BOSTON — Brad Marchand was back to his old ways Wednesday night, which is good news for the Bruins. However, that’s not necessarily good news for the Bruins forward.
Marchand showed a ton of jump — energy that he and his linemates haven’t necessarily showed lately — in the B’s 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of their first-round series. Marchand also showed the continued ability to get under his opponents’ skin, something he did for much of the game.
The pesky forward was in on a few post-whistle scrums, he had a chit-chat or two with Toronto forward Phil Kessel, and he also got into it with Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk. The confrontation with van Riemsdyk led to a little funny business, apparently, although the details of that tussle are no laughing matter for any male.
“He speared me in the privates, so I kind of reacted,” Marchand flatly stated after the game. “Plain and simple.”
It’s actually not the first time Marchand has had some issues with sticks in that region. Marchand accused Washington’s Jason Chimera of spearing him there in last year’s playoffs, an incident that actually led Chimera to apologize to Marchand.
The incident Wednesday came toward the end of the game, with the result already out of hand and Boston holding the big lead, which Marchand thinks may have added to the physical intensity.
“End of the game, we’re up by a couple of goals and they’re just trying to send a message. That stuff happens in hockey.”
It was all part of a chippy third period that saw the game ending with a heated scrum along the boards in front of the penalty box. A fight between Chris Kelly and Leo Komarov ensued, as the two sides shuffled off the ice with no love loss after 60 physical minutes of hockey. That all happened not long after Toronto enforcer Colton Orr took exception to Johnny Boychuk‘s big hit on Mikhail Grabovski.
Bruins coach Claude Julien took no exception to the way the game was played, and he wasn’t in the mood to criticize the Leafs after the game.
“This is playoff hockey. Two tough teams playing each other and whatever happens out there on the ice, we’ve been pretty good at handling that stuff. That stuff doesn’t bother us. We’ve been on the other side of it. Whether it was message sending or whatever the case was, it doesn’t matter to us. I’m preoccupied with our team. I thought we reacted well, we defended ourselves well and we were disciplined when we had to. That’s all that matters right now. I’m certainly not going to get into this thing of crying about the other team. It was a good, hard-fought hockey game and I’ll leave it at that.”