The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Brickley on D&C: 'Hard to defend' dirty hits
Wed, 04/18/2012 - 9:45am  

Brickley on D&C: 'Hard to defend' dirty hits

NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning for his weekly appearance, this time to discuss the aggressive and often dirty play seen in the NHL playoffs, as well as the state of the Bruins now three games into their series against the Capitals.

After two closely contested games in Boston, which the teams split, the Bruins were able to rebound from a Game 2 double-overtime loss for a win on the road in Game 3. For Brickley, the difference was simply that the Bruins came out harder and more aggressive than they had in the first two contests of the series.

"I think big picture is the fact that they played harder," Brickley said. "They competed harder and they won more battles.

"They were just fully engaged emotionally, mentally and physically. When they play that way, they are the superior team."

The series also took another important and decisive shift in Game 3 when the Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom cross-checked Rich Peverly at the end of the game, a hit that landed him a one-game suspension. Backstrom's absence could prove to be a very costly one in Game 4, according to Brickley.

"[It's] very significant," Brickley said. "Some people refer to him as the engine as far as their offense is concerned. It certainly gives them balance.

"It’s a significant loss. They have enough that they’ll give the Bruins a hard time, but without him their chances of winning go down dramatically."

Backstrom's hit, however, has been far from an isolated incident thus far in the playoffs, as games have been defined by big hits and the suspensions that have come about from them. While Capitals coach Dale Hunter defended Backstrom after the game, Brickley said that it's hard to rush to the defense of these players making these hits.

"If you look across the National Hockey League right now [with] what’s going on in the playoffs and the number of suspensions and how nasty it is, it’s hard to defend anything that some of these players are doing," Brickley said. "I think it’s a coach just trying to defend his player, hoping to get that penalty rescinded at the end of the game because Backstrom is a critical piece of his offense. Without him, they are not as good of a team and that puts them in a difficult position."

Taking a series of factors into consideration, most notably the way that the Bruins came out in Game 3 and Backstrom's suspension, Brickley said that the series has shifted decidedly in the Bruins' favor.

"The fact that the Bruins played the way that they wanted to play, not completely, but they looked more like the Boston Bruins and the style of the Boston Bruins want to play," Brickley said. "I think they raised their hate level for this team, which I think is a good thing.

"The absence of Backstrom, they delved into the young rookie goaltender’s mind, I think that all favors Boston. If Boston comes out, as I expect, to impose their will, I would expect them to win both games in Washington."

Following are more highlights from the conversation.

On what NHL officials have to think of the playoffs so far: "I don’t think they like it. I think they love that there’s a lot of one-goal games, there’s a lot of overtime, there’s a lot of parity, lower seeds can beat the higher seeds. I think they love all of that. I just think the nastiness … they’re looking for consistency, they’re looking for responsibility and some accountability from the players. If they start to get that the deeper they get into the playoffs, then the hockey becomes more of the focus than all of this nastiness that we’re watching. Brendan Shanahan has a difficult job. He’s basically the voice of authority that has to mete out all of the discipline and that is a challenging position to be in. He’s trying to do it right, but you’re never going to be in the right side of that argument in that kind of position of authority."

On whether the Capitals will channel the aggressiveness of other playoff teams: "I don’t think it’s in their makeup, I really don’t. One or two players, perhaps, but they want to play, I believe, the right way, which is the way the Bruins play. They want to man up, they want to be physical, they want to stay within the rules, they want to play playoff-style hockey, which is rough and tumble. You’ve got to get some penalties along the way, but I don’t think they want to be or have the reputation that they’re going to leave their feet to make hits, they’re going to blindside people, they’re going to run people from behind. It’s not in their makeup and it’s not in the Bruins' makeup."

On whether the crying gesture from Karl Alzner will motivate the Bruins the same way Alex Burrows' biting did in the Stanley Cup finals last year: "I don’t know if it’s on par with that, but it certainly gets players’ attention. The Bruins aren’t going to make a big deal out of it publicly, but they’re taking numbers for sure."

On Rafi Torres' hit on Marian Hossa in the Coyotes-Blackhawks series: "I think he’s a predator by nature. I can’t believe this guy hasn’t been suspended more times when I watch this guy play. The fact that the intent is to hurt, that he left his feet, I would expect a lengthy suspension because he’s a repeat offender."

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.




Audio On Demand

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, Rec…

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, Recapping Patriots OTAs 6-20-14

Tom "Eugene" Curran joins the guys to discuss how the Patriots look coming out of OTAs. Then Christian and Lou discuss the Patriots playbook scandal.

It Is What It Is Cast: Tom Brady's present and future

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Tom Brady's work in mini-camp and his response to recent criticism of his play.

Tiki Barber discusses Stevan Ridley's fumbling problem. 6-12-14

Former NY Giants running back, Tiki Barber talks about Stevan Ridley's fumbling problem and reflects on what he did to fix the problem while he was still playing

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Bo…

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, "I think Rondo is going to go, I just don't see where and how yet" 7-17-14

Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston: I believe Rondo will be traded 7-10-14

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.

OK State Men's Basketball coach, Travis Ford, joins MFB to talk about Marcus Smart, 6-30-14

Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.

The Bradfo Show: Talking …

The Bradfo Show: Talking hitting leadoff with Brock Holt

Rob Bradford is joined by Red Sox leadoff hitter Brock Holt, who since being inserted into the top spot in the batting order has been among the best leadoff men in baseball. Heading into Tuesday night, no other leadoff hitter has had more hits (77) since May 23, with Holt having played every inning of every game during that stretch.

Stephen Drew after the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 14-1

Stephen Drew joins Joe Castiglione and Rob Bradford after the Red Sox offense continues to roll in a 14-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jon Lester with Joe Castiglione after completing the sweep of the Royals

Joe C. talked to the Sox ace after he

The Bradfo Show: Talking …

The Bradfo Show: Talking Bruins roster moves with DJ Bean, Turtleboy

Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.

DJ Bean breaks down the first hours of NHL Free Agency 7-1-14

DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla

DJ Bean, WEEI.com. The Bruins are not traded Marchand 6-13-14

DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau

Steve Buckley on Tony Dun…

Steve Buckley on Tony Dungy's comments 7-22-14

Steve Buckley joined the show to discuss Tony Dungy's comments on Michael Sam.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Energizer Bunny and Bill Clinton 7-22-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.

Tony Dungy would not draft a gay player 7-22-14

The guys discussed Dungy's comments on Michael Sam.

Upon Further Review: What…

Upon Further Review: What is clanging around in my ratty old backpack? 7-22-14

Christian started the day by packing up his back pack as he always and heading to work. He noticed that the zipper was broken on one of the pockets. As the show was ending, he remembered this and reached into the bag and pulled out not ONE, but TWO New England Patriots Super Bowl rings. His response: "Oh! There they are." Much to the shock of Tim and Lou, Christian was completely unfazed by the fact that he hadn't seen his SB rings since the NCAA National Championship game 7 MONTHS AGO!

Three For All: Is 9 years old to young to be left alone? 7-22-14

A South Carolina mother was arrested for allegedly leaving her 9 year old daughter alone for hours at a local park while she worked a shift at McDonalds. This has sparked a national debate about whether or not the mother should have been arrested, since many are arguing that 9 years old is old enough to show dependency. The question arises: Where do we draw the line?

Cyd Zeigler of OutSports.com joins MFB, 7-22-14

Tony Dungy is catching a lot of backlash regarding his comments that he would NOT have drafted Missouri LB Michael Sam because of the distractions it would have brought to the team. MFB had Cyd Zeigler of OutSports.com on the show to discuss Dungy's comments.

Where is David Ortiz's ri…

Where is David Ortiz's rightful place among the all-time great Red Sox players?

We discuss the home run achievements David Ortiz made last night that moved him ahead of Carl Yaztremski, and discuss Papi's place among all the all-time great Sox sluggers.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Unexpected Phenom Edition - 7-22-14

We tackle four topics all sparked by the unexpected emergence of young Brock Holt in the Red Sox lineup.

Tony Dungy wouldn't have drafted Michael Sam, 7-22-14

The fall out from Tony Dungy's comments about Michael Sam.

Jon Lester's Contract Sit…

Jon Lester's Contract Situation and the Future

Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.

The All Star Game and the Worst Ideas in Sports

Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.

We're all yelling about LeBron James

The Bradfo Show: Talking …

The Bradfo Show: Talking hitting leadoff with Brock Holt

Rob Bradford is joined by Red Sox leadoff hitter Brock Holt, who since being inserted into the top spot in the batting order has been among the best leadoff men in baseball. Heading into Tuesday night, no other leadoff hitter has had more hits (77) since May 23, with Holt having played every inning of every game during that stretch.

Producer's Podcast with Julian Edlow 7-22-14

This week, Sam Packard and Zach Geld talk about the Post-Pierzynski Red Sox. Julian Edlow of the Green Street Blog, joins the program to analyze the Celtics off-season, and finally an over-eager discussion of fantasy football.

SoccerCast - Liverpool Midfielder Joe Allen

In this episode we talk about transfers across Europe, players we want to see in the MLS, and Liverpool's Joe Allen joins the show!

Peter Gammons on the Sox …

Peter Gammons on the Sox and Jon Lester 7-21-14

MLB HOF'er Peter Gammons joined the show to discuss what the Sox will do with Jon Lester.

More from this show

Steve Buckley on Tony Dun…

Steve Buckley on Tony Dungy's comments 7-22-14

Steve Buckley joined the show to discuss Tony Dungy's comments on Michael Sam.

More from this show

Sox seem to be alive agai…

Sox seem to be alive again, so are you back in?

We talk Sox after a sweep over the Royals at Fenway. We look at fan interest and how nothing in the AL East is even remotely decided at this point.

More from this show

Jon Lester continues to d…

Jon Lester continues to dominate 7-21-14

John, Gerry and Jerry Thornton discussed the Red Sox sweep of the Royals.

More from this show

Has the city of Boston go…

Has the city of Boston gone soft on the Red Sox? 7-21-14

The guys respond to a Dan Shaughnessy column that points out that the Red Sox are on pace to finish in last place for the 2nd time in 3 years, yet ticket prices still remain among the highest in the league. Is Red Sox nation getting fat and happy now that the Curse of The Bambino has been lifted?

More from this show

Weei Writers