NBC sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Bruins’ winning streak and the potential for league expansion. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
“I was talking with some of their people around the team who are really tight with Seidenberg, and he was actually telling them that there’s a chance that he might be back for the playoffs,” McGuire said.
Seidenberg suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee in late December and had surgery for the injury in January. He was expected to miss the rest of the season.
“With him I don’t think there’d be a lot of issues,” McGuire said of Seidenberg returning for the playoffs. “He’s a tremendous athlete — extremely fit. He’s very strong — everybody knows that. I don’t think there’d be that big of an adjustment for him.”
The news comes as the Bruins look to extend their winning streak to 11 games Friday night against the Avalanche.
“You see the level of consistency and when they need to defend a lead, they know how,” McGuire said of the B’s recent success. “When they need to generate some enthusiasm in the building, they know how by being physical. Their cycle game is excellent. They’re four lines deep.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
On the Avalanche: “They’re really fast. They play with a lot of tempo. They have serious skill. Matt Duchene is for real. Gabriel Landeskog‘s for real. … The thing you’ll admire about their group, though, is they have character on their defense and that’s the one thing that’s not talked about a lot. There’s not a lot of big names on their defense, but it’s got a lot of character.
“Patrick Roy told me this at the beginning of the year: ‘We have to get back to being the Colorado Avalanche. We don’t want to be a checking team. We want to be a puck-possessing, in-your-face, up-tempo team.’ And it looks like that’s what they’re going to be.”
On a potential NHL expansion: “I think expansion’s coming, and I think we’re going to have two teams — one in Las Vegas and one in Seattle. I think the expansion will be anywhere from [$]280 [million] to $320 million per team, so it’s significant. Remember, we lost half a season last year. Also, the ownership groups that are in the league now lost half a season of revenue. That will more than make up for that half a season of lost revenues.
“Seattle’s a viable market. There are two potential suitors that want to buy a team there, and Las Vegas is a viable market only because there’s tremendous ownership potential there and they have a new building that’s going up. I could see both those happening, and they need two more teams in the West.”
On how expansion will change the league: “Maybe some fans won’t agree with this — we haven’t had expansion in almost a decade and a half, and the talent pool that’s been coming into the league since 2003 is the greatest we’ve ever had in the history of the National Hockey League, so when you combine no expansion and amazing resources talent-wise with young players and a salary cap, you have all this parity.
“I know people like the tight games, but they also like super teams. They also like dominant super teams. You can’t have those now. Expansion will lead to a little bit of filtering and spread some more players around the league, and it will make for some super teams.”
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