Marchand Diary: Glad to be back

Bruins winger Brad Marchand had some unfinished business with his diary. He returns for this shortened season. Here he discusses how he found out the lockout was over, what the Bruins need to do to prepare for a shortened season, Tim Thomas no longer being on the team, and what he hopes the fan reaction will be Saturday night. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)

I think with the lockout what I missed the most was being around my teammates. It’s so much fun being around everyone. You really get a sense of how close our team is and how much of a family this is. When we were away, I thought about that a lot and really missed the guys.

I spent the lockout going back and forth between Boston and home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I’m a pretty avid hunter. I was doing a lot of hunting, mostly deer. But then I went over and did some moose hunting in Newfoundland, which I really enjoyed. My brother plays hockey for St. Mary’s University back home. I haven’t been able to see him play in six or seven years. So I spent a lot of time watching him play and being with my family.

I found out the lockout was over through an e-mail from Fer [Andrew Ference]. I was away in New Hampshire on a ski trip. I wasn’t skiing, more hanging out at the lodge relaxing. I got this email from Ference just saying, “It’s done.” Ference was down in New York at the negotiations and did a good job of keeping us updated throughout the week. It was awesome news to get.

For not having played a game in eight months, I actually feel pretty good. A lot of people really stressed on us to stay physically active by skating and training. But I think a huge part of being prepared for the season is being rested. I used this time to really rest up. I still went to the ice and trained but I had a couple of injuries I was able to take care of and now am feeling pretty good.

Not a lot to report from training camp so far. Probably the only odd thing so far was I did hear the other day about the bogus story saying Tyler [Seguin] kept a messy apartment when he played overseas in Switzerland. [Adam] McQuaid told me about it. No one here really cared about that or kidded around about it. I’ve been to Tyler’s place. I know that he’s not that bad. I can confirm he is a lot neater person than what they’re portraying.

We pretty much have the same team intact from last year. Our expectation is to go as far as we can. Obviously the goal for every team every year is to win the Stanley Cup, but there is a lot that goes into that. We want to make sure we give ourselves the best opportunity possible and prepare ourselves for every game.

Tuukka Rask will be our goalie as Tim Thomas decided not to play. He’s an older guy. He’s had a great career and that’s fine, that’s his decision. Tuukka is awesome. I’ve been playing with him since Providence. He’s incredible. He is definitely ready to come in and be a huge contributor for us.

We start the season against the Rangers. We have a week to prepare. We don’t really have a choice but to prepare fast. They’re a very strong team. They had a good run last year. We just have to make sure we’re prepared on the ice, get lots of rest, good nutrition, and hopefully we’ll be ready. It’s huge for us to go out and get a fast start. Everyone wants to come out of the gate hard. If you fall behind with like a 1-6 start, you can quickly find yourself out of a playoff position. Right now, it’s a sprint. We have to make sure we’re prepared every day and put our best game on the ice every night.

I’m hoping the fan reaction on Saturday is good like it was on Tuesday for our scrimmage against the Providence Bruins. We have the best fans in the world. They’ve always been so supportive. We want to see them come out and cheer just as loud as ever. I know some fans aren’t happy we had a lockout. I think the best thing that we, the players, can do is make sure we put on a good show for them when they come to the rink. We also need to make public appearances and show we appreciate their support and coming back to the game. It’s looking for ways to show our appreciation in any way we can.

I enjoy supporting the other Boston sports teams. I was at the Celtics game on Monday and while I wasn’t at the game, I definitely watched the Patriots beat the Texans. Everyone expects big things from them. We will certainly be rooting them on the rest of the way.