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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘We plan on it being a long series’ 05.07.14 at 11:12 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss Boston’s 4-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins once again got off to a slow start in Game 3, as Boston trailed 3-0 before finally getting on the board with a little over two minutes remaining in the second period thanks to a goal from Patrice Bergeron.

“€œI think it’€™s just uncharacteristic,”€ Thornton said. “€œI know the one coming out of the power play, maybe you should be aware of the clock, but it looked like we were in control. Yelling from the bench, you actually can’€™t hear it, to be completely honest. That’€™s one of the home-ice advantages, I guess. It’€™s just a couple of plays that were maybe a little uncharacteristic of us and end up in the back of our net. Give them credit, they capitalized on the chances that we gave them.”

Bruins netminder Tukka Rask once again took the loss after stopping 21 of 24 shots on the night. Rask has allowed nine goals in three games during the series.

“He’€™ll be good. He’€™s done a good job. His whole career, he’€™s been a really good professional — just banking things, knowing it happened and then moving on to the next one,”€ Thornton said, adding: “He’€™s just one of the best team guys that I’ve seen as a goalie. He’€™ll be great today, he’€™ll be focused on tomorrow. It’€™s 2-1, it’€™s not the start we wanted, but we plan on it being a long series.”

Thornton said the team’€™s usual stout defense should once again be present on the ice in Game 4.

“It’€™s more about just playing our game. … We had some chances and we had some sustained pressure and all that, but we are very strong defensively and we don’€™t normally give up backdoor passes or two or three breakaways a game. That just doesn’t happen with us,” he said.

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Carey Price, Eastern Conference Semifinals, Montreal Canadiens
Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins ‘are OK with subtracting something to go get what they feel they need’ 02.12.14 at 1:41 pm ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Winter Olympics in Sochi and Bruins news. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Brickley said he likes what the NHL has done by involving its best players in the Olympics, bringing greater recognition around the world, but he said it might be time to try a different approach.

“€œI was in favor of the NHL players going to the Olympics when they were trying to globalize their game and sell their game and let everybody know what a great sport this can be, especially when you have the best players in the world representing their countries and what it means to them to play for their countries,” he said. “You get great hockey and it’€™s high competition and the love for the game and the love for the homeland is all on that giant stage, and that’€™s awesome.

“But I would rather see that in the World Cup. They’ve been to the Olympics, I think that they’ve done what they set out to do when they first went to the Olympics. I’m not excited about some of the stories I’ve heard coming from Russia and the situation that Sochi is. …

“That being said, when you do get the kind of competition that is expected in this Olympics and you have the greatest players playing, there’€™s nothing better. I love the Stanley cup finals, but this is about your country, and it’€™s once every four years.”

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Tukka Rask, Winter Olympics,
Shawn Thornton on D&C: Bruins want to ‘ride into this two-week break on a high’ 02.05.14 at 1:44 pm ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton talked with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about Tuesday night’€™s game against the Canucks, coaching in the NHL and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Thornton was pleased with winning on Tuesday, but he said that the usual intensity for the rivalry wasn’t there.

“€œIt’€™s been a couple of years,” Thornton said, referring to the Bruins’ win in the Stanley Cup finals in 2011. “€œThey’€™re coming off back-to-back games, too. [The Canucks] just played in Detroit, so maybe not as much of an energy level for them, and I think they had lost three or four in a row, too. Think they have their own stuff going on internally.”

Despite the Canucks’ off night, Thornton said the Bruins did what they do best.

“We’€™re more focused on what we do, but it might have taken from it a little bit,”€ Thornton said. “€œWhen you’€™re up by a couple goals to start, I guess really running around and creating the emotion, you could be playing with fire. … You’€™re in control of the game, you just want to keep control of the game the way it is.”

With the win against the Canucks, the Bruins have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Thornton credits focus as a big reason for their success.

“Yeah, things are going well,”€ Thornton said. “We kind of broke it down about 10 games before the Olympic break that we wanted to ride into this two-week break on a high, and I think we’ve done a good job of that for the last seven, eight games. That’€™s still our goal, we’€™re pretty good at not looking at the long-term board, just taking it game to game and sometimes segment to segment.”

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Johnny Boychuk, Shawn Thornton, Tukka Rask
Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘I’d be all in’ for overtime rule changes 11.14.13 at 4:47 pm ET
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NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire  joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday afternoon to discuss potential format changes to NHL overtime rules, the Bruins’ three-game winning streak, and the potential for some members of the Black and Gold to make it on Olympic rosters come February.

One of the chief topics at the NHL GM meetings this week has been the discussion about changing the rules for overtime play. A proposed format would have an overtime period last 10 minutes instead of five, with four-on-four hockey for the first five minutes and three-on-three play for the remaining five minutes. The game would then switch to a shootout format if no team can score over those 10 minutes.

“I’d be all in,” McGuire said. “Five minutes of four-on-four, five minutes of three-on-three. I was talking with one of the premier players in the league last night after the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia game and he said the one thing that it would do is create a lot of water-cooler conversation around the fan base, because the fans are so passionate.

“Coaches would be challenged: Do you go with two defensemen and one forward? Do you go with two forward and one D? Do you go with three forwards if you’re trying to put an extra point in the bag. It would create all kinds of different fodder and conversation. … I’m all for anything that would get the game decided by players on the ice rather than just a shootout situation.”

After two disappointing losses to the Islanders and Stars last week, the Bruins seem to have righted the ship, as they are on a three-game winning streak with victories over Florida, Toronto and Tampa Bay.

“I was blown away by their effort on Saturday night vs. Toronto,” McGuire said. “I mean, that was a smash-mouth kind of, ‘Here you go Toronto, do you like it? Take it,’ and they took it hard. That was a physical beatdown that I’m used to watching the Bruins perform, and then to see them carry it over to Monday afternoon against Tampa. … I was really impressed with, again, the Bruins’ defensive ability, their ability to move the puck.

Milan Lucic is a completely different player because of his speed. Last year, he had a tough time getting up and down the rink, this year he’s not having that problem and it’s really impressive to watch. David Krejci, same kind of thing. These guys are in much better shape, you can see it as the season has gone along.”

While players such as Zdeno Chara and Tukka Rask seem to be locks to make their respective Olympic teams, other Bruins are on the outside looking in for a possible roster spot. One such player is Lucic, who has received some consideration from Team Canada. Lucic is the top goal-scorer for Boston this year (seven) and is second on the team in points (14).

“Yes, very good shot [Lucic makes Team Canada],” McGuire said.”In 2007, Canada played against Russia, the best under-20 players in a eight-game super series. It was a celebration of the 1972 Summit Series, and Lucic was basically the star for Team Canada. Hockey Canada remembers those things. He basically carried that team on his shoulders through 18 days in Russia, and he was off-the-charts good. … He was very capable playing on big ice, he was an intimidating factor, and they’re watching him right now. … There have been a lot of guys working for Team Canada that are watching a lot of Bruins games. … He’s played well enough to merit major consideration to be on that team.”

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: Boston Bruins, Overtime, Pierre McGuire, Tukka Rask
Bruins cannot close out Blue Jackets 01.21.10 at 10:02 pm ET
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Summary — The Bruins dropped a heartbreaker to the Columbus Blue Jackets, as they watched a 2-1, third-period lead disintegrate into a 3-2 loss in front of a packed house at the TD Garden. The Jackets’ R.J. Umberger tipped an Anton Stralman blast from the point past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask with a little more than a minute left in the game.

Michael Ryder struck the first blow in the game off an open-ice dish from Trent Whitfield to give the Bruins an early 1-0 advantage in the first. Columbus struck back later in the period when Raffi Torres intercepted a weak clearing pass from defenseman Dennis Wideman and crossed to Chris Clark, who beat Rask with a slap shot from the high slot.

Boston outplayed the Blue Jackets in the second period and took the lead when Patrice Bergeron split a pair of defenders with a shot that beat Steve Mason low on the glove side. It looked like the Bruins were going to make the goal stand until Antoine Vermette busted down Rask’s door in the middle of the third to tie the game.

Three Stars

Steve Mason — Outside of the Umberger game-winner, Mason was the difference for the Blue Jackets on the night. He showed flashes of his former self from the 2008-09 season and was pivotal in stopping a plethora of B’s scoring chances in the first and second period and finished the game with 32 saves on 34 shots.

Antoine Vermette — The Bruins were never safe or comfortable when the Jackets’ first-line center was on the ice. He scored the tying goal and had a power-play goal disallowed (kicking) in the second period.

Patrice Bergeron — The Bruins’ points leader played a good all-around game and gave the Bruins the lead in the second period. The goal was his 12th of the year and added to his team high 32 points on the year.

Turning Point

The play that set up the Umberger game-winner was a phantom double-minor high-sticking penalty on Milan Lucic at the 18:29 mark in the third. Lucic was driving from the corner to the net when he was called for the penalty, setting up the power play. Columbus scored 15 seconds later after a timeout to break the Bruins’ back.

Key Play

Late in the second period, the Blue Jackets were on their first power play of the game when it appeared that Vermette had beaten Rask with with a dribbling puck when the goaltender was out of position. Rask immediately protested that the puck had gone off of Vermette’s skate and the officials reviewed the play. It turned out that Vermette had indeed kicked the puck into the goal with his back skate and the goal was disallowed because of the center’s “distinct kicking motion.” The Bruins would eventually lose the lead, but the play kept the advantage on their side until the final half of the third.

Read More: Michael Ryder, Patrice Bergeron, RJ Umberger, Tukka Rask
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