|Loui Eriksson: First season with Bruins ‘tougher than I thought’||08.11.14 at 2:09 pm ET|
MIDDLETON – Loui Eriksson was among four current Bruins in attendance to support Panthers forward Shawn Thornton at his annual Putts and Punches for Parkinson’s golf tournament at Ferncroft Country Club
Eriksson, who was traded to Boston last summer in the Tyler Seguin megadeal, is set to enter next month’s training camp as Boston’s first-line right wing. This comes after an up-and-down debut season in Boston that saw the now-29-year-old forward struggle with concussions and adjustment to a new team. Eriksson eventually found very strong chemistry with Carl Soderberg and was dominant when teamed with David Krejci and Milan Lucic late in the regular season while the team rested Jarome Iginla.
The longtime Dallas Star told WEEI.com Monday that he didn’t anticipate such a rocky time adjusting to his new team last season, but then again nobody could have expected injuries hitting Eriksson, as he had played every game in all but one of the previous five seasons (three games missed in 2010-11).
The lack of offensive production (he finished the season with 10 goals and 27 assists for 37 points in 61 regular season games) led to some impatience from fans, but Eriksson, who scored 36 goals in the 2008-09 season and was an All Star in 2011, said the fans should have held him to a high standard.
“It was tougher than I thought, actually, but it was something I have to live with, too. Of course they should have high expectations,” Eriksson said. “It was kind of a tough beginning of my season to play for Boston with all the concussions and everything a new system. I thought I was getting into it more at the end of the season and into the playoffs.”
Check back later for more on Eriksson and what he expects from his second season in Boston. For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Brendan Smith reflects on Tyler Seguin trade, why Reilly Smith has been good fit with Bruins||04.18.14 at 12:49 pm ET|
Brendan Smith is a bit more vocal than Reilly Smith.
Reilly, more of the shy type with the media, is extremely self-effacing. When things are going well, he’d rather somebody else get the credit. When things aren’t, he’s a little harder on himself.
So it was interesting Friday to talk to his brother, a defenseman for the Red Wings, about some of the major storylines that have surrounded Reilly’s young career.
Reilly was a big part of the package the Bruins received in the trade that sent Tyler Seguin to Dallas. Brendan recalls the day the trade went down, as he was hanging out with Reilly that July 4.
“The thing was, the first time we saw it was on Twitter. We were just on the couch and [see] ‘Reilly Smith is traded for Seguin with Loui Eriksson,’ and the whole deal,” Brendan said Friday. “We were kind of thrown off, and then when we thought about it, we thought it was a great fit for him. He could earn his position and go in and play hard.
“I knew going up, he worked really hard in the offseason. I wouldn’t say he was nervous, but he was really adamant [about] going into camp in really good shape and trying to earn a good spot on the team. Look what he’s done. He’s done a great job, and you’ve seen him. He’s a mature kid for his age, so it’s a been a testament to him. I have to give him a lot of credit.”
|Pierre McGuire on M&M: Bruins ‘didn’t destroy the fabric of their team’ at trade deadline||03.07.14 at 1:23 pm ET|
NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Bruins’ decisions at the trade deadline. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
The Bruins traded a conditional pick to the Flyers for defenseman Andrej Meszaros Wednesday.
“They didn’t destroy the fabric of their team, which is really important,” McGuire said. “One of the great things about the Boston Bruins is the chemistry of the team and how they rally around one another.
“I talked to somebody in another market who’s a manager about this, they said the thing about the Bruins that makes them tough to play against is strength down the core of their team — so [David] Krejci, [Patrice] Bergeron, [Chris] Kelly, [Gregory] Campbell — you’re locked and loaded and everybody knows their role. Then you got the shutdown presence of [Zdeno] Chara, the shutdown presence of [Johnny] Boychuk. You’ve got the maneuverability of Torey Krug. You’ve now got Andrej Meszaros.”
During his rookie season, Meszaros played on a line with Chara and was a plus-34.
“I think you start out slow and then you build up to see what he can handle,” McGuire said of Meszaros and Chara playing on the same line again.
“Those guys have played so much together in the National Hockey League, and so much internationally that you’ll see that this is good. Peter Chiarelli knows Meszaros really well from their days in Ottawa together, so I think, quite frankly, Boston did a good job by not messing with the integrity of the team.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
On Kevan Miller: “Most people really don’t know who Kevan Miller is. Kevan Miller has become a very stable player for that team. I think that’s one of the things, when you see a player that can play close to 20 minutes in a game and can count on him being a plus-player, that’s, I think, a really important player for your group.”
On if the Bruins regret trading Tyler Seguin: “I don’t know if Tyler Seguin ever would have gotten to this level playing in Boston. Sometimes a young player needs to be scared straight, and one of the ways of scaring them straight is to trade them. For whatever reason it just doesn’t work out in the town that drafted him, but you trade him and it works out and I think that might have been the case with Tyler because it wasn’t working out. It wasn’t working out with consistency.”
|Tyler Seguin: ‘I’m looked at in a different role here’||01.16.14 at 7:05 pm ET|
DALLAS — Tyler Seguin never lost six games in a row in a Bruins uniform, and that’s just one of the many differences between his last home and his new home.
The Stars, who will host the Bruins Thursday night at American Airlines Center, ended such a skid Tuesday with a win over the Oilers. Seguin had two points (a goal and an assist) and was a minus-6 over the six-game losing streak.
Two points over six games would have been unsatisfactory in Boston, but considering his standing as Dallas’ first-line center and one of the league’s top scorers (21 goals), Seguin understands that he’s too important to what Dallas is trying to do to have quiet offensive stretches.
“Definitely. One hundred percent, I’m looked at in a different role here, and production is definitely one of them as well and finding a way to get that goal when games are tied and you’re losing a few games,” Seguin said. “I get to see those things in a different light, especially in a losing streak.”
This will be Seguin’s second game against the Bruins since they traded him, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button to Dallas last summer for a package that included Loui Eriksson and Reilly Smith. Seguin said he still watches Bruins highlights and checks to see how players are doing, but he isn’t measuring himself up against the players Boston got.
“Not too much at all,” he said. “I still see all the Bruins highlights and still see the Plymouth Whalers highlights from when I played in the OHL and follow up on guys and stats and stuff, but I don’t think I do too much comparing between me and the guys I got traded [for].”
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins ‘should have put two points in their pockets’ vs. Maple Leafs||01.15.14 at 1:54 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday, following the Bruins’ 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
“I’m a little disappointed that the Bruins didn’t get the two points that they should have gotten last night,” Brickley said. “It’s the only game at home that separates five games on the road against some tough teams. A game that should have put two points in their pockets.”
The penalty kill — or lack thereof — was blamed as a big reason for the loss.
“You can’t just single out one aspect of your penalty killing that’s letting the Bruins down right now,” Brickley said. “I think it all starts with decision making, when you’re not making the right decision there’s a drag in your decision making, in other words you’re making it too late, a stride, a stride and a half too late.
“You’re playing against the top players on the other team, guys that make up the power plays, and your decision making is not there or there’s a drag, you’re going to give up quality scoring chances, and if you don’t get the saves you’re going to give up goals, and that’s where they’re at right now. This is not ebb and flow, this is a bad bad stretch of allowing far too many goals. You can win with a power play in the lower third of the National Hockey League, but you can’t win consistently when you’re only killing from the same place.”
One factor that appears to be hurting the penalty kill is the absence of Dennis Seidenberg, who tore his ACL and MCL on Dec. 27.
“The loss of Seidenberg definitely affects your penalty killing, but a little more importantly it affects the makeup of your entire team,” Brickley said. “That is the single most important issue that the Bruins are going to have to address right now. If you talk about, ‘How do the Bruins win more consistently?’ you say, well, you need more production from the [David] Krejci line. They carried the offense for the first 2 1/2, three months, but they’ve been quiet lately. They had unbelievable opportunities last night, didn’t finish. It was only the Bergeron line that was scoring goals, basically.
“They need to settle or figure out how they’re going to answer the loss of Seidenberg. When [Johnny] Boychuk is your number three, [Dougie] Hamilton, [Torey] Krug, [Adam] McQuaid make up your four, five six, [Matt] Bartkowski, [Kevan] Miller are your depth guys, now you’ve got a real good group. But you’ve lost a guy who’s playing 24-25 minutes who is an absolute horse back there, he’s physical, smart, experience, versatile, strong, well conditioned, understands his role, relishes his role. When you lose a guy like that, in the system that the Bruins play, as good as the other guys are, your team takes a big hit unless you can bring in a guy that’s not exactly like a Seidenberg, but someone that allows you to do some of the things he can do.”
|Video: Ex-Bruin Tyler Seguin talks trash behind cops’ backs||12.23.13 at 8:39 am ET|
When Tyler Seguin was traded from the Bruins to the Stars over the summer, B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli made no attempt to hide the fact that the team had tired of the young forward’s immature behavior.
The gossip website TMZ on Sunday published a video from a house party Seguin attended on Cape Cod over Fourth of July weekend, right before he was traded, and it shows Seguin showing some questionable judgment.
Two police officers, reportedly called to the house on a noise complaint, are seen shaking hands with Seguin as they start to leave. Seguin then turns toward his friends and whispers, “[Expletive] the 5-0.” He then jokingly asks if they should start a chant, “[Expletive] the po-po.”
Here’s the video (contains NSFW language).
|Reilly Smith is just trying to ‘keep the ball rolling’||11.23.13 at 8:22 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien looks on the ice and sees the skill of Reilly Smith. Then he has to remind himself and others that he is just 22 years of age.
On Saturday, he saw a sure-fire sign that Smith is fully capable of handling the load at the NHL level. With 6:29 left in the second period of a 1-1 game, Smith broke in on Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward and had the puck on his backhand. Earlier in the season, Smith’s eyes might have gotten too big and he might have felt the pressure to rush the shot. But not Saturday. He waited.
Smith took a pass from Carl Soderberg in the low slot between the circles, skated across the crease and flipped the puck just hard enough that Ward couldn’t control it, providing the go-ahead goal, already the fourth of the season with his new team.
“Kells [Chris Kelly] was tied up in front so he kind of set up a good pick, I didn’t want to force it right through and I thought I might have a little more net going to my backhand,” Smith explained. “Cam [Ward] still almost had it so I was kind of lucky that it snuck through.”
Does Saturday’s patience on the goal show he’s getting more comfortable?
“Absolutely, just little things like that where probably a few weeks or a month ago I probably wouldn’t have done that, I probably would have tried to get it on net right away,” Smith said. “With every day, you build confidence.
“Every day gets a little bit easier. When you stay with the same linemates, for a few weeks or a month, everyday gets easier, chemistry builds every day so just take it day by day but I think everything is going pretty well right now, just try to keep the ball rolling.”
With Kelly and Carl Soderberg on the third line, the young winger acquired along with Loui Eriksson from Dallas for Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley is looking more and more ready to fit in on a regular basis.
“They just feel better more and more about playing together,” Julien said. “They’re reading off of each other extremely well; I said that earlier in an interview about how they’re just reading off each other, they’re anticipating, so they’re always on top of the puck. We still have some lines right now that are kind of waiting to see what the puck carrier is going to do with it and you hope that with time we can get that same level as that third line is right now of anticipating well. They know exactly where they want to go and where they’re going to put the puck so they’re on top of it all the time and the last few games they’ve had a lot of chances and a lot of offensive zone time.
“Again, we’re talking about a young player here. I keep saying it all the time, we always seem to overlook his age and he’s a young player. And the way I think he’s handled himself in pressure situations and handling the puck a little bit better and holding onto it. And at the same time, I thought tonight he shot the puck a little bit more; he had a little bit better of a nose for the net and before, looking to make plays versus shooting the puck. So he’s really turned a corner and is really coming along well for a young player.”
It’s not just Julien either. Smith is winning over veteran teammates at the same time.
“I didn’t know much about him before he got traded,” David Krejci said. “I know he’s a great player, he’s still young, but he’s playing like a ten year vet [veteran]. It’s good to see him doing well; hopefully he can keep it up.”
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