Other teams tempted Brad Marchand with various actions all season long. Who can blame them? After all, he’s earned a reputation with crossing the fine line at various points during his nine-year NHL career.
Unlike any year prior, Marchand kept his composure on the ice. Perhaps his licking incidents against former Leafs forward Leo Komarov and Lightning winger Ryan Callahan in last year’s postseason finally marked the breaking point.
The still chirpy but comparably subdued Marchand didn’t meet with the Player Safety Department in 2018-19. The Bruins benefitted from that. So did the 5-foot-9 winger, who notched his first career 100-point campaign.
Yet, Marchand isn’t afraid to push limitations. He had his fun all season long on social media poking fun at anyone. No one was off limits. Rivals, teammates and a handful of fans found themselves on the other end of Marchand’s chirping on the ice and on social media.
A pair of Columbus Blue Jackets forwards became the latest topics of Marchand’s quote machine a day after the Bruins’ 3-2 overtime victory in Game 1.
First came the questions surrounding his exchange with Cam Atkinson during the extra session. The former Boston College standout needed a stick replacement following Marchand’s stomp on his lumber prior to a faceoff outside the blue-line of Boston’s attacking zone.
A visibly upset Atkinson said a few words to Marchand on his way to the bench. He reportedly had a more lighthearted tone following Columbus’ practice on Friday at TD Garden.
“He owes me $300,” Atkinson said according to The Athletic. “You can tell him that. I’m expecting [$300]. That’s my property.”
Marchand, of course, was asked about said event with Atkinson during the team’s media availability on Friday at Warrior Ice Arena.
“I think he was trying to dull up my blade. Send me to the room to get it sharpened,” Marchand told reporters in Brighton. “Kind of rude for him to do.”
But the Bruins didn’t exit Game 1 unscathed. In fact, they may be without David Krejci. The Czech center is day-to-day with an upper-body ailment following a hit from former teammate Riley Nash. They’ll need all hands on deck against a Blue Jackets squad that’s a week and a half removed from their historic sweep of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning.
Marchand knows that. He expressed the matter while throwing another jab at his ex-teammate.
“That’s what you expect out of that group. They play extremely hard. You saw it against Tampa. Kind of ran them out of the rink, their whole group,” Marchand said to the press. “You got guys like Nasher [Riley Nash] who are finishing hits. I don’t think he had a hit in two years with us.”
Of course, it’s all in good fun. After all, Nash threw 153 hits during his two years in Boston. Marchand had 88 hits in that span.
Stats are just a sample size though. Marchand, Nash, Atkinson and the rest of the skaters in this Boston-Columbus series bring pride and competitiveness every time they touch the ice. The spirited play and the words exchanged will only intensify as the second round series progresses.
Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.
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