Bruins' Brad Marchand drops truth bombs about playoff hockey prior to Game 6

Steve Conroy, Boston Herald on

Published in Hockey

BOSTON — Brad Marchand does not want anyone crying for him.

Yes, he believes that Sam Bennett “got away with one” when he punched Marchand in the head with the butt end of the stick in his right hand. But the way Marchand looks at it, that’s just playoff hockey. And the unvarnished truth about playoff hockey, as Marchand sees it, is that it’s not for the faint of heart.

“I think that (Bennett) plays hard. He’s an extremely physical player, a great player for the group. I think he got away with a shot but I’m not going to complain. (Bleep) happens,” Marchand said on Thursday. “That’s part of hockey, especially playoff hockey. I’ve been on the other side of a lot of plays and I think he got away with one. But that’s part of the game and definitely a part of playoff hockey. It sucks to be on the other side of it, but that stuff happens. I’m not going to sit here and complain about it. That’s part of the game. Yeah, I think he got away with one, but it is what it is.”

Marchand participated fully in the Bruins’ practice at Warrior Ice Arena. He was first up in line rushes with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic. He took his place on the first power-play unit. And while neither he nor coach Jim Montgomery could say that he’ll definitely be in for the B’s do-or-die Game 6 on Friday at TD Garden, Marchand looked very much like himself on the ice after he took a blow to the jaw from Bennett last Friday in Game 3, which knocked him woozy.

In speaking with reporters on Thursday, Marchand continued dropping the truth bombs that may make people in the NHL league offices a little uncomfortable but would no doubt have generations of hockey players nodding in agreement.

“People don’t want to say it, but part of playoffs is trying to hurt every player on the other team and the more guys you take out, there more advantage your team has. People don’t say that, but that’s just a fact of the game,” said Marchand, who has played 156 postseason games. “So every time you step on the ice, someone’s trying to hurt someone and that’s just how it goes in playoffs. And any time you can have an advantage on a team, it’s going to help your team win and that’s part of the benefit of having a physical group. It’s why you see teams go the distance with a big D corps and physical teams. And it’s why you rarely see teams that are small and skilled go far because they get hurt. It’s part of it.”

Did he think the league provided him a different level of safety because of his own history of going over the line?

“I think it would have been a different story of that camera angle came out a couple of days before, but it is what it is,” Marchand said of the definitive angle that TNT showed just prior to Game 4 on Sunday. “It doesn’t matter at the end of the day. That’s the way it’s set up. Stuff like that happens. There are missed calls and missed situations but that’s part of it.”


Marchand also lauded Bennett and the Panthers for how they play.

“He’s a competitor. Guys on that team, they compete hard and ... that’s the way you want your guys to play in the playoffs and that’s the way that teams that win usually play. And that’s how we’ve been playing. We play hard. When that happens, guys get caught sometimes. Sometimes guys get hurt,” Marchand said . “Again, I’m not going to complain about it. It is what it is. That’s playoff hockey. That’s what makes winning a Cup so hard to do. It’s what makes it so gratifying.

You’ve got to play through situations like this and you’ve got to be able to go through the adversity. We went through it the year we won with (Nathan Horton) going down and other guys getting hurt. And you come out of it. It’s how you respond as a team and bounce back from this stuff. That’s playoff hockey and, yeah, maybe people don’t like it. But it’s not soccer. It’s not basketball. It’s the hardest trophy to win and you’re willing to sacrifice your body and willing to hurt other guys and do whatever it takes to win. And if you don’t like it, don’t play in the playoffs. It’s the best time of the year. If I have to get hurt to win, if I have to hurt someone to win, I don’t care. That’s part of it. And I’m not going to complain. Because if I’m him, I’m doing the same thing. So I’m not going to complain. That’s the game and that’s how you win.”

Marchand still has to “check the boxes” to play. But it certainly sounded like it might take a small army to keep him out of Game 6 on Friday at the Garden.

“This is what we play for,” Marchand said. “This is why we started playing hockey. And we want to live our dreams. It’s to try to win a Cup. Stanley Cup playoffs, we’re fighting for our lives. Guys are excited about it. There’s no poor-me attitude in this room. It’s a great opportunity. Whether it goes our way or not, we’re going to go and leave everything we have on the ice and enjoy the moment. You never know when you’re ever going to be in the second round of the playoffs again. It may happen, it may not. So you’ve got to enjoy the moment and be grateful for it. I think our group is.”

There’s little question that Marchand is.

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