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.”
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.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
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.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Rob Bradford is joined by Drew Pomeranz, the Red Sox pitcher who so many are wondering if he will be able to live up the value placed on him by the Red Sox when trading away top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza last July. Pomeranz goes into detail regarding his injury last season, the stem cell treatment he underwent in the offseason, and how he thinks things stand heading into the 2017 campaign.
Rob Bradford is joined by Tom Caron, the man responsible for guiding the ship when it comes to Red Sox pregame and postgame shows, along with various other important duties with the New England Sports Network, including offering the play-by-play for both TV and radio throughout spring training. Tom and Rob discuss a variety of topics, such as nickname conundrums, radio vs. television, criticizing the team, behind-the-scenes for the broadcasts and where the industry is going.
Rob Bradford is joined by two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Quentin, who is attempting a comeback with the Red Sox this spring. Quentin's path back to baseball involves almost quitting the game less than a year ago, losing 40 pounds and trying to sell himself to general managers all over Major League Baseball. Quentin explains his journey, which has led him to the back fields at JetBlue Park.
Hour 4. Rob Bradford had some great insight into the tornado at last night’s Red Sox game. The guys don’t understand what Riley Dennis is trying to argue for.
Hour 3. The guys don’t think Lavar Ball has any influence on Lonzo’s draft stock. Ken Laird gave a lively performance on the Lightning pregame show.
The American treasure Mr. Skins joins the show to talk the Whack-It bracket and take calls.
HOUR 4 - Glenn, Lou and Christian go over a great story in USA Today's "For The Win" blog, which talks about how LaVar Ball was a nuisance towards the head coach Chino Hills high school team, where Lonzo, LaMelo, and LiAngelo play.
The weekly edition of the Whiner Line
HOUR 3 - The guys get back into some Bruins talk and try to parse out some of the blame pie. Also, Glenn thinks Roger Goodell is lying, and that Colin Kaepernick is getting a raw deal.
Final hour brings in the Patriots to the topic table, and still some more Bruins anger.
Mostly angry fire from Bruins fans this hour, with a little NCAA mixed in as well.
Three topics on the table in hour #2 of Freestyle Friday
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.
SI's Richard Deitsch returns to the podcast to talk with Kirk about the K&C casting couch, how ESPN wimps out when they are called out for slander, what's going on with Bill Simmons, and the rise of podcasting.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis have a Friday edition of the K&C recap show as 'Hardo Mut' was in with Kirk and Gerry.
Hour 1. Gerry tells Kirk that the trip to the White House may not happen for them. Mut takes his shirt off to prove how well the gym has worked. The guys read an old email from Dino.More from this show
Hour 2. Headlines with Kirk. Kirk and Gerry give Mut a hard time for his workout notebook.More from this show
Hour 1. With Kirk out, Gerry is joined by Trenni and Tomase. In the first segment, Trenni, Gerry, and Tomase talk food, NBA players using Tinder, and NFL commercials. Next, the hosts agree Lonzo Ball has to come to Boston both for his skill and entertainment value. Finally, Trenni reacts to Kirk’s take on Comcast.More from this show