leaders at the March 5 trade deadline?
“Usually when I’m trying to add something on a temporary basis, on a rental basis, I’d like that player to have some experience,” Chiarelli said. “So, that usually translates into being a veteran. Playoff experience would be good too so that’s something I look for, I don’t know if I’m going to get it if we add somebody but that’s what I look for, I think it’s important. I t’s not so much for leadership; I feel our group has strong leadership. It’s more for having been in the battles and having that composure because that is what you need to win, is composure and compete by the composure also.”
|Peter Chiarelli wants a defenseman, but doesn’t think there is a Dennis Seidenberg on the trade market||at 4:57 pm ET|
Meeting with the media prior to the Olympic break, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he would like to add defensive depth before the March 5 deadline.
The perceived need for the Bruins would be a top-4 defenseman, as the team will be without Dennis Seidenberg for the rest of the season. Chiarelli didn’t say whether he would want a lefty for the second pair or a righty to play in Seidenberg’s usual postseason spot alongside Zdeno Chara.
“I want a little more defending and if a guy can play both sides that would be great,” Chiarelli said. “We’re not going to replace Seids. I want the ability to defend; I want a little bit of heaviness.”
If the Bruins are unable to find somebody, Chiarelli said he would be comfortable with Matt Bartkowski remaining as his second left-side blueliner.
“Yeah, I would be,” Chiarelli said. “He’s learning, he’s learning better how to defend, he’s getting a little more minutes. He’s still making mistakes but the rest of them are too. I’ve been looking closely at his defending, he certainly can wheel the puck out well and turn the net well but he’s maturing as a defender. That’s what we’re looking for, better defenders.”
No NHL business can be conducted over the Olympic break, which means general managers will have a short window to get deals done upon returning to work later this month. Chiarelli said there isn’t much of a market right now for top-4 defensemen.
“I think it’s going to be a tough market,” Chiarelli said. “It is going to be tough to get players.”
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|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.”
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|Peter Chiarelli: Defensemen like Dennis Seidenberg ‘are hard to find’||10.03.13 at 10:18 pm ET|