BOSTON — Watching Brad Marchand put together his amazing playoff run last season, it was inconceivable to think that he'd face a situation this season in which he'd be forced to ride the bench. Then came Tuesday night.
Marchand, already with a minor penalty under his belt, tried to mix it up with Devils forward Adam Henrique in the second period of a scoreless game. When Henrique didn't oblige, the Bruins forward was slapped with a two-minute roughing minor, setting the Devils up with a 5-on-3 advantage and eventually a David Clarkson goal.
At that point, Marchand was in head coach Claude Julien's doghouse, relegated to the bench for much of the remainder of the second period. It was a strong message by Julien, even it wasn't communicated verbally or with any angry glances.
"I got the hint by sitting on the bench, and he didn't have to say anything," Marchand said. "At this level, you know when you make mistakes. I know I made a couple tonight and I had to pay for it."
Marchand has, of course, earned a reputation as an agitator, consistently getting under the skin of his opponents. And while that's what Bruins fans have learned to love about the 23-year-old, it's also what gets him in hot water from time to time.
"Marsh is a guy that plays on the edge, and every once in a while he crosses that line," Julien said. "It's what makes him a good player, but at the same time, it can't hurt his hockey team. It doesn't just frustrate coaches, I'm sure it frustrates his teammates at times too when he puts us in that position."
Marchand called the benching a wake-up call. And if that's the case, we could probably all use a good reprimanding at the hands of Julien, as the young winger came out and played inspired hockey in the third period.
He scored just six seconds into the frame, giving the B's their first goal of the night and extending his point streak to six games.
"I just wanted to bounce back. I didn't want to hang my head. I wanted to go and show that I can be better," Marchand said.
The Devils would answer just 2:02 later, when Nick Palmieri tied the game with his first of two goals. The Bruins' offense was still sparked by the Marchand goal, though, as they then traded goals with New Jersey before Benoit Pouliot eventually banged home the game-winner with 3:01 left.
Marchand's goal set the wheels in motion for a thrilling conclusion, but much of the talk after the game still centered around Julien's decision to limit his minutes in the second period, during which he moved Pouliot up to his spot on the second line.
"Let's not make a big deal of it. It was a message sent to him that he can't put us in that situation. And the character that he has, he didn't say a word, he just responded with a solid third period, and that's what I like about Brad. He takes responsibility and when he's given a chance, he answers properly," Julien said.
Message sent. Message received.