The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Brickley on M&M: Orpik broke hockey code
Thu, 12/12/2013 - 1:20pm  

Brickley on M&M: Orpik broke hockey code

NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni via phone from Edmonton, where the B’s play Thursday night, for his weekly discussion about the team.

Shawn Thornton is awaiting word from the league how long he will suspended following his confrontation with Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik in Saturday’s game.

“No question he crossed the line, he’s aware of that, and the league will obviously discipline him, use him as an example,” Brickley said. “This is the type of stuff that’s a hot-button issue in the National Hockey League — injuries, concussions, bad decisions, bad hits in the game. That’s what they’re trying to clean up, and it’s an opportunity for the league to really make an example of him, which they probably will do.

“Certainly in the moment, when we were doing the broadcast, when the initial hit [by Orpik on Loui Eriksson] was made and then Eriksson was concussed, obviously, no penalty on the play, I thought it was a borderline hit, could have been a penalty, could not have been a penalty. I have a hard time even with my experience knowing what’s a penalty and what’s not a penalty anymore. …

“When the first hit by Orpik was made on Eriksson, then he was challenged initially, if you remember, by Dougie Hamilton — no response. Then Shawn Thornton had the opportunity to challenge Orpik — no response. That’s when you know, because you’ve been there, that this is going to get ugly. Because if you’re not going to handle it the way the Bruins feel it should be handled, then people were going to start crossing lines and the game was going to get ugly. You knew it was going to happen, and I think that’s where it started to break down.”

Brickley said Orpik, who is known as a hard hitter but someone who does not fight, could have handled the situation better.

“This kid, he’s a good player, he’s a good hitter, he likes to hit in open ice,” Brickley said. “But he’s also got a reputation for a guy that hits the Loui Erikssons, the Jeff Skinners. He broke Erik Cole‘s neck from hitting him from behind. … When you have a reputation like that, you have to answer for those types of hits if you’re going to play that way. It’s plain and simple. That’s code. If you want to talk code, that’s code.”

Added Brickley: “Just flip it around if you want to have this kind of conversation. If Johnny Boychuck stands up and knocks Chris Kunitz on a borderline hit, interference, on-the-puck play, if you want to call it that, and Deryk Engelland comes over and challenges Boychuck, what does Boychuck do? … That’s how those plays get defused and you don’t get into the nasty anymore.”

Looking at the length of Thornton’s suspension, Brickley said he expected double-digit games.

“I think that’s what it’s going to be — I think it’s going to be more than 10, less than 15. Just the fact that it’s an in-person hearing, that makes it a minimum of six,” Brickley said. “I thought that the knee to the head by James Neal warranted more than five games, to be honest with you. I thought that was probably just as egregious as what Thornton did.”

Added Brickley: “I think they will make an example of him. I think they have to. It’s unfortunate for Shawn. … He’s always done that job as well as anybody, with the code. If you want to put integrity attached to it, I would attach it. It’s unfortunate that decision was made, that circumstances went the way they went. And the league really has no other option other than to have a lengthy suspension.”

Brickley received some criticism for the way he analyzed the incident Saturday, criticizing Orpik for allowing the situation to escalate.

“I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to it,” Brickley said. “I was made aware of it. … Part of me says that’s just noise, and I don’t really worry about that criticism. But everybody’s certainly entitled to their opinion. Could we have been more critical of the response by Shawn Thornton? Possibly. I was a little surprised by the degree of injury or trouble that Brooks Orpik was in from what I was watching. … I was unsure of what was happening and how hurt Brooks Orpik was. Maybe we could have been more critical, I don’t know. But it’s not something I pay lot of attention to, to be honest with you.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

On Oilers star Taylor Hall: “He’s a nice blend of skill and speed, he’s not afraid to go to the dirty areas. What prevents him from being better than a point-a-game guy is, when you’re that talented up front, you’ve still got to get the puck, and you’ve still got to have a defenseman or two that can be involved in your offense in order for your numbers to be what they really should be based on your skill set. And until Edmonton establishes that, he’s going to be a really good player, but it’s going to be hard to be a great player.

“When you watch him tonight, you’ll appreciate that speed, you’ll appreciate his offensive creativity, If Edmonton plays the style of hockey that they want to play, which is if you allow them to, then you will really see tremendous talent. But if you have to fight for every inch on the ice the way the Bruins want to make this game tonight, then he won’t stand out. And none of those players that play with high speed and high skill will really stand out if you really take away the ice.”

On Reilly Smith: “He’s been terrific, obviously. I think that what jumps out at you is is hockey IQ for a kid that’s just 22, 23 years old. He understands the game, he’s versatile, can play left wing, can play right wing, they’re using him on one of two power-play units on the point, even, which tells you how much they value his ability to make the right play, the right decision, and it’s been very effective. He can play with any centerman that’s in the lineup for Boston. …

“When you have that versatility and you have that hockey knowledge and you have opportunity, and that opportunity is met with preparation, you’re going to have success. That’s where he’s at right now. He’s developing as a young player, the confidence is on the rise, he’s on a very good team, and he understands the opportunity and what’s expected of him because of that system that we’ve already talked about. And it’s a good fit, and you hope that it continues, but it continues to even get better because he is that talented.”

On the warm reception for Jarome Iginla upon his return to Calgary: “It reminded me certainly of some of the great players that have gone back after they’ve moved teams, whether it was [Wayne] Gretzky going back into Edmonton, or Raymond Bourque coming back to Boston, maybe even Guy Lafleur when he was a Ranger going back to Montreal. To be in the building, to be there, to take part in it, to watch really what happened over a 48-hour period, just the minute we arrived in Calgary, and how revered he is, and what he’s meant to the city, and how charitable he was, and the love that still exists between Iginla and the town of Calgary and the surrounding area was pretty impressive.

“They were ready, they were prepared. They hadn’t had an opportunity as a community to say thank you for everything that he had done. And they really gave him a chance to say thank you back. And I really appreciated what the Bruin players insisted that he did following the game when they all came back out on the bench and made Iggy take a nice little lap around the arena and acknowledge the fans that just would not leave the arena. They wanted to see him, and they didn’t want it to end.”




Audio On Demand

It Is What It Is Cast: Gr…

It Is What It Is Cast: Gronk will continue to smash and dash

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 After Patriots Practice, 7-25-14

Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.

Peter King of MMQB with Dale and Holley

We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Bo…

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, "I think Rondo is going to go, I just don't see where and how yet" 7-17-14

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, ESPN Boston: I believe Rondo will be traded 7-10-14

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.

OK State Men's Basketball coach, Travis Ford, joins MFB to talk about Marcus Smart, 6-30-14

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, ESPN: Red S…

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: Red Sox are in a tough place with Lester 7-28-14

Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.

Christian Vazquez with Joe & Daveafter the win at Tampa Bay

Kevin Millar, MLB Network: David Ortiz not afraid of David Price, 7-25-14

Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.

The Bradfo Show: Talking …

The Bradfo Show: Talking Bruins roster moves with DJ Bean, Turtleboy

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 Bean breaks down the first hours of NHL Free Agency 7-1-14

DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla

DJ Bean, WEEI.com. The Bruins are not traded Marchand 6-13-14

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

Rob Bradford on the lates…

Rob Bradford on the latest with the Sox at the deadline 7-28-14

Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Joe Torre forgets The Boss 7-28-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.

David Ortiz offends the Rays again 7-28-14

John, Meter and Buck opened the show by discussing the latest flap between the Red Sox and the Rays.

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: Red S…

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: Red Sox are in a tough place with Lester 7-28-14

Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.

Three For All: Easy College Classes 7-28-14

The guys discuss their easiest college classes.

With Revis and Browner, should the Patriots Defense be more aggressive? 7-28-14

After comments by Nick Caserio, the guys discuss if the Patriots should adjust their defensive approach after the additions of Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis

Jon Lester is on the tabl…

Jon Lester is on the table, will he end up in LA? 7-28-14

We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Red Sox Mistakes - 7-28-14

We talk about four of the biggest mistakes the Red Sox have made over the past 30+ years.

Gronk being Gronk: Although limited in practice, GRONK IS BACK

We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.

Jon Lester's Contract Sit…

Jon Lester's Contract Situation and the Future

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.

The All Star Game and the Worst Ideas in Sports

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.

We're all yelling about LeBron James

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 wi…

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 with Jim Callis of MLB.com: Are Red Sox prospects overvalued?

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.

Minor Details Ep. 94.1: Are prospects overvalued? Andrew Miller on being traded for Miguel Cabrera

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.

Ian Browne reflects on 10th anniversary of Red Sox-Yankees brawl

A compelling case can be made that July 24, 2004, represents as significant a landmark as any date in modern Red Sox history. On that day, a memorable brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees served as a catalyst for an epic 10-9 walkoff victory for the Red Sox over New York and indomitable closer Mariano Rivera, a game cited by many members of the 2004 team as pivotal in Boston's first championship run in 86 years. Ian Browne, who covers the Red Sox for MLB.com and authored Idiots Revisited, discusses the landmark game.

Kirk Minihane on what mot…

Kirk Minihane on what motivates the media 7-25-14

Kirk breaks down the media criticism he has received.

More from this show

Rob Bradford on the lates…

Rob Bradford on the latest with the Sox at the deadline 7-28-14

Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.

More from this show

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 wi…

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 with Jim Callis of MLB.com: Are Red Sox prospects overvalued?

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

David Ortiz offends the R…

David Ortiz offends the Rays again 7-28-14

John, Meter and Buck opened the show by discussing the latest flap between the Red Sox and the Rays.

More from this show

Gronk being Gronk: Althou…

Gronk being Gronk: Although limited in practice, GRONK IS BACK

We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.

More from this show

Weei Writers