Bruins winger Brad Marchand is keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. In this edition he discusses how the Bruins follow up their winning month of November, how he still needs help naming his line and why he doesn’t like a certain nickname> He also eveals something about teammate Tyler Seguin you probably did not know. -- As told to Louise K. Cornetta
I don’t think there is a way we can top November [Bruins went 12-0-1 in November]. It was a pretty good month for us. It was as close to perfect as you can get. We’re happy with how we came through. We didn’t play our best hockey in a lot of games but we got the job done when we had to. Good to see Timmy [Thomas] be named Player of the Month [NHL’s First Star] for November. He continues to prove himself. He continues to show why he won the Vezina last year and twice in three years. We wouldn’t have won last year if wasn’t for him. He’s following up that season again.
Now our goal is to keep going. We want to take it game by game and continue to build and play better hockey so we can keep winning some games here. We were really able to turn things around and make up a lot of ground. We knew we had to, but we also knew we had a really good team in the room. We just had to put it all together. Once we did that, we became the team that we can be. The past month was really fun. Guys were really enjoying themselves. Winning is the most fun thing that you can do. We were really enjoying every part of it and every moment. It does make coming to the rink a lot easier.
Our winning streak came to an end when we lost in that shootout to the Red Wings. They have a lot of guys in their room who have a lot of experience. They play very strong two way hockey. They’ve won before and they know how to win. They compete every single night. They always make it hard to win and hard to play. They’re a very good team. As I said, we lost in a shootout to them. I really have no idea how we select the shootout lineups. Well, obviously, you go with guys who have a lot of skill and can score on breakaways. We do a lot of drills in practice for the shootout. As for me and whether I’d like to be in the shootout lineup, if I score, yes, and if I miss, no, would be my answer.
One of the highlights for the past month was playing the Sabres, which has become a bit of rivalry. Rivalries are always fun. They’re games you can get excited for. I know the fans always enjoy them and they’re always fun to be in. I know some stuff did escalate there. My opinion on Looch’s [Milan Lucic] hit on Ryan Miller is Looch was just trying to brace himself. It’s unfortunate that Miller got hurt. It’s good he’s back now. Anyway, the games were fun to be in and be part of for sure. Another highlight was the games against the Maple Leafs. I don’t know why we’ve been able to score so much against them. We seem to get a few lucky bounces and lucky goals at the right time. I thought they played better than we did this past Wednesday in Toronto though. They took it to us and seemed to have a lot more opportunities than we did. We just seemed to capitalize on the opportunities we did have.
The benching in the Devils game last month [Nov. 15] kind of woke me up. I knew I took a bad penalty there and they scored on it [in the second period]. That stuff happens. It’s not the first time I’ve been benched and it’s not going to be the last. All you have to do is come out and respond and show that you’ve learned something from it. You move on from there. Coach [Claude Julien] is definitely a player’s coach. He actually has a bit of every style of coaching. I mean, if he has something to say, he’ll let you know. At the same time, he likes to joke around with the guys a bit and have fun. He’s good at knowing when it’s time to joke around and when it’s time for business. When we were losing a bit there to start to the season, he wasn’t too hard on us. He knew we were going to turn it around. He had a lot of confidence in us. He’s very good at reading guys and reading situations and knowing how to react. I bet you’re surprised to hear that he has quite a sense of humor. I also heard back in the day, he was pretty tough out there on the ice. Yup, that’s what I heard.
I know there has been talk about my line and how we’ve been clicking. We have a lot of speed. Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and Segs [Tyler Seguin] have a lot of skill and are very easy to play with. We’re just able to find each other and know where each other is going to be and make some plays. I’m trying to think what I can tell you about my linemates that you might not already know. For Bergy, he is one of only a few players in the League that has an Olympic Gold Medal, a Stanley Cup, and a World Junior Championship. For Tyler, he’s a mama’s boy. How do I know? I’ve witnessed it first-hand. Thanks for all the suggestions to name our line. I liked “The Youngsters” but still think we can find something to top that. Please keep the suggestions coming in with the comments for my diary.
I’ve talked about my nicknames in this diary and elsewhere before but there is one nickname I want to stop and really don’t like: Marshmont. The way it originated was disrespectful. I just don’t like it. You have someone trying to make a nickname for you and it’s something you don’t like. It’s disrespecting my last name. How it came about was a guy went on local radio last season saying I shouldn’t even be on the team and stuff like that. I don’t like it and people should respect that. I don’t [like] that people who have never met me before or don’t know me think that they can decide my nickname. Nicknames that I do like are Marchey, March [both pronounced with a “sh”]. Squirrel I don’t mind, that’s kind of taken off a bit. One that I don’t mind from hearing around is Nose Face and stuff like that. That one has kind of taken off and I don’t mind that one.
Alright, onto a different topic. I was really happy to see Pevs [Rich Peverley] get that three year deal. Pevs is awesome. He’s a great guy on and off the ice. He’s very skilled, a very fast player. He’s very good at reading the ice. He seems to be very calm and confident with the puck. He’s having a great year so far. Pevs is a big part of this team.
Coming up next, we have a bunch of games in a short amount of time, including the Penguins. Good to see Sidney Crosby back on the ice. He’s the poster boy of the League. He brings a lot of people in to watch games. He brings hockey a lot of attention. We need him on the ice. It’s great to see him back. He’s a very exciting player. You don’t ever want to see a guy like that or anyone in general to be sidelined because of an injury or a concussion. It’s great to have him back.
After the New Year, we have our Stanley Cup Finals rematch against Vancouver. There is a lot of hype around this game. I was told recently that this game was the first one sold out when tickets for this season went on sale. There will be a lot of hype and a lot of people watching that game. Game 7 was obviously a big moment for us and tough one for them. They’re going to want to get some redemption and we’re going to want to show why we won. It’s going to be a big game.
I’m going to do a special diary later this month with my own personal Holiday Wish List for this team so keep an eye out for that and enjoy your holidays!