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Brad Marchand: Sensational and significant 12.20.11 at 10:32 am ET
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There are highlight reel goals. And, there are game-winning goals.

On rare occasions, you get both in one. Monday night, Brad Marchand gave Bruins fans a 2-for-1 holiday special with his deke-to-backhander that beat Montreal’s Carey Price with just over five minutes remaining to put the Bruins up, 3-1. It turned out to be the difference when Erik Cole scored with 1:14 left as the Bruins hung on for a 3-2 win.

“Once I got my head up, he was already in the motion of poke checking, and I just pulled it around him, and luckily it went in,” Marchand said.

Marchand was quick to thank linemate Tyler Seguin for his vision to see Marchand breaking down the slot for the goal.

“Well, once Segs got it, I saw [the defenseman] decided to go to him, and I was all alone, so I was hoping he’d get it through and he made the play to get it done,” Marchand said.

All of this for a team know for scoring “dirty work” goals, fighting along the boards and finding a way to finish. On this night, the finish by Marchand was spectacular.

“I think sometimes people underestimate our team for the amount of skill we have, but, you know, we have a lot of guys who make great plays, and every now and then we get a nice goal,” Marchand said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Brad Marchand on M&M: Seguin benching ‘a misunderstanding’ 12.08.11 at 12:54 pm ET
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Brad Marchand

Bruins forward Brad Marchand made his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Thursday to discuss the Bruins 2-1 loss to the Jets Tuesday and Tyler Seguin‘s benching that night because of missing meetings. Marchand repeated Seguin’s explanation for his absence, saying that Seguin was confused because of the time change from Boston to Winnipeg.

“What kind of happened was, when we went to Winnipeg, the time changed back an hour and he didn’t know that, so he changed it back two hours by accident,” Marchand said. “It was a misunderstanding and stuff like that happens, especially when everyone is so tired and stuff.”

Seguin’s absence in Tuesday’s game was made more prominent by the fact that the Bruins struggled to score on Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec and Seguin currently leads the team in points with 25 (13 goals, 12 assists). Marchand said the team did not blame Seguin for the loss to the Jets, which ended the Bruins 15-game point streak that dated back to Oct. 29. He also said that Seguin had not, to his knowledge, been late to anything else this season, but tardiness had been a problem at times for Seguin last year. Still, Marchand said he will not use this benching as an opportunity to counsel Seguin on how to behave as an NHL player.

“I might make fun of him for it, but he understands,” Marchand said. “He knows that he’s our leading scorer right now and he’s a big part of the team and we need him on the ice. It’s a learning process. Everything that we go through is a learning process. He’s young and he has a lot to learn. He’s only 19 years old. The guys in this league have had a lot more time to groom themselves and to learn. Most of the guys on the team are 25, 26, 27, so he’s still got a lot of time to try to learn the ropes, but I think people kind of forget that sometimes.”

Following are more highlights of the conversation. To listen to the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. Read the rest of this entry »

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Teammates defend Tyler Seguin, but they haven’t missed meetings at 12:24 pm ET
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Tyler Seguin will return to the lineup Thursday after being a healthy scratch Tuesday. (AP)

Are you ready for Tyler Seguin‘s apology for skipping a team meeting and being scratched as a result?

“I talked about it the other day,” Seguin said Thursday. “I’ve already kind of moved on and am getting ready for tonight’s game.”

That’s all Seguin would say on the matter, as the Bruins would not permit further questions about his actions in Winnipeg and the discipline he’s received. He will be in the lineup Thursday against the Panthers.

While Seguin was not allowed to elaborate on his confusing time zone mixup excuse, teammates did not shed light on the matter.

Jordan Caron, who was rooming with Seguin when the team arrived early Tuesday in Winnipeg, said that he simply thought Seguin was sleeping a few minutes later Tuesday morning.

“It was an accident. I got up real early and didn’t want to wake him up,” Caron said after Thursday’s morning skate. “I went to breakfast, and then the meeting started. We tried calling him a few times. It’s an accident. I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault. It happens.”

Caron noted that Seguin was indeed in the room, and that “he wasn’t out or anything.” The Bruins arrived in Winnipeg early Tuesday morning after playing in Pittsburgh Monday night.

“We came in really late. We went to bed at the same time and I woke up really early and went and got breakfast,” he said. “I didn’t want to wake him up first. It was an accident.”

The Bruins did not permit questions about the incident during Seguin’s media availability, with the second-year forward saying only the following: “I talked about it the other day. I’ve already kind of moved on and am getting ready for tonight’s game.”

Like Seguin, Nathan Horton was once a top-5 pick (third overall in 2003). Has he ever missed a meeting?

“I haven’t,” Horton said. “I’m too afraid to miss them, so I show up real early. Things do happen, and you just can’t let it happen I guess.”

Seguin received a talking to from Shawn Thornton Tuesday, but Horton said that more than one player talked to the youngster about it.

“I think a lot of guys have [spoken to him],” Horton said. “He obviously knows what he did wrong. It’s just, try to forget about it and move on, and try not to let it happen again.”

Dennis Seidenberg also said he has never missed a meeting in his career. He did, however, defend Seguin by echoing the youngster’s claim that he missed the meeting because he still had his phone on Boston time.

“He missed adapting to a time change, or changing the time on his cell phone,” Seidenberg said. “The wakeup call just didn’t go off, so that’s why he missed.”

It was then pointed out that, if the phone story is to believed, Seguin would have woken up an hour early.

“Oh yeah, that’s true,” Seidenberg said with a laugh.

Asked then whether he bought Seguin’s excuse, Seidenberg laughed and remarked, “I have no idea. I’ve got nothing.”

All kidding aside, Nathan Horton has never missed a meeting in his career. Dennis Seidenberg has never missed a meeting. Combined, that’s 17 seasons without a single meeting missed. Tyler Seguin has missed “more than a few” in one season and two months. Pun very intended:

That’s alarming.

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Tyler Seguin did not have attendance issues in OHL 12.07.11 at 3:22 pm ET
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As the people of Boston exchange one another’s definitions of “more than a few,” you have to wonder just how big a problem showing up on time is for Tyler Seguin, and how long it’s been a problem.

Seguin has a history of attendance issues, but according to his former coach, those issues don’t date back to his days of playing junior hockey.

Plymouth Whalers coach Mike Vellucci, who drafted Seguin and coached him for the majority the youngster’s two seasons in the OHL, told WEEI.com Wednesday that Seguin never had any problems with attendance in Plymouth.

The Bruins scratched Seguin Tuesday night in Winnipeg for skipping a team breakfast and meeting, with the 19-year-old saying he had an issue with his alarm clock. Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli both said that Seguin has had multiple such incidents since coming to the NHL.

This may simply be a case of a kid learning how to handle being a professional athlete, or it may be a case of a kid who’s still learning how to set an alarm clock on a cell phone. Whatever it is, Seguin should know by now that the team isn’t willing to let it slide anymore.

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Bruins-Penguins Live Blog: Matt Cooke makes it 3-1 12.05.11 at 6:59 pm ET
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Andy Brickley D&C: Phil Kessel ‘was just a really immature kid’ 11.30.11 at 9:42 am ET
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Andy Brickley

NESN analyst Andy Brickley joined Dennis & Callahan for his weekly appearance to discuss the Bruins’ upcoming two-game series with the Maple Leafs that starts on Wednesday night in Toronto. The teams will square off in Boston in the second game on Saturday.

The Leafs lead the Northeast division with 30 points, while the Bruins are right on their heels with 29 points in second place. Boston is already 2-0 against the Leafs this season, though, winning the latest game on Nov. 5 in blowout fashion, 7-0. Brickley explained that the Bruins match up well with the Maple Leafs.

“I like the match-ups. I think Boston matches up pretty good against Toronto,” Brickley said. “It’ll be a little bit more difficult here in Toronto because of the change situation so you’ll see a little bit of chess match tonight trying to get [Zdeno] Chara basically and his partner out there tonight against Phil Kessel and his line. I think that if you’re able to keep that line, especially Phil Kessel off the scoreboard, and then you match up the three forward lines against each other’s D-pairings, it favors Boston. That’s generally the way it goes and I think Boston has a huge advantage in goal.”

As Brickley pointed out, the Bruins will need to contain Kessel, who leads the NHL in both points (31) and goals (16). The former Bruin has flourished in Toronto since being traded from Boston in 2009, while the B’s drafted Tyler Seguin with one of the picks they received from the Leafs. Brickley said that Kessel had maturity issues during his team in Boston and that he wanted more money than the Bruins were willing to pay.

“I think he was just a really immature kid,” Brickley said. “He had some baggage, personal baggage when the Bruins first drafted him and they were well aware of that. The immaturity factor, expectation level, not only by the Bruins organization but from Phil himself. I don’t think he was prepared for that. Could not handle criticism. Could not handle you have to earn your ice time.

“When you add a breakout year when he scored a bunch of goals, you saw how much money everybody was making across the league. Based on those numbers, and he wanted that money right then and there, and the Bruins weren’t prepared to pay him.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Bruins know Maple Leafs don’t want to be embarrassed again 11.29.11 at 12:48 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The next two games will have a big impact on the standings, as the Bruins enter this week’s home and home with the Maple Leafs trailing Toronto by one point for the Northeast division lead. The B’s have crushed the Maple Leafs twice this season, and they now have an opportunity to grab four points and leapfrog them in the standings.

Yet with so much at stake, the Bruins aren’t thinking about four points any more than they are thinking about getting two points twice. The first challenge will come Wednesday in Toronto.

“That’s all you can really do, is focus on the first game,” Gregory Campbell said after Tuesday’s practice. “We’ve done well against them thus far this season. Whether that’s motivation for them or not, it’s going to be anther hard one for us. We have to go in there and play good hockey. Wins will come if we play well. We’ve been playing well so far, so we have to continue that.”

The last time the Bruins were in Toronto, they gave the Leafs a 7-0 beating, with Tyler Seguin recording his first career hat trick. The Leafs went on to lose four of their next five, but have now won three games in a row and are coming off a 3-1-0 road trip. The Bruins know they’re facing a hot team that doesn’t need any help being motivated against a team that embarrassed them in their own building.

“It’s not something you forget when you’re on the receiving side, so I don’t think it’s going to be a hard game for them to be motivated for,” Claude Julien said. “We’ve just got to be ready for that.”

Air Canada Centre isn’t the only opponent’s building in which the B’s have found success. They’re 5-2-0 on the road this season, and have won their last four road games.

“I think our style of game is such that we’re just kind of a simple north-south team,” Campbell said. “On the road we just kind of go to work and play our game. We’re not out to impress anybody or to do anything that’s uncharacteristic of our team. We’re just trying to get two points, and everybody says this and it’s kind of cliche, but you just want to play a good, solid, smart road game. It’s usually simple hockey, but it’s usually the most effective for us.”

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