Pittsburgh radio host Mark Madden, who earned the enmity of Bruins fans earlier in the week when he insisted that Tuukka Rask is a mediocre goalie, joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning and was asked if his opinion has changed now that the Bruins have a 3-0 series lead.
“God knows, he’s had trouble winning the fourth game in the past, so I’d rather reserve judgment,” Madden said of Rask. “He’s played very well, the goalposts have done very well, too.
“But to me, the story of this series has been [David] Krejci and the job Claude Julien has done outcoaching Dan Bylsma,” Madden continued. “Bylsma did a better job in the third game, but he waited 120 minutes to make adjustments he should have been making after 40. Whereas Claude Julien has been one step ahead all the time. He’s coached an excellent series. Gutsy lineup change yanking [Matt] Bartkowski and putting [Andrew] Ference back in, but Ference has played very well. Those are the guys I give primary credit to.
“The Penguins just have not had an answer for David Krejci. He plays such a quiet game, but I mean that in a good way. Before you know it he’s open, a split-second after that it’s in the net. He’s just been amazing.”
Sidney Crosby remains pointless in this series, and while Patrice Bergeron is getting some credit for helping to keep Crosby quiet, Madden said the blame falls squarely on the Penguins.
“I think Crosby’s played a bigger role in Crosby’s disappearance,” Madden said. “I’ve got to be honest, the Penguins as a team have not handled adversity well, which is a disturbing pattern in the last four playoff years. I thought that the stars played a bit better for the Penguins in Game 3. But still, a loss is a loss, there’s no moral victories. And Crosby, [Evgeni] Malkin and [Kris] Letang have no points between them and are a combined minus-12. Like Mario Lemieux always used to say, ‘When you make the most money, you’ve got to do the most.’ And those guys make the most money.”
Matt Cooke, already reviled in Boston, has not earned any new friends with his chippy play in this series. Madden said he expects Cooke to be playing elsewhere next season.
Said Madden: “Matt Cooke is perceived by a lot of people — and I bought into it at first — into having a good playoffs because he’s [doing] a good job on the penalty kill and he’s been a good forechecker. But he has zero goals in the playoffs. How can any forward on the top three lines be perceived to be having a good playoffs if he has zero goals? Plus, he’s taken a ton of penalties. The Penguins will be well rid of Matt Cooke. That’s not to say he won’t help another team. But they’re just tired of his act. That’s in the locker room, too. … Guys are just tired of having to clean up his messes.”
Madden said he could see the Bruins having a letdown in Game 4 and the Penguins extending the series, although he said it isn’t likely that Pittsburgh could come all the way back.
“I could see the Penguins winning tonight. I could even see them winning Game 5. But it wouldn’t go any further than Game 6 back in Boston,” Madden said. “That would be a repeat, by the way, of what happened when the Penguins fell behind three games to nil against Philadelphia last season. But I think it’s far more likely it will end tonight.”
Madden opined that Bylsma should not return if the Penguins lose this series.
“I don’t know what their standard for Dan is. I would not bring him back,” Madden said. “And that doesn’t mean he’s not a good coach or hasn’t done a good job. But for this group of talent, to have put together the playoff record it has since 2009, it’s very disturbing. … This is two years in a row now they’ve been down three games to none in a playoff series. I’m not saying a team with Crosby and Malkin should never lose a playoff series; I am saying they should never, ever be down three games to none, and it’s happened twice in a row now.”
OXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview the Week 16 battle between the 11-3 Patriots and 3-11 New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
We get a complete analysis of the Patriots and the NFL with Peter King of SI/MMQB.
We get a complete breakdown of the win from Bill Belichick as the Patriots secure yet another AFC East title. Bill talks about the historical significance, the key moments of the game, and even Tom Brady's nutritional regiment.
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston
Manager of the Boston Red Sox, John Farrell, speaks with Craig and Larry during the "Christmas at Fenway" festivities. John spoke about the pitching rotation as it stands right now, and inability to sign John Lester. He also talked about some of the younger pitching prospects, as well as the Free Agents that have signed with the team in the last month, like Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.
Craig and Larry press Larry Lucchino about the inability to sign Jon Lester, the projected starting rotation, and the signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Boston Red Sox, Sam Kennedy, joined Craig and Larry to talk about Christmas at Fenway, and some of the Red Sox off-season acquisitions.
Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
Pierre McGuire joins the show to talk about the struggling Bruins.
ESPN's John Buccigross joined the show to discuss how to fix the Bruins.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys discussed the latest with the Sony hackers.
As we do every Wednesday, we re-visit some predictions that Chris made in anticipation of last week's game against Miami, and make some new ones about Sunday's match up with the New York Jets.
Christian gets a call from a fellow Bacon Doughnut lover. Rob Gronkowski was on "Top Chef," and Padma Lakshmi goes full-cougar. Britt McHenry of ESPN gets into a twitter-fight with some hockey trolls.
The Bruins lost again last night, as they have in 6 of their last 7 games. The team needs to make a move but don't have very much cap space. NESN color commentator, Andy Brickley, spoke about a team that's struggling to get back to elite status.
Dale and Michael discuss the Bruins shoot-out loss in Nashville as a representative example of larger issues in 2014 for the Boston club.
We discuss the impact Darrelle Revis has had on the Patriots defense and whether or not he deserves to be a candidate for team and/or league MVP in 2014.
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
What should Danny Ainge do with these Celtics? Is Anthony Davis the second best player in the NBA? Are the Warriors truly contenders?
Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy joins DJ to discuss the "uncoachable(?)" Taylor Hall and revisit the Tyler Seguin trade. Ryan also shares his issues with how the Bruins are run.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk react to today's Tom Brady interview by discussing what they would tell their younger selves. They look closer at Brady's diet and fitness regime and whether they could be as disciplined as the superstar quarterback.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show
We get a complete analysis of the Patriots and the NFL with Peter King of SI/MMQB.More from this show
MIke Florio, of ProFootballTalk.com, joins the show to talk about some of the "roughing the passer" and "defenseless receiver" penalties that caused a lot of conversation in NFL circles. While many are calling for those penalties to be review able, Florio notes that the calls likely would NOT have been overturned due to the ways the rules are written.More from this show