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Bourque On Gresh & Zo: Young Bruins Defensemen Will Do Fine

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Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – With the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers set to begin their playoff series, B’s legend Ray Bourque joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh and Zo on Thursday to preview the series.

But before they could get to that, they had to relive Monday night’s miraculous comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I was sitting at home in my spot, where I got to watch every second of the game. It was just incredible,” said Bourque. “Toronto just stopped playing and the Bruins were playing in waves. When they tied it up I couldn’t believe it. How can you not be a sports fan? ‘It’s never over until it’s over’ is so true sometimes.”

Read: Bruins-Rangers Predictions

Bruins forward Tyler Seguin didn’t record a point until Game 7, assisting on Patrice Bergeron’s game-winner in overtime, but Bourque says the young star is being much more aggressive on the ice, and the points should come.

“I think he’s worked really hard. I don’t think I’ve seen him play as physical and engage as much as he did in that first series,” Bourque said of Seguin. “This guy is never going to be a physical presence and knock guys over, it’s a matter of competing and going into the dirty areas. He had some good opportunities he just didn’t put up the numbers.”

“When you look back at the series (against Toronto), you look at the stats. A lot of people will look and see he had one assist — but it was a big one. The Bruins need him to be productive and put numbers up, and i think right now he’s feeling the pressure,” said Bourque. “All Seguin needs is one game to break out and then he’ll feel it. They need it to happen soon though.”

Hurley: Tight, Hard-Fought Games Expected Between Bruins-Rangers

The Bruins will need a few of their young defensemen to step up with veteran blue liners Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden hurting. They’ll be counting on the likes of rookie Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug with their three vets likely out for Game 1.

But Bourque doesn’t think the youngsters will have many issues, and neither will the rest of the team.

“You don’t even blink an eye when something like that happens; you look ahead, look at who’s in the room, who are you playing with, who is in the lineup that night,” said Bourque. “You don’t even use that as an excuse; you don’t even think about it. You’re going to war with the people in that room.”

Read: B’s Ready For Shot-Blocking Rangers

“Chris (Bourque) has been in Providence and I go to a lot of his games; these guys are really good players,” Bourque said of the youngsters. “Bartkowski especially, he’s played a quite a few games with the Bruins and knows the system and knows the deal. Same thing with Krug; he may not be the biggest in stature but he plays with a lot of urgency and is very assertive for a young guy with not much experience. I really love his game, and I think every time he’s had an opportunity in Boston he’s played well.”

“Obviously the stakes are higher, but these guys have to be so excited for the opportunity and I think they’ll be fine.”

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