BOSTON (CBS) – With the Boston Bruins looking to close out the Toronto Maple Leafs in Friday night’s Game 5 at the TD Garden, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh and Zo were joined by NHL analyst Kevin Weekes to preview the showdown.
Weekes says the Leafs have no answer for Boston’s top line David Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic, and had an interesting take on Lucic’s game — who he compared to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
“He’s a game changer; a big guy and powerful,” Weekes said of Lucic. “When he’s on his game, he’s a mismatch.”
“When the B’s won the Stanley Cup, that top line was one of the best lines in hockey,” he said. “They can beat you in so many different ways; you have two power forwards on one line in Horton and Lucic, and then the playmaking and scoring ability with Krejci down the middle. He’s not a guy that is scared, hes not afread to make plays. He’ll go to the ahrd areas, take a hit to make plays. The B’s are playing a much different brand of hockey, and a much more consistant brand of hockey than we saw earlier in the season.”
A former netminder, Weekes also had high praise for Tuukka Rask.
“One of the things I like about Tuukka is the fact this job wasn’t handed to him. It’s a different NHL than when I came into the league; it’s a young player’s league. When I came in there were guys 20 years older than me, very rarely does that happen now. When Tuukka came in, the B’s did a great job not rushing him, allowing him to earn his stripes in Providence, and letting him evolve as a goalie.”
“The biggest thing is just how calm he looks in the net. He’s not awed by the moment so far, and very smooth. Look at the glove save against Lupil in overtime (in Game 4); he looked like a short stop shagging a ball in the hole. He’s smooth with no jitters, and he’s battling around the net… I think he has all the skills of an excellent goalie and the skills to be great himself.”
Tyler Seguin has been struggling during the postseason, but Weekes had some simple advice for him: play around the net.
“He’s a guy that has all the tools, but the thing with Tyler is sometimes when you’re that skilled and that gifted you expect it to translate into games. Sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and get dirty,” said Weekes. “You can’t just look to make plays off the rush or just try to create things off the rush based just on skill. There’s a will component to it. You have to have the willingness get down low — that’s beach front property around the net. Get down there! There’s a reason that property is so expensive, you have to pay the price.”
“Get in and around the net; that’s where the puck is going. It will find you, and it will run your numbers.”