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Pierre McGuire on MFB: ‘Dumbfounded’ at Bruins’ loss to Maple Leafs 11.13.14 at 1:43 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB, following broadcasting the Bruins’ blowout loss to Toronto Wednesday night and to discuss the state of the team going into Thursday’s game against Montreal. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

McGuire was inside the benches during the Bruins’ 6-1 loss Wednesday night, and did not like what he saw from the Bruins team, which was unexpected as he thought they would have played well going in.

“I said this last night, and I meant it sincerely, I haven’t seen the Bruins get beat like that in a long time,” said McGuire. “I was dumbfounded by that because I was around their room, I talked to their coaches before the game. The players really had an intense situation that they were looking at, they were looking like they were up to the challenge.

“The coaches were really excited — they had won six of their previous seven, all seven games that they had played previously [Zdeno] Chara wasn’t there, and they were finding ways to get it done. Obviously [Patrice] Bergeron and [Dougie] Hamilton were really playing well. I had the feeling they were going to play a really good game last night, and I was really wrong. They did not play a good game last night.”

Tuukka Rask was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals and although he might not have played in the second half of the back-to-back, McGuire says he should after what took place Wednesday night, and Rask not playing the entire game.

“[Tuukka] has to get his team’s confidence in Montreal, so that the team knows that he can deliver there,” he said. “It is up to him, and if I were Claude [Julien], he’s playing tonight.”

“You have to get back on your horse and Tuukka is going to play guilty tonight,” he added. “I don’t know if he is going to be good enough to win or not, but he has to get in there and play guilty and say, ‘I wasn’t good enough last night.’ I think he’s that honest with himself and with his teammates, that I think he will play guilty tonight.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

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Read More: Claude Julien, Montreal Canadiens, Pierre McGuire, Tuukka Rask
Pierre McGuire on MFB: Bruins ‘really comfortable’ with Claude Julien 11.06.14 at 2:04 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB prior to the Bruins’ Thursday night game against the Oilers, as well to discuss Claude Julien‘s contract extension. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Julien inked a three-year contract extension over the weekend. McGuire said he has noticed Julien has become more comfortable working within the organization and with his coaching staff.

“I think they are really comfortable because there is a great relationship between the general manager, Peter Chiarelli and the coach, Claude Julien,” said McGuire. “I think they’€™ve become more and more comfortable over time and the one thing I think the Bruins like more than anything else is the stability of their franchise. It’€™s a very stable franchise and both guys have shown they can handle it.

“One of the things I think Claude is really learning to do over time is delicate authority. [Assistant coach Doug Houda] is getting a lot more responsibility, especially when it comes to changing the defense. Hiring a former head coach in the NHL in Joe Sacco, I think that helps you a lot. Doug Jarvis is one more cherished assistant coaches in the league. I think he’€™s learned to delegate authority really well. Quite frankly, I think it works really well in Boston. I enjoy being around their team and part of that reason is because of their coaching staff.”

The Bruins have enjoyed some success of late, winning three in a row and four-of-five. The wins have come against some of the weaker teams in the league — including the Panthers and Sabres — but McGuire notes the team can only play who comes up on their schedule.

“You’€™re always looking for your team to be a little bit better all the time, but I think like some college teams, you can’€™t pick your schedule, you have to play the way it comes down,” McGuire said. “They play Edmonton tonight, then they have a nice weekend off before they have to play next week against New Jersey and Toronto. They have a nice opportunity to give themselves a reward by beating Edmonton, a team not one of the upper-enchalant teams in the league.”

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Read More: Claude Julien, David Pastrnak, Pierre McGuire,
Pierre McGuire on MFB: ‘I believe [Bruins] will find a way’ 10.30.14 at 2:07 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB in advance of Thursday night’€™s Bruins game with the Sabres and to talk about the injuries the Bruins have been forced to deal with. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Bruins have lost two of their last three games, including two, one-goal games at home — the latest a 4-3 loss to the Wild where they blew a two-goal lead in the third period. McGuire stressed even if the Bruins were to lose to Buffalo Thursday night, it would not be a time to panic.

“It’€™s an 82-game schedule,” McGuire said. “This isn’€™t football, it’€™s not every week being a Super Bowl game. You have to understand there are ebbs and flows in every season and there’€™s huge peaks and gigantic valleys that you have to climb out of. This reminds me so much of what Detroit went through last year without [Henrik] Zetterberg and [Pavel] Datsyuk — they had so many key injuries. Jimmy Howard was not doing well due to injury and illness. Everyone said they wouldn’€™t make the playoffs –€“ 22 years in a row they made it, 23 won’€™t happen — but, guess what? They found a way.

“I believe this Boston Bruins team will find a way and a lot of those young players are getting an opportunity to play now, they are going to be the beneficiaries in this.”

Added McGuire: “I’€™m bullish on the Bruins, I really am. There’€™s no substitute for grit and there’€™s no substitute for maturity and this is a mature leadership kind of team that has a tremendous amount of grit.”

The Bruins have had a number of injuries to their defensive group, including Zdeno Chara (ligament tear in knee), Torey Krug (broken finger), Kevan Miller (upper-body) on top of the trade of Johnny Boychuk to the Islanders before the season. McGuire says this is a time for three other Bruins defensemen to step up, as well as an important stretch for assistant coach Doug Houda.

“The biggest thing is –€“ limited ice time — this is where Doug Houda, who is not a real big-name on the Bruins, but he’€™s the assistant coach that changes the defense, he’€™s got to really pay attention to matchups,” said McGuire. “This is where [Dennis] Seidenberg has to play like he played in Toronto the other night — almost 26 minutes, he was really good. Dougie Hamilton obviously was fantastic in that game. He’€™s going to have to be good. This is where you need Adam McQuaid to be a little bit more stable and better with the puck. Those three guys are going to have to be a lot better, especially when you consider not having Chara, Krug and the trading of Boychuk.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Pierre McGuire, Torey Krug
Pierre McGuire: ‘Hated’ Bruins’ schedule to open season 10.23.14 at 2:12 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB in advance of Thursday night’s Bruins matchup against the Islanders. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Bruins got off to a slow start to the season — going 1-3 in their first four games, but McGuire said some of that was because of the way their schedule was constructed — playing those four games in a six-day span.

“I hated the way their season started, not the way they were playing, but the way the schedule was set up for them,” he said. “I think I talked to you guys about it, they almost had eight days where they had three games in four nights. That’€™s crazy stuff. Then, when you compound that with a [Monday] afternoon game at home after a Saturday night loss, that’€™s really hard. I’€™m not making excuses for them, but they are starting to settle into what team they want to be.”

He also noted the team was coming off of trading veteran defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the Islanders, just prior to the regular season.

“I think they were all a little stunned about Johnny Boychuk being traded to the Islanders because he was an extremely popular guy on their team,” said McGuire. “They started the season without Gregory Campbell, he’€™s a very important guy on that team. I think they are feeling their way through, but they are starting heat up. I liked their game the other night against San Jose, especially the last parts of that game.”

The Bruins and Boychuk will be reunited Thursday night as the Islanders will be at TD Garden. Boychuk has had a strong start to the season, posting two goals and four assists over the first six games.

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Read More: Gregory Campbell, Johnny Boychuk, Pierre McGuire, Torey Krug
Pierre McGuire on MFB: Bruins ‘going to be a ton of fun to watch’ 10.09.14 at 1:52 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his first weekly appearance of the season Thursday on Middays with MFB, following Wednesday night’s Bruins opener. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

McGuire said there is reason to believe the Bruins, who opened with a 2-1 victory over the Flyers, will be able to overcome the losses of Jarome Iginla and Johnny Boychuk and put together a season similar to 2013-14, when they had the best record in the NHL before falling in the second round of the playoffs to the Canadiens.

“They have a healthy Chris Kelly, I think that makes a big difference,” McGuire said. “Carl Soderberg is a ton better, you saw that last night. I think Loui Eriksson will be a ton better this year. Dougie Hamilton, even though he had a couple of turnovers, you could see when he really amped his game up he was very good. Having Dennis Seidenberg back makes them better. Tuukka Rask is a year more mature.

“I think they’re a lot better in a lot of areas. I think they’re the best team in the Eastern Conference. I’m not changing on that; I won’t change even when we’re on Game 40, barring injuries, obviously. I think this team is extremely good.

“I like the energy of a young player like Craig Cunningham. I love the energy of Bobby Robins. They obviously got last night done without David Krejci and Gregory Campbell. This is a really good team. They’re really a good team, and they’re going to be a ton of fun to watch.”

McGuire said he saw lots of promising things from the opener.

“I thought Tuukka when he had to be was really good,” he said. “I thought Kevan Miller played a solid, physical game. I like the way Torey Krug started to jump into the rush. And I like the way that the Bruins defensemen really held the offensive blue line. And probably more importantly than anything else they’re much more aggressive offensively. I know it didn’t translate because I thought Steve Mason from Philadelphia played a great job so the scoreboard’s not indicative of that. But by and large they’re a much more aggressive offensive team, and I think that’s really important for them.”

Looking at the Eastern Conference, McGuire said the Bruins’ biggest challenge might come from the Lightning.

“I think Tampa Bay’s a very good team, and I know a lot of people are talking about them, but I would look out for the Tampa Bay Lightning. I would be a little bit nervous about them,” McGuire said. “It’s going to be interesting to see how everything translates in Pittsburgh, because it is a little bit of a different roster, it’s a different coaching philosophy going from Danny Bylsma to Mike Johnston. So we’ll see how that plays out. … I don’t know if there’s a team outside of Tampa and maybe Pittsburgh that’s going to be able to play and have enough depth to play against Boston. Boston’s just that good. Montreal’s really good, I just don’t know if they’re big enough to play against Boston when Boston’s healthy. Boston’s a really, really good team.”

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Read More: Carl Soderberg, Johnny Boychuk, Peter Chairelli, Pierre McGuire
Pierre McGuire on M&M: Jarome Iginla likely will ‘want to stay in Boston’ 05.22.14 at 2:15 pm ET
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NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday to discuss the upcoming offseason for the Bruins and the Stanley Cup playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins will enter this offseason with 11 free agents (five unrestricted, six restricted). One of Boston’s biggest decisions over the coming months will be what to do with Jarome Iginla, who is set to hit the open market. Iginla tied for the team lead in goals with 30 and fit in perfectly with Boston’€™s first line of Milan Lucic and David Krejci.

However, concerns have been raised over both Iginla’€™s age (he will turn 37 on July 1) and the price that it would take to bring the future Hall of Famer back.

“The last time I talked to Jarome was right before Game 7 and I thought he was doing great. He just loves being in Boston,” McGuire said. “€œHe really enjoyed his teammates, really enjoyed playing with David Krejci and Milan Lucic, so that’€™s No. 1. No. 2, I think that you can get him signed to a deal, and I think the Bruins probably want to get him signed to a deal. He did a really good job. There will be a marketplace for him, but I have to think he’€™ll want to stay in Boston.”

Another difficult decision this summer will revolve around the whether or not to bring back Shawn Thornton, who has been a mainstay on the Merlot line for seven season in Boston.

“A team like Calgary would definitely have interest [in Thornton]. You have to have a previous relationship with a player like Shawn to know his actual value to the organization, especially behind closed doors. So I think that’€™s something that plays to Shawn’€™s favor,” McGuire said. “But I would caution Shawn on this. He’€™s had a tremendous career. He’€™s made a lot out of nothing because he’€™s worked so hard to get there. … He’€™s a Bostonian.

“Even though he’€™s from Ontario and he’€™s played for a lot of other teams, he’€™s a Boston guy. He’€™s a Boston Bruin. That’€™s how he should be remembered. I just hope he wouldn’t do it as a short-term deal, because I don’€™t think he has more than another year left to play. I would hate to see him leave and not be remembered as Boston Bruin, because that’€™s what he is.”

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Read More: Jarome Iginla, Montreal Canadiens, Pierre McGuire, Rangers
Pierre McGuire on M&M: Bruins’ bad start ‘carried over to most of the rest of the game’ 05.16.14 at 12:49 pm ET
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NBC Sports analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to break down the Bruins’ 3-1 season-ending loss to the Canadiens in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins found themselves in trouble from the start in Game 7, after noticeably poor execution led to a quick Dale Weise goal to give the Habs a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

“It started with a bad turnover by Matt Bartkowski, we showed it on television. That puck has to be in deep,” McGuire said. “I know it’€™s a simplification and people are probably saying, ‘What does that have to do with it?’ It had a lot to do with it, because you had all your forwards expecting to shoot it, and they don’€™t get back in time. Montreal makes a really smart move and Brandon Prust wins a footrace and gets it to Danny Briere, who eventually gets it to Weise, because Bartkowski’€™s looking at the puck.”

McGuire told Mut & Merloni on Wednesday that Game 7’s first goal would be significant, and he was proven right by the outcome of the game.

“I told you guys the other day the first goal was going to matter. The Bruins were never able to get it back on the rails,” he said. “Now, give Carey Price some credit, and the Bruins also didn’t have a lot of puck luck, but that was a bad start and it carried over to most of the rest of the game.”

McGuire said he could tell from his spot between the benches that the Bruins seemed deflated by the early goal.

“The coaches were pretty vocal, but not a negative way, a positive way, and Shawn Thornton was extremely vocal,” he said. “Outside of that it was a pretty quiet bench.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bruins, Canadiens, Pierre McGuire,
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