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Peter Taglianetti on M&M: Brad Marchand could near Matt Cooke territory 06.06.13 at 2:00 pm ET
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Brad Marchand, here celebrating Patrice Bergeron's game-winner in double overtime Wednesday night, has been criticized for his chippy play. (AP)

Framingham native and former Penguin Peter Taglianetti checked in with Mut & Merloni on Thursday afternoon to chime as a voice from the other side of the ongoing Eastern Conference finals, and said Brad Marchand might want to watch out. Sooner or later, the scrappy Bruins forward could be viewed similarly to how Matt Cooke is now.

Cooke has drawn the ire of hockey fans everywhere and Bruins fans in particular for a series of dirty hits throughout his career, most recently after a five-minute major and game misconduct for hitting defenseman Adam McQuaid from behind in Game 1.

While Marchand is not on that level, Taglianetti compared the two.

“If you guys had Matt Cooke, you guys would love him. If the Penguins had Marchand, they would love him. He plays on the edge,” Taglianetti said. “I don’t think [Marchand is] dirty-dirty, but he plays with that little edge that you sit there and go, ‘Wow, you better watch yourself.’ The one thing that I’d give him as a piece of advice, at some point … this guy is going to get a reputation and he’s going to be put in that same [group] Matt Cooke is soon.”

Taglianetti, disappointed in the Peguins play thus far that has led to the Bruins’ 3-0 series lead, pinned it in the lacked of fundamentals. He cited Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang getting tied up in front of the net in Wednesday’s Game 3 as an example.

“Little things like that irk the hell out of me,” Taglianetti said. “Not knowing who is on the ice, or trying to make a stretch pass when the team’s bottling up the neutral zone — there’s a lot of little things that the mentality of the game just doesn’t seem to be there.”

As for the atmosphere in Pittsburgh, well, it’s about how you’d expect. People are worried, frustrated.

“I probably couldn’t use the words people are saying,” he said. “You don’t have to be a superstar to be a leader. A lot of people around here are wondering who is supposed to be leading this team.”

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