With the Bruins set to play the Capitals in Game 7 in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday night, NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined the Dennis & Callahan show to preview the game.
All of the first six games of the series were decided by one goal, with three of the games going into overtime. Brickley said he expects the trend to continue in Game 7, especially because he has seen no quit in this Capitals team.
"Maybe there’s an open-netter that makes it a two-goal game at the end, but I expect very much what we saw through the first six games," Brickley said. "It’s the same feeling I had going into the Montreal game last year, the same sense I had going into the Tampa game last year.
"I had a different feeling going into the Vancouver game, I had a feeling the Bruins were going to win by at least two, maybe three because of what I saw from the Vancouver Canucks. I’m not seeing that from Washington where there’s any kind of quit in them."
In order to win, the Bruins will have to do several things right that have made them so successful in the past. But for Brickley, nothing is more important for the Bruins in this game than simply having the will to win.
"You can look at the X’s and O’s and all of the matchups that you’re trying to get and, as far as the Bruins are concerned, the elevated play of their top six, but it’s all about the control of your emotions," Brickley said. "Fear and guilt are great motivators, and the fear of losing, the fear of going home, you have to be able to channel that fear into something positive. That’s where the experience I think starts to come in.
"The Bruins were around for Game 7 losses three years ago, two years ago, and then the three Game 7 wins a year ago. The guys that experienced both sides of that, I think they have a better handle on how to handle the emotional side of that."
One possible mental obstacle for the Bruins could be the fact that they're favorites to win this series. The Stanley Cup playoffs have been largely defined by upsets thus far, but while Brickley said the Bruins haven't been good in this position in the past, they're now a different team.
"Sure, the fact that you’re expected to win -- and I think that’s the expectation throughout the whole NHL hockey community is that the Bruins will and should win tonight -- it can be a dangerous thing," Brickley said. "The one thing that I didn’t like about this core group, and I’m going back a year-and-a-half now, is that they’re not good front-runners. When they were expected to win, they didn’t handle it well, but I think their experience a year ago, because they’re champions and what they went through at times this year, should help them."
With the Bruins' season on the line Wednesday night, Brickley said it's critical that the team find the right balance between a sense of focus and relaxation.
"This is a group that’s been through it -- they’ve been together, they’ve been through three Game 7s last year," Brickley said. "It stems from the coaching staff, that relaxed, confident, don’t take yourself out of a game-day routine, this is all business, we expect to win, we’re going to win.
"It all starts at the top and works its way into the leadership group and it works its way into the locker room. You go through your game-day routine, you don’t deviate and you just get totally prepared for what’s going to happen tonight."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On what edge he would give to Washington in Game 7: "The fact that they have the underdog mentality, there’s less pressure on them, the fact that they’ve won twice in Boston in this series and the expectation that this game will be no different than the first six, meaning low-scoring, one-goal game and both teams play the way they play. Washington obviously believes they have every opportunity to win a game. They feel like this series could very well be over given they lost in overtime on home ice in Game 6."
On officiating in the series, particularly relating to a flop from Brad Marchand and a hook call on Benoit Pouliot: "First of all, Marchand, sure, he embellishes at times. It doesn’t make him unique in this league, doesn’t make him unique in this series. That being said, I think the Bruins are a more man-up team than any team in the NHL, so I’m not going to give that a whole lot of analysis. As far as the officiating, I haven’t liked it. I don’t think it’s consistent, I don’t think it’s high quality, I think it’s been a disadvantage for both teams. I thought it was a bad penalty call on Pouliot, there wasn’t a whole lot of force on that slash. I think if you look at it, by the law of the rules, it’s a slash, but come on. You have to have a feel for the game and that’s my biggest argument with the officiating today. Not everything is black and white, so your officials have to have an understanding of the game of what’s really a penalty and what constitutes a penalty given the time, the score, the importance."
On how the injury to Patrice Bergeron limits the team: "It hurts them a little bit, but the balance and the depth that they have at the center position, you can put [Rich] Peverley in that slot. You’ve got [Chris] Kelly. Watch Claude [Julien] anytime there’s a defensive-zone faceoff -- there’s at least two centermen on the ice and then he’ll make the change once they get the puck out to the neutral zone. They put a huge value on that. He said he’s ready to go, I have complete confidence in him, but the Bruins do have options because of their depth and versatility."
On how big of a factor discipline and special teams will be: "Absolutely [it will], and the fact that the Bruins have scored a power-play goal in the last two games at least takes some of the negative focus off the Bruins' power play. You can still get on them for what they’re doing in the offensive zone, but the fact that they got the power-play goal in Game 5, the power-play goal in Game 6 that helps them win, I think that’s a big bonus for the players to play the man advantage to get them in the right frame of mind."
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after he provided the big hit in the 10th inning driving in 3 runs as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-1. Mookie talks about playing behind a pitcher like Chris Sale, and the amount of strikeouts from Sale lightens his work in the outfield.
In the final hour Christian talks about the Celtics and their poor performance and how they can not let a player like Rondo beat them. The Aaron Hernandez saga in Christian's opinion is similar to a TV show. In the late night low light a mystic has predicted that WW3 will be starting in a few weeks and Christian wonders how do you become a mystic and can you make a career out of it.
Christian talks about the Patriots visiting the White House and Gronk interrupting Sean Spicer during his press conference. Aaron Hernandez was the big story of the day and alot of people had their theories of what happened and why now. The Bruins lose another close one to the Senators and Christian talks about how the offense needs to perform better because they got a great game from the goalie and defense.
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.
Hour 2. Mut, Gerry, and Kirk compare LeBron to Bird. Is he the second best player of all-time if he wins a fourth title? Headlines with Kirk features sound from “Hot Chocolate.” Rear Admiral broke down the B’s playoff series with Arcand.
HOUR - The last hour of the show was all over the place as the guys did a dry rehearsal of a wacky video they're supposed to record next week. They also look at the biggest games in the NFL next year, and Fauria rips off "Keefer Madness" with his "Fauria Euphoria."
HOUR 3 - The guys get into expectations for the Celtics who are down 2-0 to the Rajon Rondo-less Bulls. They also wonder how much the Celtics are listening to Brad Stevens. Christian is excited for Caitlyn Jenner's nude spread.
HOUR 2 - News breaks that Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. Rondo was dynamite in game 2. The guys discuss whether or not the Celtics now stand a chance.
Last two hours focused on our winter teams as they struggle in their first round match-ups.
Finish out the week on Freestyle Friday talking mostly about the Aaron Hernandez suicide and how it will affect his family in hour #2.
Hour One of freestyle Friday focused mostly on the Celtics and their matchup vs the now Rondo-less Bulls.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ben sits down with Diego Fagundez to talk about Diego's rise through the ranks of the academy, his accomplishment of reaching 10,000 minutes as a homegrown player, and how he has evolved his game.
Rich and Ben discuss the Celtics poor performances in Games 1 & 2, how we have to change our predictions, Rajon Rondo's thumb injury, and who is to blame for the terrible start to the series.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the entire week of K&C shows in one mega Friday edition
Michele McPhee joins Kirk, Gerry, and Alex to talk about Hernandez’s suicide and the accusation that she may have contributed to his suicide.More from this show
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.More from this show
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.More from this show
Hour 1. Mut believes Hernandez may have killed himself because of a threat. Trump is “done” with Brady after the quarterback skipped the White House visit.More from this show
Hour 2. Mut, Gerry, and Kirk compare LeBron to Bird. Is he the second best player of all-time if he wins a fourth title? Headlines with Kirk features sound from “Hot Chocolate.” Rear Admiral broke down the B’s playoff series with Arcand.More from this show