Bruins forward Brad Marchand is keeping a diary for ESPN Boston this season. In the latest entry, he discusses Saturday's Canucks game and his hit on Sami Salo, what he has to say in response to Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault saying Marchand likes to hurt people and to those who say he takes cheap shots. And he finally has come up with a name for his line. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)
I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to play in the Vancouver game because I had the flu. Going back on it, maybe I should have sat that game out. Having the flu was pretty painful. I had it for two to three days. I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat or drink anything. It was pretty uncomfortable. I had to miss the 9-0 win against Calgary. I heard from a couple of the guys after that one. Tyler [Seguin], of course, was one of them. He obviously had to let me know they didn’t need me out there. Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] texted me and he was the nicer of my two linemates because he told me to get better. Then Thorty [Shawn Thornton] texted me and told me how wonderful his backhand toe drags were and the puck seemed to be tied to his stick. So he wanted to brag a little about that.
The game against Vancouver, though, was one of those games you wanted to be a part of. The rivalry there has kind of brewed up since being in the finals with them last year. I definitely wanted to be a part of that game. The atmosphere on Saturday was very playoff-like. Fans were very excited. They were up on their feet the whole time. Everyone was really into the game. Both teams were highly energized and flying. It was a good game that we battled in.
My reaction when I found out Roberto Luongo wasn’t going to start in goal for them was that I knew [Cory] Schneider was from around the area. I thought it was great for them to give him the opportunity to play in front of family and friends. It didn’t really matter to us. We were going to be prepared either way.
I know people were thinking a storyline in the game was going to be me against Daniel Sedin, but that didn’t end up being the story. Let’s start with I was fortunate to score the first goal to get us on the board. I think a big reason I’ve had a scoring touch this year is the fact that I am playing with Bergy and Tyler. They have a lot to do with it. They’re two great players who are always getting me the puck at the right time. They make great passes to me that I’m able to put into the open net.
OK, the play with Sami Salo. It technically wasn’t a clip. Clipping is when you hit someone at the knees and I did not hit him at the knees. Anyone that has seen the video will see that I hit him in the upper thigh under the buttocks. They can call it a clipping, but they obviously don’t know the rules of hockey. I felt like I was trying to protect myself and get low and he went over me. It was very unfortunate that he was injured on the play. I know he has a concussion. There has been a lot of concussions going on this year. It’s a very fast game. A lot of guys are big and strong and physical. It’s very tough on the guys. It seems of late, a lot of guys are getting injured. Hopefully concussions can kind of start to drop off and we don’t see as many of them.
I’ve spoken before about keeping my emotions in check because the refs are keeping their eye on me. This game wasn’t any tougher to do that. I thought I played a pretty disciplined game for the most part. I tried to stay away from any of the extra curricular stuff and for the most part I did. Before I got ejected, I wasn’t really involved in much. I just wanted to play the game and try to help the team on the score sheet. For the most part, I felt I did a decent job of that.
I know in the five-minute power play that Vancouver got for my penalty they scored two goals. They obviously have a very dangerous power play. All four goals in that game were scored on the power play. It shows they have a lot of skill. But it was very tough for me to watch. To take a penalty like that and cost your team the game, it was a tough thing. You have to live and learn and just move on.
Their coach [Alain Vigneault] came out and said I play to hurt players. He obviously wanted to take a shot at me and stir the pot for the hearing [Monday]. It just shows the class he has or lack thereof. I really am not going to respond or bite into what he’s trying to feed me there. I hear Twitter was filled with comments about me today. For anyone that wants to call me someone who takes cheap shots, they can say what they want. It doesn’t affect me. I don’t care what people who don’t know me and I don’t know them and they have no meaning to me, I don’t care what they say. I don’t really care what my reputation is. I just want to play. I’m doing this as my job. I love this team. I’m just trying to be a player and I don’t care what my reputation is really. I’m not out there to hurt guys. When I’m out there, I play a hard-nosed game and play hard. If guys are soft and don’t like it, then that’s fine. I’m not out there to please anybody. I’m out there to do my job.
Looch [Milan Lucic] also got a misconduct when a half-dozen guys jumped on Thorty, which later got rescinded. We got a couple of bad calls there but that’s part of the game. We have a lot of tough guys on the ice there. They were pretty tough when it was six-on-one, but once they were all pulled off only one guy answered the bell. Just shows what kind of guys they are. Looch and I were talking back in the dressing room after we were out of the game that we hoped the boys would be able come back and pull it off and play a good rest of the game.
I’d say our game with Vancouver was a pretty good game. What didn’t it have? Even had a penalty shot. It was a good battle all the way through. It was high intensity the whole game. It certainly was a good regular-season game for anyone to have gone to. I mean, that’s all it was. They got the two points. But at the end of day, we’re still in a great position. We didn’t lose that much from it. It was a great game for the fans.
I’m not talking tonight about the suspension. It’s always best to get a good night’s sleep after you are handed bad news. If I’m able to speak about it, then I’ll check back in [Tuesday] with some thoughts.
Can we talk about some other things now? How about how this team has been playing this season? We do have a very good team right now. We’ve been winning, but every team can get better. We can always improve in different areas of the game. Sometimes we don’t work as hard as we should or we don’t play strong enough defensively at times. Sometimes we play sloppy hockey. We just need to clean it up, get back to basics and not take it all for granted.
What I like best about this team is how close all the guys are. We have a great, great group of guys. We’re very close and hang out a lot. It’s a great team to be a part of.
It was pretty cool to get named First Star of the Week at the end of December. I never expected that. It mostly just shows how good a month we had as a team. I’m just happy to be a part of it. I’m not out there to try and win anything like that.
That was the week I got my first career hat trick in our game against the Panthers. After I got the second goal, I was hoping I would get a third. Seguin decided to try and put it in my head that it was going to happen. He just told me that if he got it, he was coming to me. I was hoping and luckily it happened. It was pretty cool to see all the hats on the ice. I never expected to get a hat trick in the NHL. It was great feeling for sure. We took three of the hats off the ice. Our team does a tradition where whenever someone gets a hat trick they sign it with the score and date and you pick a hat or the best item on the ice and hang it up in our training room. It was pretty cool to be a part of that. I also got all three pucks for the goals. It was nice to be able to have all three of those.
Let me set the record straight on something. In "NHL 36" that was about Bergy, he said I was buying dinner at Flemming’s because I was First Star of the Week. We were actually trying to get the "NHL 36" guys to buy it for us, but I know I did not end up having to buy it for us. On the road, we usually play the credit card game, which a lot of teams do. Basically, you all throw your credit cards in a hat and then usually the waitress will pick them out one by one and the last guy has to pay for dinner.
If they did an "NHL 36" on me, it wouldn’t be that different than Bergy’s. It would involve a lot of sleeping and not much talking. But mine would be a little more outgoing and Segs [Seguin] would have to be involved a bit. He’d be following the camera around with me. There would be a lot of joking around and having a lot of fun. Being on camera like in HBO’s "24/7" with the cameras around all the time would be a little painful at times. It’s nice to have them around every now and then to catch a glimpse of what a team is like, but having them around all the time can get a little much. Though being in the Winter Classic would be cool.
Some random thoughts: Why I think the players rejected the new realignment is because of the travel with some of the teams. But I can’t get into it because I really don’t know enough about it. Another random thought is about Twitter. The reason I’m not on there like Tyler is because everyone knows Twitter is being monitored. There’s no point of having Twitter if it’s being monitored and you can’t say what you actually want to say. So it’s pointless to even have it. Yes, I know there are a ton of fake Marchand accounts out there. I’ve even gotten fan mail from people who said that they tried to tweet me. I don’t have Twitter. There are a lot of fake ones out there. I definitely don’t have it.
Tim Thomas was named to start the All-Star Game. That’s great for Timmy. He’s had a great year and is a great goalie. He’s just showing again why he’s won the Vezina twice in the last three years. I’m very happy for him. For me, it would obviously be a great honor to be on the All-Star team because it’s for the best players in the league, but it’s not really what I play for. I’m not out there to be an All-Star. And it’s great for Claudey [Claude Julien] to be the coach. He’s a great guy who likes to joke around and have some fun. I’m sure he’ll try to do that and get to know some guys and see what some guys are like. It should be a great time for him.
Pevs [Rich Peverley] -- no, I’m not going to tell you what’s wrong, but I’ll explain why in hockey we don’t like to reveal injuries. You don’t want to give other teams an advantage. If a guy is playing injured or is just coming back from one and the other team knows what it is, they might target that injury or that part of their body, which is something you don’t want out there. It’s a game of inches at this level. You want to try to get every advantage you have and that’s just another thing you want to have an advantage with.
New Year’s we decided to stay in Dallas so we weren’t up in the air or something. It wouldn’t have been a whole lot of fun if we were up there and had to kiss each other. It was nice to spend New Year’s together on the ground. My New Year’s resolution is pretty boring. I’m trying to cut out bad food and get back to a good diet. I know it’s boring, but that’s mine. My guilty pleasure, and I have plenty, but I’m going to say my favorite dessert, which is apple crisp and ice cream. That one will get me every time.
I mentioned earlier that playing with Bergy and Tyler is blast. We just have a lot of fun together. We joke around a lot. We like to play with each other, have fun, we love the game. When we’re out there, we’re able to talk to each other and when we get on the bench we tell each other what we’d do differently. We use this as a learning experience for all of us. When you play with a guy like Bergy who has been playing since he was 18 and he is still trying to learn every day, it’s very easy to learn from and follow in his footsteps. It’s great playing with those two guys. Yes, we’re aware we are 1, 2 and 3 as points leaders on the team. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a friendly competition amongst us. Segs and I are battling and chirp with each other a bit. Bergy isn’t too interested in that stuff, but it’s all in good fun. We like to have fun out there, especially when the team is winning the way we are. It’s easier to jump around and have some fun.
I thank everyone for the suggestions for a name for my line, but I wanted to throw this out there and get everyone’s reaction: Bru-Tang Clan. It’s almost like a copy of the Wu-Tang Clan. It’s just Bru because we’re like brothers. So what do you think?