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 and Chris Price discuss the latest development at Patriots training camp. Chris says Darrelle Revis has looked great, and that his impact on the defense is actually being underplayed nationally.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."
Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
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 of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
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.
Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.
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 discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
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
John, Gerry, and Steve DeOssie discuss Tom Brady's impact on the rest of the Patriots, plus Steve tells tales from his old days as a NFL linebacker
A whale watch boat is stranded overnight in Boston Harbor
Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront certainly put on quite the pitching performance, as the Red Sox were trounced by the Jays. Does this change the team's approach to the trade deadline?
Christian tells a story about taking his girlfriend to see "Jersey Boys" in NYC, but he leaves out some crucial details. Luckily, she was listening and called the show to clarify exactly what kind of shenanigans he was trying to pull.
MFB discuss a Peter King article that suggests many NFL coaches and assistant coaches have felt increasing pressure over big-money fantasy football players. Christian also weighs in specifically on how his knowledge of game-plans resulted directly in him winning his first season as a fantasy football player.
The Sox lost 14-1 as Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront both had awful performances. On the heels of the loss, rumors began to fly regarding Jon Lester and John Lackey possibly being traded.
The tweet is a little ominous sounding. Dale, Buck and Greg Dickerson discuss what very well could be the end of the Jon Lester era with the Boston Red Sox.
We tackle four topics all sparked by the Red Sox worst to first to worst run in 2012-2014.
We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?
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.
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.
Sam and Zach discuss changing the format of the Podcast, the Chris Archer-David Ortiz debacle, and LeBron James being a super genius
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.More from this show
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.More from this show
We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?More from this show