Best and worst playoff match-ups for the Boston BruinsApr 13, 2023
Sean McDonough joins us on the Harbor One hotline this morning. He worked late last night. Sean, thanks for being up this morning. Oh, it's my pleasure here in Denver. In fact, at the airport getting ready to fly back to our beautiful city. We had the Colorado Avalanche. and the Edmonton Oilers here last night fun game so didn't get much sleep but always happy to be with you and the team well we're glad to have you and once again another night and another story regular season historic moment for the Bruins. and there were some earlier on the show who asked why we're celebrating this team before they won a Stanley Cup, but I think the regular season achievement is something to talk about.
Oh, I'm all for it when you do something that's ever been done. in the 100+ year history of the league, it's definitely worth celebrating that they've had a remarkable season from every point of view and you know they're a really fun, likable team so I think there's a lot to appreciate, you know that it's not as important as winning the Stanley Cup and you know that Coach Montgomery and the players have been saying that, but you know that what they've done is certainly very appreciative and yes, I like watching them play because they clearly like each other, they do it with a smile. in your face you know they appreciate the fans so good luck to them but this is uh after one more regular season game obviously this is where it really starts in earnest well Sean I hope you've been put on a private jet and you're relaxing beforehand. you go back to your crib I know they give Kirk a weed street, but you know you've been doing it for a long time, so Herbie is in a different stratosphere.
Denver airport but we made it so I'm looking forward to an uneventful flight home when you get out one of them takes off their shoes on the plane. I'm a very educated airman, you know, and I'm invariably the one who passed on my way here. as they can say, but uh, I am, I'm not one of those people, right, what are you flying, spirit? We have no spirit. We have spirits. if they were, I would not belittle them and it would lead me to belittle them. Southwest is our sponsor, so when they were about to be sponsors, I think one just came out the way it probably did, I don't know why. no one flies it anyway and excellent uh air travel analogy there uh that's why you are who you are that's right with the going out the window thing sean when you look at this team i know it's hard to choose because there's so much good but if i could just say what is the main difference or would it be the MVP of this team would it be the coach would it be the goalie would you know pasta who would you choose as you know the main difference why we have seen this change wow it's hard right?
I mean, I don't know how you guys would answer that question, you know, I think Coach deserves a huge amount of credit, I guess if I had to prioritize them I'd start with him, you know? I had it through the grapevine in the offseason you know a lot of the players felt like you knew anyone would be an improvement not that Bruce Cassidy wasn't a great coach because he's a great coach and he's showing it again in Vegas . I mean they didn't make the
playoffs last year and they're probably going to be the number one seed in the Western Conference and we might as well have two of the three finalists for the Jack Adams trophy like the uh like the coach of the year was Montgomery and Cassidy but I think you know they were really ready for a change of voice and a change of focus you know Bruce it was tough as we've heard many times and Jim Montgomery is relentlessly positive and optimistic so I think the change helped and then I think you know his approach.
I remember when they fired Cassidy Don Sweeney and Cam Neely saying they know they need more of the bottom two lines of the bottom six forward and I was like, well, you know what that is. your work, go and improve to the bottom six, well you know this has been proven to be correct, because it's essentially the same guys, the Trent Fredericks of the word world, you know, cite an example which is definitely a lot better with this approach this system and then you have the philosophy of getting the defenseman much more involved in the offense you know pinch and lead the run and head to the net while the rest of the team is on the run you know the coach has done I think there's a big difference from a happiness standpoint, an atmosphere standpoint, and definitely a strategic standpoint as well, so I'd start with and you know the goalkeeping has been phenomenal, the stance it hits having an amazing year.
I just saw a note that the NHL sends out in their morning state that they send out a bunch of us and, you know, him and McDavid now have 60 goals and 50 assists, 60+ and 50+, and that hadn't happened. made no one in the league since 1995-96. uh when they did Mario Lemieux and Yagger Jagger so you know the stance hits having an amazing season too but yeah it's part of what makes them likable everyone you know everyone has played a part yeah that It's true, but I think you can too.' I'm not underestimating the effect David Krachi's return had on this team.
I think that was part of it. You know, obviously, the return of Bergeron. ice and you know he basically shook hands with all his teammates like it was the last time you know he's on the ice with them so you know he came back I think it was even more important than freaking out because you know Bergeron he's a better player but you know madness has been important a lot's been invested in that you know there's a trade deadline Acquisitions um we're really key you know orloff has been a boost half lady which has been exactly what they expected it to be for Tuesday. he's proven to be a very good player, so you know it's a big effort, you know, the front office, the scouting staff, the coaches, the coaches, the team, the people, you know it's Kumbaya, the whole season, no , you know a lot about that to go back to our spirit, analogy, we will go. out the window if they get a quick out here in the postseason so yeah and hopefully all is well Mark.
I didn't see the game, but I found out when it happened that I read this morning. third period so yeah Jim played down the importance of that maybe they were just being more cautious if it's just a muscular thing like he said then maybe it's not a big deal but if he can't play it's a big deal well I I think we may have discussed this with you earlier but thank goodness they have another porter yes although I think Wiggy will say to Swamin hey thanks for a good season go home now we don't need you but yeah I think it's good that they have swamin and uh you know I hope it's like they planned with Hallmark they're getting the vast majority and healthy and continue to play well but it's good to have swamin that's for sure Sean with creature too missing At the end of the season, are you worried that he's healthy going into the post?
Well, not really because when we had the game last Saturday a couple of days ago, then I talked to Coach Montgomery before the game. it was just a matter of caution and the same kind of thing it was more of a muscle thing than a broken bone or that kind of thing obviously muscle things can be annoying and persistent and problematic and affect your performance but you know I don't I don't think he was very concerned, so I think that was one of those, yeah, we talk about this a lot in these segments. use a little bit of overtime so I think that's what's going on with Crazy they just know if he's 36 whatever he is right now and they know why push him but they don't have to Sean uh if the Bruins get go. through and win the Stanley Cup they're the
bestteam in Boston Sports history right like they've broken all NHL records and they win the Stanley Cup they've got to be the
bestteam the city has ever seen um I don't know you know what we all have you know recency bias I guess you know those Celtics teams that had like 11 Hall of Famers were pretty good in the '50s and '60s um so I you know I think what they accomplished I mean having the season that they had and if they carried on when the Stanley Cup, I think you could argue that's the best season a Boston sports team has ever had, you know it probably would have been the Patriots if they had. he completed that undefeated season in the Super Bowl, he's going to have to think about that a little bit more, but yeah, I mean you can make a case that it's the best season in Boston Sports history.
I mean it's 64 12 and five you probably know it's uh , yeah I mean it was a team that you know a lot of people thought oh this is finally the year that age catches up with them you know they're not going to have some of their key players at the start of the year you know here it is where you know it's six years in a row and the
playoffstreak ends well boy that was wrong and that's one of the great things about sports right you never know we've certainly seen it with the Red Sox a couple of times in recent years so you never know but a remarkable season that continues to make history and incredibly fun and hopefully continues in the playoffs looking to the future Islanders Panthers and Penguins who is the best
matchup for the Bruins and who it's the
worstwell, well, you know that's a really good question, I think everyone has their pros and cons, I don't know if Pittsburgh will make it happen, you know, it's amazing to me that they couldn't, you know.
All they had to do, as you know, going into last night was beat Chicago at home, a team that you know is among the
worstin the league, maybe the worst, and really trying to be the lead in Conor for draws. dark and when in Columbus which if Chicago isn't the worst team Columbus is probably okay they lost at home five to two last night to Chicago so I don't even know if they'll make it but um and yeah I think it would be the best . option, you know they have a lot, they're a two line team, they have a very shaky goal, you know the core of their great players, who are still great, Crosby, Malkin and Latang, they're old, you know, older, even though they're still being fantastic.
Crosby's not old, you know? And then, you know, the scary thing about the Islanders is goaltending. hot goalkeeper, but he really have a hard time scoring goals. I just can't imagine you knowing that sarokin would be that good in a seven game series that they could beat the Bruins with this offensive challenge since Florida is a scary team. i know goaltend has been the question alex line came out of nowhere to save their season huh they're a really good team making the playoffs um you know they were the President's Trophy winners last year and you know they've made a few changes but Matthew Kuchuk was the biggest change he had one of the best seasons in the league would be an MVP candidate so they are dangerous especially from an offensive standpoint so I think the best drop with the Bruins would be Pittsburgh, but I don't.
I don't know if they're going to make it, Sean, I have to get you back to the diamond where I always am and, uh, I ask you, uh, the splits versus Xander to start the season aren't exactly great. DK is over 25 years old. He has five errors. at shortstop, Xander hit his fourth home run last night, what are we doing here, oh god, and were we having such a good time? performance is going to go down, we don't want to give them 10 or 11 years, but go find someone else who you might think you know there were a lot of really good shortstops in free agency, whether it's Korea or Swanson. or Turner or some of these other guys you know going into the season you know with the plan they had and hoping it would work out you know we've heard how many years it's been since Kiki's been here well he's our best center fielder you can play all over the place but he's a terrific center fielder okay he's not now you know that and I think once he made five mistakes I mean yeah he's a mess and you know Duvall is taking the pain doesn't help , but I mean you're assigning your season to him, you know you didn't even know what you were really getting when you know when you got it, the guy came off an injured outfield season last year, so, yeah. is yes, I hope it's not a long summer.
It makes me sad every time I sit next to Joker Stigglione and we go to eighth. It's eleven to two. Hopefully that won't happen in Detroit so it was probably a poor choice but the man has incredible energy for his age Joe.yeah oh remarkable energy and he and he always will. Joe is the best. I know if that was a hit or not but no no no it's not in the lease yeah we love it when Joe does hip-hop lyrics yeah yeah oh yeah that can't happen with often enough, by the way, yeah, one of the things where the new baseball rules, you know, I've complained for years about how slow the games are and they need a shot clock, so I'm not going to complain now that they have one, but it shocks us because now there is no part of my fund. he's hitting joe a little bit or he will or whatever and you know some buy plays back and forth between pitches and there's no time you can't tell a story I mean it's just one point one strike one therea base hurry up and read Shaw's Lo before they release the next one is part of the fun is out the window and I think the rhythm that plays very well I went to the Colorado Rocky game here two nights ago and of course the course is still fantastic almost 30 years later.
It was a beautiful night but you know I barely sat in my seat and the game was over you know it's two hours and 15 minutes so it's a lot different but I miss the chance to have a little fun with Joe because uh he's the better, I mean, if he's not the best person on Planet Planet, he's in the top 10. Before you go, what would be our first chance to hear you call a Bruins game? Would it be the second round of you guys, well yeah? They need to set the schedule, you know, I hope it's a lot, but you know it's very difficult to make these playoff schedules, I mean the NBA directly into the NHL and this is what our programming people who are starting out are dealing with.
At the same time, basically, with these playoffs, you have a lot of places like Boston, where you have both teams in the playoffs and they share the same building. Obviously, the television schedule comes into play. We share the playoffs with Turner. and Turner has the NBA so they know they have to realize well they have that game they have a basketball game so they will take the hockey game blah blah blah so and then some of these Arenas are not available, there's something with MSG about some concerts and stuff, so I don't know if you know when the Bruins will start, but I certainly hope that when they do, we'll have a lot of them, but we don't know, but we'll be every day. week, so hopefully we'll see the Bruins at some point, but we'll start on Monday and we're at what they told me.
Best thing, nothing beats the Stanley Cup playoffs, so here we go good, thanks for taking the time this morning, safe flight and we'll talk to you again next week. It's a pleasure. Can we when we get Curtis out of Xander's divisions next week please? I'm going to be knee deep with the goalie standing on their heads from now on, he's a bit of a curmudgeon. It's a local thing I think it's a regional thing more than anything else we're not alone no yeah that's why we don't celebrate any Bruins achievement unless they win the cup that's all so I think we should call them Boston's hockey team during this segment a few times you're right about that very good Sean McDonough you're the best see you later
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