BOSTON -- Bruins forward Brad Marchand plays with a lot of emotion. Sometimes, however, it gets the best of him.
During the second period in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night at TD Garden, Marchand was clearly frustrated as he skated toward the bench. He broke the blade of his stick when he slammed it against the glass.
After he sat down, he smashed the shaft over the boards and the shrapnel ricocheted toward center ice.
Bruins coach Claude Julien was not pleased.
“That was just him being frustrated,” Julien said. “That’s something we don’t like to see and we don’t want to see, but he is a first-year player. He’s a rookie and he is certainly learning and he’s going to be the first one to tell you that he is learning as he goes along here. You can’t allow yourself to get frustrated and you have to battle through things. We just showed a little bit of frustration and I’m sure you are not going to see that again.”
This is the third time this season that Julien has had to talk to Marchand about his actions.
The first incident occurred prior to the March 8 game in Montreal when Marchand called the Canadiens a bunch of divers and claimed the Habs were cheap-shot artists. Boston lost that game 4-1.
“[Julien] told me, ‘You can’t do that stuff because it comes back to bite you.’ And it did," Marchand said. "It bit me in the butt and we got dominated that night. I shot my mouth off after the game-day [skate]. Then there was the golf swing incident and we lost that game, too. I've just got to stop doing dumb stuff.”
That second incident happened on March 31 when the Bruins were hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs. Marchand scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game at 1-1 early in the second period and he skated by the visitor’s bench and gestured with a mock golf swing, meaning the Maple Leafs’ season and chances of reaching the playoffs were over.
Julien gave Marchand an earfull between periods and the Bruins lost that game 4-3 in a shootout.
Players have to be disciplined during the playoffs and Marchand says he knows he has to try to balance his emotional play because that’s what makes him successful.
“Marchy goes out and plays hard,” Bruins forward Chris Kelly said. “That’s the type of player he is and every team would love to have him. Maybe he’s putting a little bit too much pressure on himself. He’s an important part of this team. He just has to go out there and play. He’s a great player and everyone knows that.”