Call them agitators, pests, rats — whatever. Brad Marchand and Brendan Gallagher both are players who are loved by fans of their teams and hated by pretty much everyone else.
And given that they play on opposite sides of one of the most heated rivalries in sports, they haven’t been the biggest fans of each other over the years.
The Boston Bruin and Montreal Canadien currently are competing under the same banner at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, however, and since arriving in Russia, their rivalry has morphed into an unlikely friendship — at least for the time being.
?It?s been the worst part about this trip,? Gallagher said in an interview with TSN. ?He turned out to be a pretty good guy.?
“I think in this league, we all have to do a job, and that is our role when we got on the ice,” Marchand added in the same interview. “I think when you talk to anybody who plays in the NHL, when guys get together, everyone is friendly. And we have so much in common, it’s easy to become good friends. So, we’re good buddies off the ice, but I’m sure next year we’re still going to have to do our jobs.”
Marchand and Gallagher both are part of a Canada squad that’s dominated the competition thus far at Worlds. The Canadians are 3-0 and have outscored their three opponents (the United States, Hungary and Belarus) by a combined margin of 20-2.
The two wingers have had some fun away from the ice, too, offering on Twitter to scrap in the name of accumulating “NHL 17” cover votes for fellow Team Canada forward Connor McDavid.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images