Barry Pederson of NESN joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the Bruins’ strengths so far, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin‘s styles of play, and the newly proposed NHL realignment plan.
“I think it makes total sense,” Pederson said of the realignment plan, which would reconfigure the league into four divisions. “As Bruins fans, you’ve got to be ecstatic. You’ve got Detroit coming into this, what’s going to be called the Central Division, you’ve got four Original Six teams, some rivals, Buffalo still in there, and [Andy Brickley] will be happy because you still have Tampa Bay and Florida and he can go down and play some golf now and then. As Bruins fans, it’s a pretty good setup.”
Pederson said he thinks Marchand’s attitude, even more so than his speed or his hands, is his greatest strength, although his speed combined with Seguin’s creates space for their line to work.
“I don’t think he gets enough respect around the league for his offense because of the way he plays,” Pederson said of Marchand. “Marchand is sneaky offensively. Last night, he gets that puck on his backhand, he knows that [Evgeni] Nabokov‘s going to come diving out at him — he just waits and waits and then is able to get the goal. He’s got a great release. His speed really backs the defense off, and he and Seguin, when they’re going, they’re hard to play against.”
Despite speculation that Tim Thomas will never end up playing for the Islanders after being traded there, Pederson said he thinks Thomas is too competitive to walk away from hockey completely if he’s still capable of playing.
“I have no insight, for sure, to what’s going through his mind, but … to me there was a guy that never quit on anything,” Pederson said. “He went after shots that most guys would just say, ‘Oh, it’s an empty net, I’m not going to dive over there.’ So I just have a really hard time thinking he’s going to walk away from the game the way it’s going. I just have to think he’s coming back at some point.”
On the benefits of the Bruins scoring first: “The thing we’ve been talking about is how relaxed these guys look and how confident they look with a 2-1 lead on the road or a 3-1 lead on the road. They have so much confidence. But what that allows them to do is play their game, and the other team to try to play catchup. That means the Bruins can counterattack, exploit the other team’s weaknesses and take advantage of the other team’s breakdowns. The other team has to open up a little bit, and when they do, that allows the Bruins to counterattack.”
On the PK becoming more aggressive: “These last three games were a really good example of that. You’re going into the third period on the road in each of these last few games, and you’ve got a one- or a two-goal lead, but you’re starting the third period shorthanded. So what do the Bruins do? They go out and they kill it off, and they not only gain momentum and confidence … we’ve talked about it before, that one of the things they wanted to do this year on the penalty kill was get much more aggressive, and boy, you can see that. Not only in their zone, but when they have the puck and they’ve got a chance to go, they can isolate somebody and take advantage of it. They’re going. That puts the opposing power play back on its heels a little bit.”
On Tuukka Rask: “I think he’s about the level where I expected. I expect a lot from him, like he does from himself. To me, he’s one of the top goaltenders in the National Hockey League. Whether he can get to that elite level, that’s going to be the next year or two here along his progression. He’s certainly shown signs of being able to control a game. When he’s playing his game he’s like all goaltenders, under control, you’re playing with confidence, you’re out attacking the shooters. When he gets in trouble, like the one goal last night from [Casey] Cizikas, he got himself down where his belly hits the ice and he’s playing small. There’s things he wants to continue to work on, but boy, has he done a great job of keeping his team in the games so far early on.”
On who should win the Seventh Player Award: “I think it has to be Dougie Hamilton so far. Close shot here with [Nathan] Horton with what he’s had to overcome and done but the difficult part for this team … they’re so balanced. One night it’s one individual, the next it’s another line. They play so well defensively so they don’t beat themselves, they’re in every game. The other thing that was very interesting on this road trip was when you read the recaps of the games and you see the other team’s comments, they’re just raving about this team and how tough it is to play against them. They’re in your face, they don’t give you anything, they play physical, they’re intense. And they just like the way the organization is being run, which is a credit to management.”
On improvements the Bruins can make: “Their problem before this trip was the offense wasn’t clicking as well as it is now. They were playing on the periphery. They weren’t going into those dirty areas. One of their weaknesses that’s been a little bit exploited is they just don’t draw enough penalties right now, they’re not getting enough power-play opportunities. That means they’re not making the other team do more, they’re not making them hook and hold and grab and hold them down. They have done a great job with their puck possession, which means the other team is chasing around a little bit more, but I think as they continue to take their game to the next level you’re going to see the things in that dirty area improve.”
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia talks to former federal prosecutor John Down about the NFL's discipline process and what should be changed.
We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
We check in for our weekly visit with the interim Sox manager.
Joe Castiglione & Lou Merloni talked to the Sox outfielder, who had three hits and threw out a runner at home in the win over the Yankees.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Jason defended himself against Minihane.
The top stories of the day.
Former NFL running back Eddie George is upset that Judge Berman overturned Tom Brady's suspension and is speaking out, calling Tom Brady a cheater.
The guys continue to embrace the breaking news and listen to comments from Tedy Bruschi who happily reacts to the news that his former teammate is eligible to play on Opening Night.
Adam Schefter joins the show to talk about the breaking news that Tom Brady's suspension has been overturned, and gives his inside opinion on the result.
Now that the ruling has been overturned, Dale and Holley with Thornton check in with the legal analyst that was at the forefront of this case... SI's Michael McCann
Now that Brady is free, here's a recap of a good amount of the hate they faced the last 8 months.
We discuss Bob McNair's now infamous quotes about the Patriots, and how his comments, uniformed as they may be, are probably representative of other NFL owners, and thus the reason Roger Goodell can push forward with this situation without worrying about blowback from the owners.
Chris Villani and John Tomase discuss Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned by Judge Richard Berman and discuss in hindsight how obvious this should have been.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss the Thursday federal court decision to overturn Tom Brady's DeflateGate punishment.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and who should play where. Also, the current outfield in context with Sox history.
With the transfer window coming to a close, Ben, Russ & Alex hand out transfer grades for each Premier League team. They also discuss the Revs recent surge and debate if it will continue this weekend.
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined this week by special guests Jim Callis of MLB.com and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com to discuss what new GM Dave Dombrowski will do with his new prospect system. Also, do the Sox really have the best Farm system in baseball? Finally, Ken travels to Lowell to chat with Spinners' catcher Austin Rei and manager Joe Oliver.
It’s peek draft season so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are back with today’s Fantasy Football Podcast on Draft Strategy. Pete Davidson’s article at Rotobahn.com “The 2015 Draft Plan” fuels a deep conversation on how to approach the draft at all the key positions Quarterback, Runningback, Wide Receiver, Tight End and Defense. Get prepared and Happy Drafting!
McCann gave us his thoughts on yesterday's proceedings.More from this show
Larry is still upset about Belichick's postgame answers, but Craig just wants Larry to admit that maybe Bill is not "the genius". In fact, maybe a lot of his success was due to having some pretty good players. The guys go on to discuss Belichick's legacy.More from this show