BOSTON — The Boston Bruins did just about everything right in Thursday’s Game 1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was pleased with his team’s performance, but he had special praise for one of his players in particular: Brad Marchand.
The B’s forward had a solid Game 1, scoring a goal and tallying an assist while also getting cozy with Leafs center Leo Komarov. But it was his discipline that caught Cassidy’s eye, as Toronto clearly made a concerted effort to try and aggravate Marchand, but he didn’t take the bait.
“I thought it was excellent,” Cassidy said of Marchand’s restraint. “He’s going to be a guy that teams are going to circle because he’s an elite player. You know and in the past, you’ve been able to get him off his game at times. And that’s a lot of times, the good players that play with passion, you see it with a lot of them, it’s just how quickly can you get it back or where do you keep your discipline not to hurt your team? And I thought he did real good job of that (Thursday night). And I’m sure he’ll get tested again Saturday, but that’s what Marchy’s up against. You want to be a good player, you better be prepared for extra attention.”
There’s no doubt the Leafs will try and force Marchand off his game again when they try to even the series in Game 2. But for one night at least, the star winger showed he can maintain his composure in the pressure-packed playoff environment. And that’s huge for the Bruins.
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