Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire: 'Hated' Bruins' schedule to open season

Ryan Hannable
October 23, 2014 - 10:12 am

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB in advance of Thursday night's Bruins matchup against the Islanders. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page. The Bruins got off to a slow start to the season -- going 1-3 in their first four games, but McGuire said some of that was because of the way their schedule was constructed -- playing those four games in a six-day span. "I hated the way their season started, not the way they were playing, but the way the schedule was set up for them," he said. "I think I talked to you guys about it, they almost had eight days where they had three games in four nights. That'€™s crazy stuff. Then, when you compound that with a [Monday] afternoon game at home after a Saturday night loss, that'€™s really hard. I'€™m not making excuses for them, but they are starting to settle into what team they want to be." He also noted the team was coming off of trading veteran defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the Islanders, just prior to the regular season. "I think they were all a little stunned about Johnny Boychuk being traded to the Islanders because he was an extremely popular guy on their team," said McGuire. "They started the season without Gregory Campbell, he'€™s a very important guy on that team. I think they are feeling their way through, but they are starting heat up. I liked their game the other night against San Jose, especially the last parts of that game." The Bruins and Boychuk will be reunited Thursday night as the Islanders will be at TD Garden. Boychuk has had a strong start to the season, posting two goals and four assists over the first six games. "Johnny is a really good player, he'€™s a very popular guy," McGuire said. "You can understand why he is a bigger presence physically than a lot of people know. He is a really imposing guy physically. He makes guys play bigger. He can absolutely rifle a puck. But, he'€™s a low maintenance player, he gets along with everybody. ... He'€™s been very popular every single place he'€™s played. I'€™m happy for him because this is an unbelievable opportunity for him to become a focal point presence as a player. I don'€™t think he could have had that with the Bruins just because of the star power the Bruins have." McGuire also touched on defenseman Torey Krug and how the 23-year-old is most known for his offense, but he's actually very skilled defensively and the Bruins may want him to focus more on that aspect of his game moving forward. "€œTorey is a tremendous offensive talent -- he always has been going back to the [Indiana] Ice in the USHL or Michigan State," he said. "What I would do, and I am sure the Bruins have talked about it -- I want him to be more like [Don] Sweeney. I want him to be that good offensive player, but man, he'€™s reliable defensively and he'€™s not going to get beat one-on-one. He'€™s going to really thrive."