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.
On why playing Montreal after Wednesday’s game is a good thing: “I think one of the best things that could happen in this, is to actually have to play the next day after a humiliating loss in Toronto. Now they are playing with edge, you got to think they are all going to play with edge. They are going to bring a little bit nasty tonight.
“I can tell you one thing, on the bench, Claude Julien was not pleased and the one thing he kept saying was, ‘You’re never going to win games if you don’t touch the other bodies, you’re never going to win games if you don’t hit somebody.’ And he kept saying it, and kept saying it. He got the players attention, guys were trying, but they were a step slow and they were not engaged. They knew the game was over and they had a game tonight so they weren’t engaged.”
Is Montreal the best team in the Eastern Conference?: “No, no, no, no. Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh right now are better than Montreal. Montreal isn’t playing great and they would be the first people to tell you. Carey Price has covered up a lot of their blemishes on the back end. Their power play has not been very good — that is why they went out and got Sergei Gonchar. They are not getting consistent offense from Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais and they need both those guys to provide consistent offense.
“I do Montreal radio everyday, and have for the last 17 years, and the one thing I will tell you, is the fans are really excited about this team, but this team has under delivered thus far based on expectations of their fan base.”