NESN analyst Andy Brickley joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning for his weekly appearance. Brickley discussed Bruins forward Tyler Seguin being benched in Boston's loss to the Jets on Tuesday night.
Seguin missed a mandatory team breakfast on Tuesday morning, leading to coach Claude Julien to make Seguin a healthy scratch against Winnipeg. It was not the first time that Seguin had missed a team event. The Bruins went on to have their point streak snapped in a 2-1 loss against the Jets.
Brickley said that the players had to show up for breakfast at some point between 8:30 and 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning, and that this is what the Bruins typically do on the road. Seguin never made it to the breakfast in that time frame.
"It's never an easy decision, but this was a decision that had to be made," Brickley said of Seguin's benching. "It may have happened in the past, he was fined and he was told that this was unacceptable, so yes, coaching moment, teaching moment whatever you want to call it. And it hurt the Bruins, because they could have used his services last night."
The Bruins could have certainly used Seguin's scoring prowess, and Brickley hopes that this fact is not lost upon Seguin.
"I'm going to hope that the fact that they lost a game 2-1, a game they could have won, a game he could have been a difference, I hope that really bothers him, that he let his team down," Brickley said. "And I hope that this coaching moment, this teaching moment, has the impact that it should have."
Following are more highlights from the conversation, including more talk about Seguin and Brickley's thoughts on eliminating fighting from hockey given the recent deaths of former NHL enforcers.
On if it's troubling that Seguin has been missing these meetings: "It's bothersome that it's happened more than one time. You hope that young players learn their lessons and all they need is that one time where it gets your attention and you make the necessary changes in the way you approach your daily routine, particularly on a game day."
On if Seguin's veteran teammates are mad at him for missing the breakfast and getting benched: "Yes. They had a good thing going. 14-0-1. They hadn't lost in regulation. They understood that this was going to be a difficult game, a challenging game given all the circumstances and that they needed everybody on board and doing what they needed to do. You hope that he wasn't just watching the game and having a good time and just laughing it off. You hope that it had major, major impact and I think the players that have been around for a long time deliver that message as well."
On if the Bruins would have won with Seguin: "There are a couple of power-play instances that Jack [Edwards] and I were talking about, even though they had five or six shots on one power play, they were missing a finishing touch. They certainly had their opportunities. You think about Nathan Horton at the end of the game, [Milan] Lucic had an open net, [David] Krejci had a rebound open net, [Brad] Marchand … these are all good players that usually finish. But Seguin has that finishing touch. And even though he hasn't played as well over the last four or five to six games than he was earlier in this stretch of winning streak. Yeah, he was missed, he was definitely missed."
On if the NHL should ban fighting in light of the recent discoveries in the death of former NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard: "I'm not ready to make that leap. I feel bad, it's a sad story what happened to Derek Boogaard, as with the other three guys who have passed away recently and been diagnosed with that condition. But when you read that [New York Times] article, I think there are way more questions, certainly for me, as to what's going on with that kid and his life and the way it all fell apart or unraveled for him. I'm not making that one-to-one correlation between fighting and that condition, I'm just not, I'm not convinced yet. If you give me more data and more information and really compel me to say, 'OK, that is the definite one-to-one correlation,' then I would reconsider my position."
On why fighting should remain a part of the game, other than for entertainment value: "If your goaltender is being run or if an opponent is right in his face, inside the paint, not like Ryan Miller, out where he's trying to play the puck where he's a little bit more fair game, but if he's in the paint like [Tim] Thomas was and [Joe] Vitale comes in and initiates contact and you get a response from Gregory Campbell, those fights are good fights, I think. It makes that element of fear and intimidation a real piece of the sport of hockey and it allows you, in the course of a hockey game, to get a little bit more time, to get a little bit more space, because your opponent is a little less courageous to come and oppose you when you have the puck."