Bruins winger Brad Marchand has been keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com. Here he talks about their fast start, goals he hates, their rivalry with Montreal, and breaks down the personalities on this team. (As told to Louise K Cornetta)
In January I said that it was important to get off to a fast start in a shortened season. I think right now we’re all on the same page and buying into the system. We know what we have to do to win. Everyone comes to play every night. There are areas we need to work on. I think there are times when we need to clean up defensively, We get away from our game at times and give up a little more defensively than normally we are used to. If we continue to work on that, we’ll be a tough team to play against.
So far the season has been going well. As for me, I’ve been able to score [Editor’s note: Team leading 12 goals]. I’d say my first goal of the season is the one that stands out to me. It was a backdoor tap in from Segs [Tyler Seguin]. I wasn’t sure how the season was going to go after being off for so long. To get that first one under your belt is always nice. I was happy to get that one. I should say too that the game winners [Editor’s note: 4 game winning goals this season] have been fun. A lot of it is just how the game goes and luck but anytime you get a game-winning goal it’s enjoyable. You know what goals I hate? Overtime shootout ones. They are terrible and I hate them. All the pressure is on you especially if you’re the third guy going and your tied or down by one. They’re a tough situation to be in.
I’ve been asked why I’ve been scoring a lot this season. It’s just how it goes. At times, pucks will go in and at times they won’t. I think right now a lot of my goals, I’ve gotten good bounces. I also play with some very skilled players. I just feed off of them. My style has changed some and I’ve spent less time in the penalty box this season. I think the biggest reason is because I am playing more minutes. I’m too tired to start agitating and getting into guys heads. Instead of doing that, I’m trying to suck wind. It’s really more because of that than anything else.
Last year, I was superstitious. This year, not so much. I decided to get away from that and worry about playing instead of all the stuff I’d do before the game. I have a routine that I like to do but it’s not make or break type of thing.
I mentioned how I play with some skilled players. My line with Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and Segs is great on and off the ice. We really get along off the ice, which I think gives us a good opportunity to connect more on the ice. We’re comfortable talking to each other about different things like maybe we could be better in different areas. Also, we’ve played together for a little while now. When you do that, you get used to where guys are and it makes it a lot easier to make plays.
We’re fortunate because we have an awesome group of guys on this team. It’s just like a family, everyone is so close. You see it on the ice, all the guys stick up for each other. We’re very excited to have the team that we do. I thought it would be a good time to breakdown the personalities in this dressing room.
-- Funniest guy on this team besides me? Andrew Ference. He cracks me up a lot. Jokes, sarcastic, chirps guys, he is all of the above.
-- Most talkative? Me and Segs. Segs doesn’t like to stop talking and I’m the same way.
-- Best dressed? Soupy [Gregory Campbell] has pretty good style. He’s not flashy. He’s just put together. He’s up on things. He always likes to be up-to-date and he’s a little bit of a shopping fiend.
-- Fashion challenged? Dougie [Hamilton] needs a lot of help. I think he’s still stuck in Juniors because he doesn’t want to spend a penny. He even complains about how much magazines cost.
-- Who can’t walk by a mirror without taking a look? Segs. He loves himself more than anyone I’ve ever met.
-- Always in the weight room? [Dennis] Seidenberg is always in there He doesn’t stop. He works out before games, before practices, after games, and after practices. He’s a monster.
-- Grumpiest? Thorty [Shawn Thornton] is a grumpy dude but I have to say it’s [Chris] Kelly. Kelly is by far the grumpiest guy on the team. It’s just him and how he is. But he’s also a funny guy who is just a little grumpy at times.
-- Answer guy? Bergy. A lot of guys go to Bergy for things.
There are a lot of different personalities on this team. Claude [Julien] keeps us focused by making sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves, but a lot of guys in the room are the same way. Guys are very accountable in here. We know when to have fun, but also we know when it’s time for business. It’s actually pretty easy to stay focused.
This team is not that much different from the 2010 one that won the Stanley Cup. We have Tuukka [Rask] starting in goal now, which is probably the biggest difference. He and I came up together playing in Providence. Tuuks is so great because he doesn’t give the opponent a whole lot to shoot at. He’s very good at covering his angles. He’s very quick. If he’s ever out of position, he’s so quick that he gets right back in it. We’re very lucky to have him. Now there is something about him you probably don’t know and that is he loves chicken wings more than any person I’ve ever met in my life. If he could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner he would.
I can’t end this without mentioning our rivalry with Montreal which was definitely on display recently. Our rivalry is a lot of fun to be in because it dates back so long. We have a lot of fun anytime we play each other. You can see how the fans get into and how much they enjoy it, which makes it more enjoyable for us. When we play each other it’s not just Boston and Montreal fans that watch, but fans across the whole League. They know it’s going to be an intense game and an exciting one which it always proves to be.
Last item I wanted to bring up is all this snow. I don’t even think we get this much snow back home in Nova Scotia! It’s fun during December and January. I don’t know about you, but now I’m sick of it. I’m looking forward to spring getting here.